Fire departments house the brave men and women that help save lives all across America. Here's how you can design fire department challenge coins today.
If you've decided to create a challenge coin for your fire department, then you've come to the right place.
It's important that the design represents your unique organization as well as inspires solidarity among your firefighters.
Fire departments are one of the first organizations to adopt challenge coins from the military. We believe these special mementos are more than just simple keepsake items but a representation of so much more.
Fire departments house the brave men and women that help save lives all across America. Here's how you can design fire department challenge coins worthy of your firefighters today.
Why Create Fire Department Challenge Coins?
The tradition of challenge coins in the military and the pride they represent is a perfect match for the dedication to service to others that firefighters embody. Designing a challenge coin is one of the ways fire departments have been able to show their firefighters that they are part of something greater.
This group of heroes who volunteer to heed the call of duty is committed to rescuing those in danger. The challenge coin, although a small token, has become a priceless symbol of the risks they take every day and the immense gratitude that is felt for their service.
With so much weighing on this small, but powerful coin, the design for your fire department challenge coin can't be rushed.
Find Your Perfect Symbol
Firefighting has a rich history and along with that includes a number of symbols that invoke pride. Take for example the Maltese Cross. This is one of the most common symbols found on firefighter challenge coins.
The eight-pointed Maltese Cross dates back tot he Crusades and is often used today as a symbol for the courage that firefighters stand for.
You might also consider a "scramble" of classic fire rescue tools which is another element used in firefighting logos and imagery. An arrangement of classic fire rescue tools such as axes, ladders, or a helmet, represents the preparedness of your team for anything.
Lastly, you may want to use a Dalmation if appropriate for your firefighting team. Dalmations have long been seen as the companions and mascots of firehouses. They were used in older times to calm the horses pulling fire wagons towards a blazing building.
When choosing colors for your fire department's challenge coin, you might want to go with a traditional red. This is an iconic color for fire stations and is also a bold choice for your coin.
Keep in mind that your challenge coin has two sides. You may want to make "fire engine red" the color of one side and then choose another color to represent your team on the other.
The color of your coin can truly make it unique and stand apart from challenge coins made by other fire departments. You don't have to choose a lot of colors to make a bold statement. In fact, when it comes to color choice, sometimes less is more.
Make It Your Own
Once you have a basic design in mind it might be fun to create elements of the coin that reflect personal mementos of your team. This could even be an inside joke or local monuments and familiar landmarks.
The New York City fire department included the Empire State Building on their coins, making it easily distinguishable from other fire departments.
Your team may even specialize in certain skills that you want to highlight on the coin. This could be handling hazardous materials or other areas of expertise that your unit is proud of.
What mascot best represents your fire department? This could be an animal, character, or statue that is recognizable to your organization. It can be either serious or fun depending on what you feel would be appropriate.
Some fire departments will use pictures of a local firehouse, fire engine, or a firefighter in full gear on their challenge coin design. This is your challenge coin to share, so you can make it as unique as you want.
Tell Your Story
It's always nice to add a special phrase or motto to your challenge coin. It's simple to add the name of your station but including a quote or saying that is significant to your team can make it extra special.
Challenge coins are meant to motivate and be reminders of being a proud member of the team. Finding the perfect words during difficult times is part of what makes challenge coins so powerful.
This could be the philosophy of your organization, a particular role, or words to live by. While the imagery is a major part of the design, the words used can be just as impactful.
If you're not sure where to begin, there are plenty of ready-made designs that can help get you started.
Work With Your Team
There's no better way to create something your firefighters can be proud of than involving them in the process. Open up a discussion with members of your organization to hear what they would want to see on the challenge coin.
This can not only help you gather up ideas but will also make them feel part of the process. Then they'll be extra proud to show off the final results.
You might want to limit the options to a few choices and have them vote on the final design. Otherwise, it could get overwhelming trying to meet everyone's expectations. Luckily, challenge coin producers will often provide graphic designers to work with you to make your final design the best it can be.
Ready to Get Started?
Whether you are ready to go or still struggling to get started on your fire department challenge coins, we can help.
Our variety of challenge coin designs and options will help you begin the process of creating the perfect coin for your indispensable team.
Head on over to our site for more information on creating your challenge coins today.