Making Custom Coins (Step-By-Step Guide)

October 16, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • There are three main steps you need to take when designing your own custom challenge coin including brainstorming ideas for your coin, choosing from the different coin design options, and requesting artwork and revisions.
  • The most important step is deciding what you want the purpose and meaning of your challenge coin to be.
  • There are tons of different design options to choose from including coin size, shape, metal, plating, edges, artwork, and text.
  • Requesting artwork and revising it is the last step you need to take to ensure that your custom coin design turns out exactly as you want.

Designing and creating your own custom challenge coin can be an overwhelming task if you don’t have much experience with challenge coins beforehand.

So what are the steps you need to take in order to make a quality custom challenge coin? There are three steps in the challenge coin design process. These steps include brainstorming ideas for your coin, choosing your desired design options, and then requesting artwork and revisions.

Challenge coins are a great way to make a special event more memorable or enhance unity within a group, club, or organization. However, if you are new to the world of challenge coins, designing one for the first time may prove more difficult than you originally think. If you are new to the world of challenge coins or just want to become a better challenge coin designer in the future, following this comprehensive step-by-step guide will ensure that you’ll be able to create unique and high-quality challenge coins that will be cherished for years to come.

Table of Contents

A Comprehensive Step-By-Step Guide To Making Custom Coins

As I mentioned before, there are three main steps in the challenge coin design process, including coming up with an idea for your challenge coin, choosing from all of the different design options, and requesting artwork and revisions.

Still, while there are only really three steps to the process, the second step will most likely take a lot longer and require a lot more effort than the others as you’ll need to make a lot of different decisions when it comes to the actual design of the challenge coin.

However, before we get ahead of ourselves, let's get into the first and most important step of the challenge coin design process.

Brainstorming Ideas For Your Custom Challenge Coin

Before you can actually start coming up with a design for your challenge coin you need to come up with an idea about what you want your custom coin to be. What is the purpose of your custom challenge coin and what do you want the coin to mean to the people that receive it?

Challenge coins are usually given out to commemorate special events like anniversaries, to honor great achievements, or to simply signify membership in a club or organization. All of these situations would require drastically different challenge coin designs so figuring out your coin’s purpose is essential before you can move on.

Once you know what you want to use your custom challenge coin for, it will be a lot easier to narrow down some of the other design elements that you’ll want to include in your coin’s design.

For instance, if the challenge coins that you are designing are going to be given out to military veterans at a special veterans day event, you’ll be able to include mottos and symbols that are associated with the military, a particular branch, or a special unit on your challenge coin.

This hypothetical military challenge coin would look much different than a challenge coin that was made to be given out at a sales event to increase brand awareness. Different situations call for different challenge coin designs so nailing down the purpose of your coin early is an incredibly important first step in creating a quality custom challenge coin.

Choosing From All Of The Available Challenge Coin Design Options

Once you know what you want your custom coin to be, you can move on to actually designing the coin. This step can be particularly overwhelming for first-time coin designers as there are tons of different options to choose from, many of which you might not have even thought about in the first place.

However, once you know a bit about what to expect and what decisions you’ll need to make, this overwhelming situation can turn into a fun and rewarding experience that allows you to make something that will be cherished for years to come by the people who receive it.

Selecting Artwork, Logos, and Symbols For Your Coin

Choosing the artwork that you want to include on your coin is probably the most important choice when it comes to your design. While most of the other options are simply aesthetic and don’t have much bearing over what the challenge coin is supposed to represent.

Again, this is why nailing down your challenge coin’s purpose early is so important as there is no doubt that the artwork of imagery you use on your challenge coin will need to visually represent that purpose of meaning.

For instance, let's pretend that you are designing custom challenge coins for the local fire department’s annual cookout. These challenge coins will be given to the firefighters that have just finished their fifth year of service at the fire station.

Immediately, you know that you could use the fire badge as the central art on the coin as anyone at the fire station would relate to and feel an emotional connection to this symbol. You could even make it more special by including an image of the actual fire station on the coin too.

No matter what the situation, logos, and symbols from the club, organization, or other group make great artwork to center your challenge coin design around, and are a surefire way to make sure the recipients of the coin will feel proud to own it.

Do You Want To Include Text?

You’ll probably also want to include some sort of text around the edge of your challenge coin as well, as this can further add to the purpose and meaning of the coin. Organization mottos, slogans, or possibly some special date are great candidates for text that you can include in your challenge coin’s design.

For another quick example, imagine you want to design a custom coin that will be given out to the members of a sailing club at their special 50 year club anniversary event. Including any motto that the club has or the date that the club started along with the date of the event would work great for celebrating the club itself and for commemorating the anniversary.

What Metal Do You Want Your Challenge Coin To Be Made From?

It's not a surprise that you’ll also need to pick which metal you would like your custom challenge coins to be made of. Though it may not seem like the most important decision, the metal used to create your custom challenge coins will have a big effect on the look, weight, feel, and price of the coin you’re designing.

Here at PinProsPlus, we have a few different metal options to choose from including gold, silver, copper, nickel, and bronze. You really can’t go wrong no matter which option you choose, so choosing the metal that you want for your coin is probably one of the easiest decisions you’ll have to make during the coin design process.

Challenge Coin Size And Shape

Just like normal coins, challenge coins come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Again, the shape and size of your coin won’t have much effect on the coin's purpose or meaning, but the shape and size of your coin can be adjusted according to your preferences.

For instance, larger challenge coins work well if you want to include lots of text, however, they may be more of a pain to carry around, therefore, discouraging coin owners from doing so. A smaller coin on the otherhand might be a lot easier to carry around but could also feel less valuable or even easier to misplace. The choice is ultimately up to you.

You can also make your challenge coin a custom shape. There is no law stating that a coin needs to be round, and making your coin a different custom shape can make the coin feel much more unique and personal.

Choosing The Right Coin Edge

There are also lots of customization options when it comes to coin edges. While a coin edge may not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to creating challenge coins, custom edges can really help spice up your design and differentiate it from all of the other challenge coins out there.

Here at PinProsPlus, we have lots of different coin edge options to choose from including the oblique line edge, bevel cut (flat weave) edge, diamond cross-cut edge, and spur cut edge. Which one you choose is completely up to personal preference, but with so many options to choose from, you can ensure the edge of the coin looks stylish and unique.

Choosing A Coin Plating Option

There are also tons of different coin plating styles and options to choose from when you are designing your own custom challenge coin. The coin plating that you choose, of course, has a huge effect on the look and feel of your challenge coin so this is another pretty important step when creating your challenge coin design.

Just like all of the coin design elements that we’ve talked about so far, we have a variety of great challenge coin plating options to choose from including gold, antique gold, silver, antique silver, black nickel, bronze, antique bronze, copper, and antique copper.

All of our challenge coin plating options look great so no matter if you choose gold, black nickel, or any of the other plating options, you’re guaranteed to create a challenge coin that impresses everyone who sees it.

Choosing A Packaging Option

The last thing you will have to decide when making your custom coin design is what kind of packaging you want your custom challenge coins to come in. Again, there are lots of options to choose from when it comes to the packaging of your custom challenge coins.

If you are less concerned with packing a simple plastic bag will do however, if you want something a bit fancier, you can get all sorts of different types of boxes to keep your challenge coins safe and sound.

Requesting Artwork And Final Revisions

Now that you have decided on all of the design elements you want to include on your custom coin, the final step is to request artwork and revisions. Your first proof of artwork will allow you to double-check to make sure that all of your design choices will be present on your challenge coins.

Here at PInProsPlus, artwork is always free, and if you don’t like how the original artwork looks, you can make as many revisions as you want, so there’s no reason not to revise the design of your challenge coins until you are completely satisfied with the design. After all, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than perfection when it comes to your own custom coins.

Once you have the design of what you want your final product to look like, all you’ll need to do next is simply place your order and wait for your unique challenge coins to arrive.

Explore Custom Products

Ready to Order? Let’s Chat!