The Top Tips For Designing Challenge Coins For Your Military Celebration

Posted by: Custom Coin Blogger
Date: October 19, 2020
Designing Challenge Coins

Do you want to show your appreciation to a commanding officer for taking care of you during deployment?  Do you want to present unique challenge coins to the members of your unit? Do you want to give your military family member something to remember the family by when he or she is away?

Since 9/11, over 2.77 million service members have served on millions of deployments across the world. Many of these military service members get to learn how difficult it is to serve the country. Giving them challenge coins reminds them that you appreciate their sacrifices and efforts.

However, you want to give them challenge coins with meaningful and unique designs. In this guide, we’ll discuss the top tips for designing challenge coins. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Make the Time to Create a Design and Do It Early

If you plan to present a custom challenge coin to a military member, act early. It takes time to create a design that fits the person or the troop. It also takes time to add details that’ll make it unique.

You don’t want to rush the design. This can lead to an ordinary challenge coin. Create a design and submit it to a challenge coin produce long before the day of the presentation.

Some manufacturers may have to get back to you for samples or corrections. You also have to consider how many challenge coins you’ll present. The more you order, the longer you’ll have to wait to receive the batch.

Of course, it's always better to ask the experts first. With us, our in-house design team can help you craft a design with up to 6 revisions for free!

2. Use Colors That Pop

Design Challenge Coins

You don’t have to stick to the typical colorless military coin style if you don’t want to. If you think that colors will suit your design best, don’t be afraid to add them. Today, there’s no limit to the colors you can pick for your military challenge coin.

Much like creating a logo, keep color psychology in mind when you design your challenge coin. Colors are powerful things, and certain colors affect one’s mood or reactions. Use this to your advantage and find ways to incorporate it into your design.

For example, your unit served in a country with warm climates all year round. To give back a sense of nostalgia, use warm colors like red, yellow, and orange. You can also opt for a warm-colored finish like gold or copper.

3. Add Elements With Personal Meanings

Are you out of creative challenge coin ideas? Don’t get stuck with the typical challenge coin design elements. Skip the symbol of the navy and add something else that the recipients will love.

It can be anything like inside jokes the entire unit shares. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be a formal or serious challenge coin design. You can bet that the recipients may have tons of that type of challenge coins already.

What’s important is that it stirs positive emotions in the recipients, like bringing a smile to their faces. It can be something that brought the troop together during deployment. If the unit shares a religion, add a bible verse that kept everyone motivated.

If you know that the recipient comes from New York, include Lady Liberty or other NYC landmarks.

Let’s take an example by looking at how people show support for essential workers. People create coronavirus-themed challenge coins to remind essential workers they’re appreciated.

4. Pay Attention to the Smallest Details

The insignia and text of challenge coins can get the viewer’s attention with one glance. However, you can make people take a closer look by adding details in your design. These details are easy to overlook, yet they impact the overall look and feel of the coin.

Challenge coins are often small, yet they can carry a lot of details. You want to include these small details in your design, even if you’re creating a plain design. Paying attention to these small things is the secret to bringing your challenge coins to life.

Remember the smallest of elements your challenge coin might have.

Even the edges of a challenge coin can hold significant meanings. For example, you can make a coin look more elegant by using a crosscut edge design. You can even add secrets in the details of your challenge coin that only a closer look will reveal.

5. Remember to Design the Back

Remember that a coin has two sides, so don’t neglect the back of the challenge coin. It serves as the other half of your canvas. You don’t want that left blank and looking unfinished.

If you want to focus the viewer’s attention on the front, keep the design for the back simple. You can put only one word or phrase at the back. You can also place the logo of the military branch at the back if you didn’t include it in the front.

If you want to add weight to your design, make it so that the front and back complement each other. You can continue the design onto the back of the coin to make a looping design.

There are no limits when you have more space to create your design for your challenge coin.

6. Don’t Make It Look Too Busy

As we mentioned, challenge coins can hold a lot of details. However, a lot can either be enough or too much. You want to stick to the former when you’re making a challenge coin design.

Adding symbols like logos of the military branch or the US flag is a good callback to the cause they fought for. However, you want to keep an eye on the number of symbols you’re adding on the coin. If you already have a lot of visual elements in the design, keep the text short.

Indeed, you want to keep your challenge coin as far from plain as possible. However, it takes skill to create a challenge coin design that doesn’t look chaotic. You also want to keep the design cohesive.

7. Consider Functionality

For the last tip, consider functionality and practicality. For what reason will you keep a challenge coin on your person or in your wallet?

Many people are now craving for challenge coins with a dual purpose. The most common dual-purpose design is the bottle opener. Bottle opener challenge coins are in high demand and can be design in multiple ways depending on your coin design.

It’s a great way to encourage the recipients to keep your challenge coin on their person.

Bottle opener challenge coins

Start Designing Challenge Coins Now

Now you know what it takes when designing challenge coins. If you want to see more content like this, check out our blog posts today because we’ve got more challenge coin tips for you to learn.

Do you want to know more about challenge coins and your options? Do you have questions about how your unique challenge coin can become a reality?

We've been in the industry for 15 years. You can rely on us to help you create the best custom designs. Feel free to ask or let us know about your concerns. Ready to get a no obligation quote? Complete our quick form to get started!

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All Rights Reserved. All symbols, logos and slogans depicted are registered trademarks of their respective owners. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense visual information does not imply or constitute endorsement. By submitting designs to, subsidiary of MetalPromo LLC, the purchasing party warrants that he, she, or it has/had the legal right to reproduce (or have reproduced) any logos or other images associated with his/her/its order. Samples on the site are for illustrative purposes only and are not for sale.
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