Minted + Julep

Great things are meant to be shared. That’s what this post is… me telling you about something I think is great because I know you are going to love it too.

Our family pictures were supposed to be taken today but we got rained out (and it’s way too cold to take a three-week old baby out!). But that isn’t stopping me from thinking about our Christmas cards! I adore sending snail-mail cards, especially at Christmas. Who doesn’t love real mail? And I know my grandparents appreciate getting pictures of the grand-kids to hang on their fridge. Do you take the time to send out cards, letters, or pictures? If so, who do you have do your printing?

There’s an online printing company called Minted that has the most amazing products. I’ve ordered from them once before and I noticed quiet a few of my friends sent Christmas cards printed by them last year. Their products are gorgeous and so very personalized. I’ve mostly seen their holiday cards, but they also have tons of stationary, invitations, baby announcements, and wedding goods too. Here’s my favorite feature that Minted offers – you can enter the addresses you’d like your cards sent to and they’ll print the address on the envelope for free! How cool is that? And let’s be honest, writing out all those address is the worst part about sending Christmas cards.

Any how, Minted also has a blog called Julep (clever name!) and it is awesome. I was introduced to it a few days ago and I’ve been so impressed with the content the pictures are really beautiful too.

One post that caught my eye was a tutorial on how to make your own typography cookies.

Here’s a pictures from their blog of those fun cookies:

make-font-cookies

Aren’t they awesome?! I was thinking it would be really fun to make cookies like this for a baby shower. You could do the first letter of that baby’s name or “B” or “G” for boy or girl. Or wouldn’t they be cute for Valentine’s day with all different types of “X” and “O”! Or even for Christmas you could do the letters in JOY or NOEL.

I’m pretty excited about the link in their post to the cookie recipe too. I’ve yet the find a sugar cookie recipe that holds it’s shaped when baked, but obviously this dough does. Those cookies look perfect.

So now you have a new blog to check out. Be prepared to be inspired.

Now let’s look at those holiday cards I’ve been gawking over all evening. There were about a million I want, but these were a few of my favorites…

MIN-2T6-CHR-001CHRISTMAS_A_PZ

(And yes, you can personalize this card with where YOU live!)  MIN-2X8-CHR-001HOLIDAY_A_PZ

(I love that this card tells your new address… we moved this year. Perfect!)MIN-3C9-CHR-001NEWYEAR_A_PZ MIN-WY5-CHR-001CHRISTMAS_A_PZ MIN-X0R-CHR-001HOLIDAY_C_PZ MIN-X4M-CHR-001HOLIDAY_A_PZ MIN-X58-CHR-001BCHRISTMAS_A_PZ

Swooon. Aren’t they pretty.

Do you send holiday cards? Have you used Minted before? Which card to you like?

So many choices and only a mere 4 weeks until Christmas! Help!


7 comments on “Minted + Julep

  1. To me, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without sending and receiving real cards in the mail. Thanks for sharing info on Minted, I will definitely check them out.

  2. Honestly, as a designer, I really struggle professionally with the business practices of Minted. That being said, the cards are really cute, and it’s a great deal for consumers. If it wasn’t my own profession, I’d probably be totally behind it. But it’s so hard to see so many amazing, awesome Etsy sellers and independent designers doing crazy cool things with stationery going out of business because they can’t compete with the (generally frowned upon in our profession) business model of Minted.

    1. You’ve got to fill me in because there’s obviously something I missed… On their website it says that they use the work from all kinds of small designers and has a cool map of where all the designers they use live around the world. It totally makes you feel like they are helping out the little buy by providing a platform for their work and then printing it on really nice paper. Tell me more because this is obviously something you’ve looked at. What am I missing?

      1. I think that’s what frustrates me the most about Minted, they sell themselves as “designer-friendly”. In fact, when I first heard about them, and saw the quality of work, I was thrilled because I’d love to work with them, but the WAY they work with designers is pretty much against all the professional standards many of us live by.

        And yes, they are using work for all kinds of small designers, but it’s crowdsourced speculative work, which is a type of work that is seriously frowned on by the majority of our profession (including our big professional organization, the AIGA).

        So basically, they have thousands of trained and (mostly) untrained designers submit designs (for free), then the ideas that are liked are picked and the designer then gets a prize plus a small percentage of sales. So basically it’s a design contest. Which causes all kinds of issues for our profession.

        First of all, it makes it to where folks like me (with an advanced degree, 10+ years of experience, and multiple international awards) are completely undervalued because it sells it as “Hey, look! Anyone with a computer can do this! It takes no special skills!” There is no longer any value in the expertise of the profession. And that, in general, leads to a lower wage for the entire profession. I mean, there is no way I can compete with some 21 year old college student who will do anything to make a few extra bucks to buy beer for the weekend. Even if my designs are just as good, or even better, I don’t have the financial freedom to devote time in my schedule to do work that *might* make me money, and more than likely, will never make me enough to recoup my labor costs. Crowdsourced designs sites like this (there are a lot beyond Minted) basically put no value on training, expertise, or experience. Which is great when you’re on the untrained, unexperience side, not so great when you’ve spent half your life dedicated to the profession.

        Another issue is that all the work (regardless of if it is sold or not) is on display, so there are a lot of issue with crowdsourced work being stolen/repurposed without permission (although, admittedly, I don’t know of any examples of this specifically from Minted). And this is really bad news if you don’t end up “winning” and some one steals your design. So not only are you out of money, but you’re also out of your intellectual property.

        Mostly, it’s frustrating for a lot of designers because we’re one of the only groups of professionals that people try to crowdsource our work. You’d never have someone go around to all the different mechanics in a town and say, “Hey, I’m gonna hold a contest, and whichever one of you can change my oil the best, is the one I’m going to pay. The rest of you, better luck next time.” No, we get recommendations for a mechanic, and we build a relationship based on trust that that person is an expert in their field, and we pay them accordingly. Crowdsourcing sites like Minted just make my profession look like some hobby. Which, makes me sadface.

        I would be fine (thrilled, even) if sites like Minted went out an found small designers, looked at their portfolio of work, reviewed their experience, created a relationship with them and contracted with the designer to buy custom designs. That is how our profession is supposed to work. The client finds a designer they like. The client requests a project. Designer delivers the project. Designer gets paid. Minted’s model is that you do all the work, but then you only get paid if it’s deemed the “best” (which is a whole other issue—design is inherently subjective, who decides what is “good” and what is “bad”).

        Okay, that was probably way more than you were looking for. But if not, there are a ton of articles from design magazines and our professional organizations about why businesses like this are bad news for the graphic design profession as a whole, if you’re interested (which I’m sure, you’re not, ha!).

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