Minted Launches 2011 Holiday Card Design Challenge, Announces Guest Judges; Deadline May 31

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J. Crew’s President and Executive Creative Director Jenna Lyons, Real Simple’s editor-in-chief Kristin van Ogtrop, Apartment Therapy CEO Maxwell Gillingham, and Kelley Lilien of blog Mrs. Lilien will be reviewing submissions and awarding special judge’s awards.

Minted (, the online store powered by a global design community, is thrilled to reveal the guest judges of their 2011 holiday card design competition. Four design luminaries have signed on to evaluate the entries and choose their favorites. “We could not be more thrilled about each and every one of our guest judges,” says Minted CEO and founder Mariam Naficy. “Their support and interest in our vibrant design community cannot be underestimated.”

Minted invites all designers around the world to submit designs to its ongoing design competitions. The Minted community then critiques the designs and votes to tell Minted what to sell. The holiday card challenge is Minted’s biggest competition of the year. Winners of this challenge will reach millions of homes across the US this winter, win a total of $45,000 in cash prizes and commissions to launch a holiday card collection, and be covered prominently in the press. Over the past two years, cards designed by Minted’s community have been featured in InStyle, The Today Show, and Real Simple, among others. Designers from around the world are invited to learn more about the challenge and submit holiday card designs to Minted ( through May 31.

Jenna Lyons: After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Jenna Lyons began her career with an internship at Donna Karan. She then joined J.Crew as one of the first members of the design team under founder Emily Woods, where she has grown up along with J.Crew over the past 20 years. Jenna’s creativity and vision has been an integral part of the recent turnaround at J.Crew. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband Vincent Mazeau, and her 4 year old, Beckett Lyons Mazeau.

Kristin van Ogtrop: Before joining Real Simple, van Ogtrop was Executive Editor of Glamour. Previously she held positions at Vogue, Travel & Leisure and Premiere. Kristin van Ogtrop was named Managing Editor of Real Simple in March 2003. Under her leadership, the magazine has achieved popular and critical acclaim. In addition to leading the magazine, van Ogtrop oversees all brand extensions, which have grown to include a robust website with unique, daily content; popular special issues, including Real Simple Family and Real Simple Weddings; books; licensed products; and mobile apps. Her essays and articles have appeared in a variety of publications, and in The New York Times bestseller, The Bitch in the House. Kristin’s book Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom was published in hardcover last April by Little, Brown and came out in paperback this spring.

Maxwell Gillingham: In April 2004, Maxwell, with his brother Oliver Ryan, launched, one of the most popular and influential design blogs in the country. Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan is an interior designer, author and the founder of Apartment Therapy, originally an interior design service and now a network of blogs devoted to helping people make their homes beautiful, organized, and healthy. He is the author of Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure (Bantam, 2006), and Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions (Chronicle, 2008), as well as Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces, a forthcoming book from Clarkson-Potter (May, 2010).

Kelley Lilien: Mrs. Kelley Lilien is a graphic designer, wife, stylist, mother of two, and the mastermind behind Mrs. Lilien, a multifaceted aspirational brand that extends across online and print media. The Mrs. Lilien Styling House blog is a destination for the indulgent lifestyle enthusiast that delivers a daily smattering of delicious brilliance. The blog boasts a vibrant milieu that is carefully curated with an advantageous “Mrs.” aesthetic in mind. Through fantastical imagery and punchy graphics, and poetic prose, the Mrs. Lilien styling house blog serves as an explosively optimistic lifestyle utopia.

About Minted’s Design Challenges:
Minted's mission is to allow consumers to discover design genius from all over the world, providing an opportunity for designers to build their careers on merit alone. Minted holds monthly design challenges to source designs from a large global community of designers. The Minted community selects the best designs in a highly competitive and meritocratic process, yielding a top selection of the freshest, finest cards in the world. To that end, Minted's 2010 Holiday Card competition was the company's biggest challenge yet: almost half a million votes were cast for 1,370 designs, and the top contenders were chosen by Minted's community for sale.

About Minted:
Minted is a venture-backed design community and online store, crowd-sourcing graphic designs and content from a global design community and selling those as premium printed paper products initially focused on the $10 billion stationery, invitations, and cards market.

Minted has radically transformed what consumers now expect in holiday cards, wedding invitations, save the dates, birth announcements, business cards, and other personal stationery. The company's paper and printing is of the highest quality and it leads the market with the freshest designs, newest formats and most coveted details. Minted's fresh, unique designs have been featured on The Today Show and The Early Show, and in Real Simple, Town & Country, InStyle Weddings, Food & Wine and other major national magazines.


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