People have been commemorating important events with a challenge coin since Ancient Roman times.
Today, these custom medallions are favored by the military, police force, clubs, charity organizations, and corporations as a way to reward soldiers, staff, volunteers, and members.
The array of designs, styles, and weights available today can be overwhelming. If you’re thinking about using challenge coins for an event or award, you might be stumped on how to design a custom coin.
Fret not! Below, we offer a step-by-step guide on creating the perfect custom challenge coin for your needs.
Formulating an Idea
Before you start to design your own custom challenge coin, you need to do some research. Get out that pen and paper (or go digital if you prefer) and jot down some thoughts about what you want on your coin.
Ask yourself these questions:
• What sort of artwork represents the event or organization?
• What colors do you want on the coin?
• Who will the coins be presented to?
• Do you want any text or dates on your coin?
Next, head online and search for challenge coin designs. You could use Shutterstock, Google images, or even Pinterest to get some inspiration.
While most coins feature slogans, dates, and logos, you can put almost anything you want on your coin. You’re only limited by your imagination.
Once you’ve settled on an idea, sketch it out–a crude representation is acceptable.
Choosing the Size
Most challenge coins measure somewhere between 1.75 and 2 inches in diameter. The smaller size is considered more traditional, while the larger offers more room for logos, slogans, and other design features. There are coins as small as 1.5 inches, but this size is challenging to design for.
Selecting a Shape
Circular challenge coins are obviously the most formal coin shape, but there are other shapes you could consider. There are square, triangular, or oval coins or others that resemble more of a shield-like design. Multi-tool coins have become popular in recent years: think bottle openers, screwdrivers, and wrenches.
While a standard flat edged-coin looks excellent, you can also consider adding artwork to the edging.
Consider cross-hatching, which many companies cut by hand, to give an attractive textural element to your challenge coins. A decorative frame might be the perfect way to offset a more simplistic design or help an elaborate image to stand out even more.
What Colors Do You Want?
Depending on your budget, you might want to only have color only on one side of your coin, or you may prefer full color. Some coins, like military medallions, have no color at all!
Most companies have an array of enamel types to choose from: glow, translucent, glitter, soft and hard, or matte. You can also plate your coins with different kinds of metal, from traditional gold and silver to bronze and black.
Get creative with your personalized challenge coins and mix and match different plating and enamel styles.
Design and Order Your Challenge Coin
Whether you’re creating military challenge coins or a corporate medallion, the process is the same. You need to decide on the shape, weight, and colors you want your challenge coin to feature.
Once you’ve settled on these, it’s time to send your design to a company specializing in personalized challenge coins. Be sure to get a quotation from them before confirming your order.
If you’re excited about more great coin-related content, read through our other blogs.