There are a few different stories about how challenge coins were first used, but their popularity seems to have started with the military. However, these days challenge coins are used to commemorate a variety of different organizations and occasions. 

If you want to commemorate something special, using challenge coins can be a great option to consider. If you’ve taken on the task to design your own challenge coin, however, you may find that the process isn’t very straightforward and there’s a lot to think about to get it right.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this challenge coin guide, we’ll tell you how to design your own challenge coin.

Understand Your Needs

Before getting started on the technical side of your design, you should make sure to think carefully about the idea and concept.

You should carefully consider the purpose of the challenge coin and understand what its role will be. Create your design in a way that aligns with the type of occasion or group that you’re commemorating.

The more that the challenge coin aligns with your purpose or organization, the more meaningful it will be for your members to have it. If you’re designing military academy challenge coins, for example, you’ll want to ensure that the design expresses the right sentiment.

Perfect the Visuals

One of the first things that you’ll want to think about when planning your challenge coin design is what image will be on it.

Adding a strong visual element is essential for making a great challenge coin so be sure to think carefully about what kind of symbol you want. Decide on a single visual element that expresses the meaning of the achievement or organization that you’re celebrating. 

It’s a good idea to limit the amount of text on your challenge coin as much as possible. Aim to do as much as you can with visuals alone.

Remember that you’ll want to use high-quality vector artwork on your challenge coin to ensure that it looks great when submitting your finished design. Avoid using low-quality graphics or any designs that won’t translate well to a small space.  

Decide on a Coin Size

One of the things to think about with the design of a challenge coin is its size and shape. 

The decisions you make regarding the size and shape of your coin design may depend on how you expect it to be displayed or taken care of. If you expect the challenge coin to be displayed, then you might want to choose a larger design than if you expect a person to carry it around with them instead. 

Keep in mind that the design will also change depending on how big the coin will be. A larger challenge coin may be capable of displaying more intricate and interesting artwork and design elements. On the other hand, a small challenge coin might not be ideal if you want to have artwork that is highly visible and text that is legible.

Be sure to keep all this in mind when choosing the size and shape of the challenge coins you order.

Consider the Weight and Texture

In addition to thinking about a challenge coin’s appearance, don’t forget about the weight of the challenge coin as well.

You’ll want to think carefully about the weight of your challenge coin design and ensure that the coin will feel great to hold in your hands. Typically, a challenge coin will be 3mm in thickness, but you could take this up a bit to 4mm or choose another thickness instead. 

Also, think about the design and texture of the challenge coin and how it feels when touching it. A great design with an interesting texture will be more memorable for the person who holds it.

Think About Plating Options

A few more things that you’ll want to think about when choosing a challenge coin design are the metal plating and enamel color options that you can choose from.

You can add color to your design either on one side or on both or you can skip color altogether. There are various enamel types that you can choose from including soft, hard, translucent, matte enamel, and more. 

You should also consider the plating as well. Gold and silver are possible options but you can also choose from nickel and copper plating as well.

There are a variety of different options when it comes to plating, metals, and enamel colors, so be sure to check them all out before designing your challenge coin.

Pay Attention to the Details

When sending a design in to get a challenge coin made, you should make sure to check and double-check everything that you’re doing. 

You’ll want to work with a coin challenge company to tweak the design to perfection and verify that all artwork and everything that will go on the challenge coin is correct. Think carefully about the design and don’t rush it. Make sure that you’re focusing on the details, remembering every part of the process, and not skipping anything important. 

By taking the process slowly and staying focused on the details of your design, you’ll create a great challenge coin that does a great job of commemorating a special occasion.

Using These Tips to Design Your Own Challenge Coin

If you want to design your own challenge coin, make sure that you consider all of the different elements. Consider the image that will be on your challenge coin as well as the plating, the size, the weight, and the texture carefully. 

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