challenge coin

Examining the Latest Design Trends in Challenge Coins

Adding a unique background texture can make your challenge coin stand out. From brickwork patterns to stippling patterns, these custom features are a great way to make your coins feel more unique.

While most challenge coins are round, no rule says yours must be. 

3D Relief

Custom challenge coins are a common way to honor members of the armed forces, law enforcement, and other organizations. They can be made in various shapes, sizes, and designs and may include special features like 3D design, dual plating, cut-outs, or other embellishments.

One of the most popular upgrades for challenge coins is 3D Relief, which adds depth to the coin’s surface. This method, which works best on coins with a smooth, bright metal surface, uses several layers of elevated metal to give the appearance of depth. Recessed areas of the coin look darker, further enhancing the effect and adding to the coin’s overall aesthetic.

Another advantage of using 3D Relief on challenge coins is that it can highlight textures and other aspects of the coin that are difficult to show with other embellishment techniques, such as etching or painting. In addition, this upgrade is an excellent option for showing off an organization’s logo or other essential elements that can be hard to reproduce on a flat surface.

It also works well for commemorating particularly challenging or noteworthy events, such as a heroic rescue or the death of a military member. Often, a commemorative challenge coin can be used to spark conversations about the event and bring those involved together.

Hinge Coins

If you want to add uniqueness to your challenge coin, you must communicate clearly with your design team. The right way to do this is by using clear, descriptive language in your art proofs, such as “I want my coin to have more life” or “I’d like my insignia to be larger on the edge.” This technique will help ensure your changes are drafted precisely as you envision them.

Similarly, it’s essential to be very specific when describing your plating and color choices to your designer. This will enable you to reduce your possibilities and create a finished item that is wholly original to you.

While round challenge coins are the most popular, there is no limit to the shapes that can be created for these particular pieces of metal. By choosing a unique die shape, you can create an incredibly distinctive coin that will be instantly recognized by anyone who sees it. In addition, a hinged challenge coin can be opened and closed just like a book, doubling the surface area for your artwork and message. This is especially useful for incorporating text or additional images that aren’t easily viewed on a smaller coin.

Magnet Coins

For a challenge coin that stands out, try one that’s magnetic. This type of coin is excellent if you want to commemorate an event or group and would like it to be interactive. To test if a coin is magnetic, put one, two, or five pennies side by side and run a magnet over them. Pennies made after 1992 contain enough iron and steel to be magnetic, whereas coins with the old copper, tin, and zinc recipe won’t be.

The possibilities for a custom challenge coin are endless, but the first step is deciding what artwork you want. For example, some challenge coins feature a specific logo or symbol, while others promote camaraderie and team spirit. In the military, they are often used to inspire a sense of brotherhood among members and build unity within a group.

They are a great way to celebrate an achievement or milestone for business. In some cases, challenge coins are even brought to the bar where members of a particular unit gather — failing to produce one can result in being forced to buy drinks for everyone at the table.

Multi-Coin Sets

The idea behind challenge coins is to honor members of a unit or organization for their dedication and service. They are also given to promote morale and camaraderie within a group. They can be engraved with a logo or emblem representing the unit, along with a slogan or other identifying features. They can even represent a specific battle, war, or location. As the popularity of challenge coins has grown, so too have the design options.

A designer can incorporate various textures to add visual interest when creating challenge coins. Some of the most popular include 3D Relief, which gives a coin incredible depth and detail. It’s also possible to create coins that feature oblique lines or cross cuts, which add a unique look and feel to the piece.

Another way to make a challenge coin stand out is by creating one that spins or twirls. These are fun to hold and offer a creative element that makes it more likely that people will want to keep and display them. 

Regardless of how a challenge coin is designed, it’s essential that the overall message be transparent and that the design is made well. To this end, working with a professional coin-maker is essential.

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