A challenge coin is a medallion issued by an organization to symbolize membership, achievement, and loyalty. Challenge coins have a variety of purposes but are traditionally used by military and law enforcement organizations. The design of a challenge coin can greatly affect its success and popularity, which is why it’s important to understand how to create a plan for one.
1. Consider the Coin’s Role and Purpose
The most important thing you must consider when designing a challenge coin is the coin’s purpose. The coin’s role will greatly affect its design because it will be a symbol of the organization, which will help determine if it’s appropriate to create a design or reuse one from an earlier generation.
2. Look for Symbolism That Represents Your Organization
Symbolism can be difficult to incorporate into a challenging coin but can help distinguish one from another. For example, if your organization is looking for a way to represent the people it serves, consider creating a pyramid or star on the coin design instead of using a typical laurel wreath or ribbon symbol. Your organization could utilize an animal or popular phrase as its symbol.
3. Understand the Symbolism of Your Challenge Coin
A challenge coin has a specific meaning intended by those awarding it. Understanding what it stands for to create something meaningful and memorable is important. The best way to do that is by taking the time to research what other people are doing with their coins, how they’re using them, and why they chose their designs. This can help you decide what symbols will most effectively represent your organization’s symbols.
4. Understand the Materials
Challenge coins can be made from other materials besides metal, such as plastic, glass, and resin. If you use metal, you should still make it from a high-quality material such as brass or silver to increase its resale value. If using plastic as a material, make sure it’s made from rubber or PVC so it doesn’t scratch easily.
5. Draw a Design to Scale
Using the information above, decide on the size and shape of your challenge coin, then draw it on paper to scale. Ensure the design will fit within the limits of your material; if you’re using a metal coin, that means you can’t have anything larger than one inch in diameter. Check with your organization if there’s any requirement for a particular color or type of metal.
6. Certify the Design Before Adding Any Artwork
Before inserting the artwork representing your organization, use a quality certification agency to verify that the work is as planned. This will give you peace of mind that your design is perfect before adding any further detail. It is important to understand that your organization must approve the final artwork you create before you can distribute it.
Challenge coins can be a great way to connect with your organization and show support for the people it serves. It’s important that the design you choose be appropriate and meaningful to your mission. The best designs have been thoughtfully planned out, then personalized and adapted to include symbols representing your organization. Incorporating symbolism into your design can help your organization stand out and make the challenge coin an important symbol of your mission.