5 Army Challenge Coin Design Tips that Make a Statement

The right army challenge coin design can make a lasting impression. Discover our top tips for creating a design you’ll be proud to show off.

Challenge coins have a rich history dating back to Ancient Rome. They are often associated with the military and commemorate big events, units, special accomplishments, and more. Even though most people associate these coins with the military, they aren’t officially recognized by them. This means that coins are instead created by units, companies, and even individuals.

Anyone can create a challenge coin to commemorate an event or honor a person. If you’re thinking about creating your own Army challenge coin, keep reading. We’re giving you five essential design tips to help you create the perfect challenge coin.

1. Tell a Story

Military Challenge Coin

The goal of a challenge coin design should always be to tell a story.

Maybe it’s the story of a unit, a specific deployment, or a location. Challenge coins can even honor a specific soldier or commemorate the date of an event. Before you start thinking about what your coin will look like, decide on the story you want to tell.

When you start utilizing other design tips on this list, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to focus on. This will also make it easier to communicate with a designer or artist about potential images and text for your coin.

Your story doesn’t need to be overly complicated. In fact, it’s usually best to keep it brief. If it is too broad, it can be tough to choose a specific detail to focus on when designing your challenge coin.

For instance, rather than trying to create a coin focused on a soldier’s entire military career, you could choose a single accomplishment. You could also focus on the individual by including a picture and the dates they joined the military and when they retired.

Either of these options will allow you to keep your image simple and the text short. We will go into more detail about why this is important later in the post.

2. Start with an Image

Custom Dragon Challenge Coin

Once you decide on the story your challenge coin will tell, the next design decision you need to make is what image you will use.

Most military challenge coins feature a picture or illustration in the center of the coin. It dominates the space, providing a focal point around which the text and other design elements are centered. Popular images include flags, aircraft carriers, unit logos, and the logos for various branches of the military.

But when it comes to custom challenge coins, the options you have for choosing an image are endless. As long as your image isn’t too large to fit on a coin or too detailed to come across clearly in the small space, you can make it the focus of your challenge coin.

Your chosen image could be a picture of military equipment, like an airplane or a ship, a building, a logo, or any other image. You could even include an illustration of a person’s face. You can also create a unique design, such as a caricature of a mascot or a sketch of an important building.

Depending on the size and type of images you choose, you may be able to shrink them down and include more than one on your coin. For instance, an image of a person or piece of equipment superimposed on an image of a flag or a map.

3. Make Your Design Pop with Color

USAF Custom Shaped Coin

While some military challenge coins are colorless and left in the color of the chosen metal coating such as bronze or silver, color can be a great way to make your design pop.

With such a small amount of space to work with, a few touches of color can help certain elements stand out from the rest. They create definition between shapes that make it easier to see the details of your image. While you can use several colors in your design, beware of going overboard. On a small coin, too many colors can make your design cluttered and tough to read.

In addition, complementary colors can help make your coin more aesthetically appealing.

4. Keep it Short

The image you choose for your challenge coin may be the focal point, but the text you choose is just as important.

Whether you choose to include a unit name, a date, or other important text, it’s best to keep your message short. Too many words mean you’ll need to use a smaller font, which can be tough to read on a small coin.

If you decide you need more words to get your message across, reduce the size of your chosen image instead of trying to squeeze everything onto your coin.

5. Don’t Neglect the Back

 

Once you’ve decided on the perfect design for the front of your challenge coin, it’s time to consider the space on the back. Leaving the back of your coin blank can leave your coin looking unfinished.

One idea for the back of your challenge coin is to include a single word or phrase. While the front of your coin might be more decorative with images and text, a less complicated back can call attention to your message.

Another option is to continue your design onto the back, making it as unique as the front of your coin.

Designing Your Own Army Challenge Coin

Now that you have a few tips for designing your own Army challenge coin, it’s time to get started.

No matter the type of coin you’re looking to design, we can help. Check out the different types of challenge coins we produce to start searching for the right options for any design elements you have in mind.

Challenge Coin Discount – Thankful for Upgrades in November

** Promotion Expired**Challenge Coin DiscountChallenge Coin Discount – Thankful for Upgrades

For the entire month of November we are offering a free upgrade when you order 100 or more custom challenge coins.  We are thankful for our customers, which is why this thankful November we want to say thank you with a free upgrade!

Choose between:

a. Free upgrade to Antique nickel, brass, gold, silver, copper, and bronze.

B. Edge upgrade to Oblique line, Bevel, Bevel Diamond, and Cross Cut.

C. Packaging: Free upgrade from PVC to velvet bags.

***for the antique finishes that they aren’t available with hard enamel coins.

Check back often for other challenge coin discounts! And remember, we offer free shipping and free artwork from our talented artists. We are here to help!

Learn more about us here. Thank you for considering custom challenge coins!

Fill out our free online quote to receive this challenge coin discount! Mention “Thankful for Upgrades!

 

A Look at Challenge Coin History and Why They’re Still Cool Today

Challenge coins are an excellent morale booster for teams. Part of the reason lies in challenge coin history and traditions. Find out more about where challenge coins originated and how they’ve stayed popular all this time.

Are you looking for an original, unique marker of membership for your team or club? Challenge coins are special keepsakes and fantastic tools for ongoing teambuilding. Best of all is their fascinating history.

From Romans and Renaissance nobility to WWI pilots, challenge coins have played an interesting part in human history! Learn more about challenge coin history and just how they’ll turn you into a club hero here.

Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are small commemorative coins or medallions. You engrave them with a special insignia or message. The idea is to share within any special group as a mark of membership.

Think military units, civil society groups, sororities, fraternities, work teams or graduating class-groups. They are also bought and sold as collector items. In the military, challenge coins unit commanders give them to a unit member to mark special achievements.

Challenge Coin History

The story of the challenge coin’s history is unique. According to the legend, a US army lieutenant had coins made for his WW1 squadron. A pilot was captured behind enemy lines. When he escaped and made it across the border, a French patrol had no way to identify him.

Not recognizing his accent, they figured he was a spy from the enemy side. To avoid execution, the pilot showed his Challenge Coin to prove his identity and his US nationality. It saved his life.

There are histories of challenge coins going back even before this WWI tale. The Roman Empire gave them to soldiers for special achievements. During the Renaissance, they were called ‘Portrait Medals’.

These were handed among members of the royal family or nobility, to mark special occasions. Even today, the US President hands a challenge coin out to mark special occasions.

Fun Ways to Use Challenge Coins

The challenge coin gives members of your team a real sense of identity. But they are also a way to play ongoing team building ‘coin checks’. They don’t call it a challenge coin for nothing!

Once your team has been awarded their coins, you can initiate the coin challenge. One member can yell, ‘coin check’. Everyone has to show they are carrying their challenge coins. Anyone who isn’t carrying their coin has to buy a drink – or whatever other rules you set – for the challenger, and everyone carrying their coin.

Where to Buy Them

To mark a special event or membership of your club or team, consider challenge coins. At Metal Promo, we offer die struck challenge coins in a range of sizes. We also one or two side color options, and a range of edging options.

You can customize the challenge coin, mixing it up each year for members to collect all the coins in the series. We offer free artwork, free shipping, guaranteed quality and competitive pricing. We love posting verified reviews from customers on our website. We look forward to putting yours there, too.

Get a Free Quote

If you’re feeling inspired by challenge coin history, consider having some made. Your club, team, or military unit will love the physical symbol of their membership, or marker of their special achievement.

You can talk to us about a free quote and some ideas on artwork. Find your favorite options on our website, and get in contact today!

Your Guide to Challenge Custom Coins

Challenge coins have a lot of value. If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition of custom coins, read all about challenge coins here.

custom coinsAn estimated 30% of war veterans will experience PTSD at least once in their lives. Every year, nearly 45,000 Americans take their own lives.

More than 50% of people are deeply unhappy with their current place of work.

Think these three statistics are unrelated?

Think again.

Whether you or someone you love has served in the military, has survived a suicide attempt, or just feels unchallenged and unappreciated in their work life, chances are that what they really need is someone to talk to, and someone to listen to them.

However, as we’ve all likely experienced, sometimes asking for help can be hard.

This is where challenge and custom coins can come into play.

But what are challenge coins, and how can they help to both improve and save lives?

Read on to find out.

The Different Uses Of Challenge Coins

So, what exactly are these custom coins, also referred to as challenge coins?

They began, primarily, as a military tradition.

In the past (and still to this day!) members of a regiment were each given a single coin. When a soldier showed their coin, it automatically meant that everyone else in the room needed to produce their coin as well. If someone had lost their coin, or simply didn’t have it on them, they would be responsible for buying everyone a round.

These custom coins not only helped to develop a strong sense of camaraderie among military members. As time progressed, the coins began to take on a more significant symbol.

After the end of their military service, military veterans often produce their coins in a civilian environment. This signals to the other vets in the room that they need someone to talk to. Perhaps they’re going through a tough bout of PTSD, maybe they’re feeling depressed, or they might just be looking for a friend.

Whatever the reason, showing custom coins and challenge coins in the “real world” is a sign that help, in any form, was needed. It is also a symbol of mutual respect and friendship — a way to find people that know exactly what you’re going through, because they’ve been there themselves.

Different Types Of Challenge Coins

Because of the high success rate of the military challenge coins, custom coin culture has exploded in recent years.

Not only are they incredible collector’s items, they can also help to celebrate a special occasion or work as a part of your employee recognition program.

Today, there are many types of coins for people from all walks of life.

For example, there are coins for firefighters, police officers, Masonic members, veterans, and even standard corporate coins.

Especially popular are suicide prevention coins, which usually come with either a yellow or white ribbon placed subtly in the design.

Whenever someone is feeling suicidal or depressed, all they need to do is present the coin to a person that they trust. The coin will serve as an unspoken signal that the person in distress needs immediate attention — without them having to do anything other than hand the coin over.

In short, no matter which type of profession you want to help commemorate, chances are that there are already several custom coins for it.

How Custom Coins Help People

Now that you know all about the different types and uses of challenge coins, let’s take a look at how they actually help people.

First of all, especially for those who once served in the military, it’s easy to feel forgotten or overlooked. It’s also hard not to feel like a burden upon a return to civilian life.

These coins help veterans — and their family members — to open up the lines of communication. In some cases, challenge coins are even used as recruitment tools.

When a new member of the military gets their challenge coin, it’s like getting an acceptance into an exclusive club. Some may even choose to have a special ceremony to commemorate the occasion.

Challenge coins are also a wonderful and effective way to boost employee morale, and to make the people working for you feel valued.

The flexibility of the meaning of challenge coins makes them the perfect solution for nearly any workplace issue.

Is someone dealing with sexual harassment at work, or is a survivor of assault? They can simply hand their coin over to a human resources representative to signal safely and without drawing attention to themselves that they need help.

Want to incorporate more employee feedback in your leadership style at the office? When an employee hands you their coin, it can signal that they’re having a problem or see an issue that needs addressing privately.

Need Custom Coins? Let Us Help

We hope that this post has helped you to better understand the meaningful — and sometimes truly lifesaving — history behind challenge coins.

Now that you know more about how they can help to unite veterans, your employees, those struggling with mental illness, and much more?

It’s time to have your own custom coins created.

That’s where we come in.

We offer a wide range of classic designs, in addition to working with you to create custom artwork that will make your coins stand out.

Spend some time on our website to learn more about how our years of experience, dedication to quality craftsmanship, and expertise in dealing with sensitive issues surrounding challenge coins can help you to create the perfect pieces.

We offer your 100% satisfaction guarantee, and our glowing testimonials speak for themselves. Reach out to us to get your custom price quote today.

6 Facts About Military Challenge Coins You Didn’t Know

Military challenge coins have an interesting history and can be used as reminders of special events or friends. Here are some facts you need to know about them.

A majority of military veterans report missing the camaraderie and special social network that enlisted service members leave behind after their tour. One of the special ways that veterans and active members connect with one another is through challenge coins.Military challenge coins play a unique role in the social aspect of service duty after veterans return.

Challenge coins can be offered by superior officers to members who are participating in a specific program or mission. These medallions are typically two inches wide and made of metal. It’s not uncommon for them to be traded between personnel and have seen an increasing popularity to commemorate events outside of the military.

If you’re new to the concept of challenge coins or if you’ve just received your first one, you should get to know what they’re all about. Here are six facts about military challenge coins that you probably didn’t know.

1. Military Challenge Coins Are Collector’s Items

Go to any flea market or military supply show and you’re sure to come across a few display cases worth of challenge coins. Every coin has its own story and they are often tied to the history of a particular mission, unit, or organization. Because they’re fairly easy to produce, offices can produce enough to distribute to every member.

While there are rare coins are made of solid gold, while others are made of cheaper brass or zinc.

Some coins will be rarer than others. This is fairly easy to discern from the content of the coin itself. If the coin commemorates an event or a unit you’ve never heard of, there might have been only a few produced.

Coins that are rarer will yield a higher value and carry a special premium to any collector who receives one.

If you know of anyone who was in the military, they might have a coin or two that are sitting and collecting dust under the bed. Ask around so you can start building your collection.

2. History Buffs Love Challenge Coins

If you or anyone you know has a deep love of history and military campaigns, challenge coins can be great centerpieces for conversation.

History buffs might know that military challenge coins were given out in ancient Rome after a soldier returned from a particularly serious battle. They were replaced with other symbols until the first World War where one rich lieutenant made them for his own unit.

During that war, one soldier rescued by American allies was assumed to be German or to be a spy. The only piece of identification he had was the bronze coin his lieutenant had offered him.

By presenting his coin, he was supposedly spared from death at the hands of his own country’s allies. This is what gave them the name “challenge coins” and made them a practical and powerful instrument in the fog of war.

3. They Are Expected To Be Presented

The instances of being presented with a challenge where you have to show your coin are rare and specific. To increase morale, troops decided to find other reasons to have to present them. One is a game where the last person to put down their military challenge coin on the table needs to buy the next round of drinks.

This comes from a German drinking tradition where one person calls for everyone to put a penny or pfennig on the table.

While there were still some instances where the coins would need to be used for identification, over time it became more of a morale booster. You could be a bar and suddenly hear a cacophony of slams and realize it’s time to slam your own on the table.

4. Coins Can Be A Recruiting Tool

Inside and outside of the military, challenge coins can be used to recruit new members. They are passed during a handshake to tell new members that they are one of the in-crowd.

They provide a symbolic representation of achievements and alliances to be made by joining a group. It could be something as clandestine as a secret society or something as important as a fire department.

Even though they were created to acknowledge the service of military staff, they are now used in civilian life for all kinds of recruitment efforts.

5. They Commemorate Civilian Events

Military challenge coins no longer need to be tied to war and conflict. They can be used by companies to recognize the achievements of their best sales staff. As the price to produce them has decreased, they can even be used for something like commemorating a stag trip or family reunion.

Even within the military, the exchange of coins is more tied to camaraderie and social networking than for their identifying purpose. You will still find some groups keeping up the tradition of the drink-buying challenge.

You now find interesting custom logos from organizations, corporations, and social clubs all throughout the challenge coin world. They can now be found honoring people who reach a special executive or cultural achievement as often as they’ll be given out within the military.

6. Most Presidents Have a Special One

Since the 1990s, presidents have been creating and handing out their own challenge coins. They will make one version available in gift shops and for the general public. A special version is reserved to honor the achievements of some civilians.

The last few vice presidents have also produced their own challenge coins to hand out in honor of some civilians.

If you ever get recognized by the president for your contributions to the country, expect to be handed one directly from them.

Military Challenge Coins Create History

When someone commissions a challenge coin for their company, association, or military group, they are creating a marker of history. Each person who receives one is known to have a special connection to the event or the organization depicted on the coin. This makes everyone involved feel uniquely tied to an elite group of people.

If you’re interested in learning more about military challenge coins, contact us for even more history and facts.

The 411 on Police Challenge Coins

A Quick Guide on Police Challenge Coins

Police challenge coins have a long history behind them. Here, we’ll talk a bit about what they are, how popular they are, and why you may want to give one.

Police challenge coins have a long, storied history. Challenge coins were first used by the Romans to reward soldiers and the practice what then adopted by the military.

The same pride and camaraderie instilled in military units by challenge coins can be found in police units throughout the country.

Today, law enforcement challenge coins have become so popular, come cities are creating their own challenge coin program to reward the hard work of the men and women in blue.

Read on to learn more about what challenge coins are, how they became so popular and why you want them in your unit.

History of Police Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are small coins that bear some kind of insignia, logo, or motto to identify the coin’s owner with a particular group or unit.

In the military, no one truly knows how they came to be popular. Some stories have the challenge coin originating during World War I, while other stories say the coins were used during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Once they became popular in the military, it was only natural for challenge coins to be used in government and law enforcement agencies. That’s because many veterans choose a career in law enforcement after service.

The size and designs of challenge coins have evolved over time, too. At first, challenge coins were about an inch in diameter. They have grown in average size to about 1.75.” They can come in different shapes and sizes.

You can get as creative as you want when designing your challenge coin. You just need to make sure your core message is consistent across other marketing and community building efforts.

Why Challenge Coins for Police

Similar to the military, law enforcement challenge coins are used to instill unity among unit members and to recognize excellent work.

The thing about challenge coins is that they’re not distributed with a ceremony. The recognition comes in the form of a handshake.

Challenge coins can be used to tell a story that bonds the unit. Officers tend to carry the coins or have them displayed someplace important. Whenever they’re asked what the coins are, they respond with “I got this one when…”

Within units, coins are used to bond over events or projects. These coins tell unit members that they belong and they are a part of the group, that they’re members of something special.

You don’t have to be a law enforcement officer to have a challenge coin. Police challenge coins can be used in community building efforts, such as fundraising. Does your town have a law enforcement 5k or similar event?

A challenge coin would be a great way to reward participants and help identify the police force with a memorable event.

Create Unity and Pride with Police Challenge Coins

Police challenge coins are an affordable way to reward officers for excellence, raise the profile of the police department, and build camaraderie.

With so many reasons to have challenge coins in your police force, don’t hesitate to place your order today.

Reward Excellence With a Custom Challenge Coin

A custom challenge coin is the perfect way to reward hard work and excellence.

Like trophies and medals, challenge coins have a long history of being used to reward excellence.

The legend of these coins is often traced back to World War I. Now, exchanging coins is a symbolic way of honoring an accomplishment.

It’s most common among military and police forces. But they can also be used as a method of employee recognition in any type of business or organization.

Here’s how you can use a custom challenge coin to reward hard work and excellence in your workplace.

Reward Individual Work

Many companies like to have ways to honor individuals for their contributions. They see honoring exemplary work as a way to encourage more of such work.

The most common form this takes is an “Employee of the Month” honor. Organizations also recognize employees for one-time things, such as closing on a big deal or retiring.

Employee recognition is important for happiness, retention, and the long-term health of organizations. 94% of employees are happy with their jobs if they receive daily positive recognition. Only 43% are happy when such feedback only comes a few times a year.

A great way to express gratitude to your employees is with a custom challenge coin. When an employee reaches a set of qualifications or simply does something deserving, the company boss can award them with a commemorative coin to hold as a badge of honor.

You can have one general coin for all company honors, or you can create special coins for specific achievements. The collector in all of us will naturally strive to complete our collection.

If your organization is seeking ways to reward individual work, challenge coins are a great option.

Individual Rewards for Team Accomplishments

When a sports team wins a championship, the team’s trophy often isn’t the only reward given.

It’s customary for the players, coaches, and staff on a title team to receive championship rings. The rings are often lavish, studded with diamonds and other gems.

The engraved rings feature the team name, the year, and other details about the great season they had. The rings are also customized with the name of the individual receiving it.

The team’s trophy is often kept on display at a stadium or team headquarters. But the rings get to stay with the individuals. Each member of the team gets their own special token to commemorate the personal and group accomplishments of the year.

Your business may not have room in the budget to buy expensive rings like a pro sports franchise. But with a custom challenge coin, you can follow the same principle without breaking the bank.

If your organization is honored with an award, that’s an honor you should pass on to all your staff.

A coin is a great way to acknowledge the individual work of the team accomplishment. It can boost workplace morale and motivate your staff to strive for organizational excellence.

Get a Custom Challenge Coin For Your Organization

A commemorative coin is a classy, yet relatively inexpensive to recognize your employees.

Contact us for a free price quote today or call us at Toll Free: 1-877-514-8484. We offer free artwork design, free shipping, and a knowledgeable customer care team that can assist you every step in the custom challenge coin process.