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How To Design A Challenge Coin?


April 03, 2024


The overall concept of challenge coins and how to design a challenge coin is not as hard as people claim it is. It is one of the easiest things to grasp.

For starters, challenge coins deviate from the traditional notion of what coins are typically used for. They do not hold any monetary worth. Instead, they are unique coins given to individuals to signify membership, to commemorate achievement, and to give recognition. They are also known as custom coins and are primarily used among members of the armed forces, firefighters, and fraternal organisations.

Specific imagery or icons significant to the commemorated group or event are permanently engraved onto these coins.

Challenge Coins

Source: MilitaryCoinsUsa


Significance Of Challenge Coins

Challenge coins go beyond mere objects; regardless of the type, each holds stories. These coins hold sentimental value to both the giver and the receiver. Some of these values are explained below:

  • Give A Sense Of Belonging

When individuals receive a membership challenge coin, it signifies that they are part of a special community that they belong to the in-crowd. Most people wear it proudly to connect to a particular group or organisation. For some others, the physical presence of the coin serves as a constant reminder of the collective spirit and unity within the group. 

  • Appreciate and Motivate

Since challenge coins are often given as recognition for outstanding performance or milestones, receiving a challenge coin can be a morale booster. It shows appreciation, instills unwavering dedication, and encourages the striving for excellence in humans. The owner sees it and is instantly motivated to do better and be better.


  • They Are Mementos

People cherish custom challenge coins because they hold sentimental value and serve as reminders.

These people love to have souvenirs from significant events and experiences in their life journey. With it, they can travel back in time and relive the events attached to the coins.  


Designing Your Own Challenge Coin

Whether or not you have experience designing a challenge coin, you can learn how. Here is a simple guide to walk you through the entire process:

  • Determine the Purpose

Whether it is for a specific event, organisation, or achievement, one needs to clarify the purpose of these coins. It helps to guide one's design choices.

  • Sketch Your Ideas

Collect images, colors, and ideas that resonate with the purpose of your coin and start sketching out different design concepts. At this stage, perfection should not be a concern. Instead, you should focus on capturing your ideas on paper or on digital design software.

  • Choose the Shape and Size

The purpose of the coin determines its shape. People tend to use the star shape for achievements, while for membership coins, they use circle shapes. Note that your challenge coin doesn't have to be essential; the image below affirms that. Brainstorm, make your selection, and move on to the next step in the design process.

Choose the Shape and Size

Source: Vivipins

  • Define the Elements

The design elements on a challenge coin can include logos, symbols, text, and images. Whether you use one, two, or all the components, ensure that they align with the purpose and message of the coin.

  • Select Colors and Materials

 Choose colors that represent your organization or event. Consider the significance of different metals and finishes, as they can add depth and texture to your coin. This is where incorporating 3D techniques comes in.



Source: Challengecoinwarehouse

  • Refine

Review your sketches, dot your i's, and cross your t's. Also, make sure to seek feedback from others to get different perspectives.

  • Find a Manufacturer

Research reputable custom coin manufacturers and compare their services, prices, and turnaround times. Choose a manufacturer that aligns with your budget and quality requirements.

  • Submit Your Design

Submit your finalized design to the manufacturer, following their specific guidelines for file formats and specifications. Provide any additional details they may require.

Challenge Coins Colors and Materials

Source: Coinforce

For visual aid, you can click on this link as it leads to the video version of this section:



Benefits of Designing Your Own Challenge Coins

When people aim to have bulk challenge coins, their go-to move is to design their own coins. Their reasons are as follows:

  • It Saves Costs

Nowadays, people have become more frugal with their money. Since bulk production usually costs much more, they create their own challenge coins.

  • It Prevents Errors

Imagine making 300 challenge coins, and they all have errors. Scary, right? Mistakes that stem from a lack of understanding or ineffective communication could be avoided. This is because you're the one designing your coin.

  • It Enables Flexibility

Designing your own custom coin allows you to change course if better inspiration comes during the process. This won't be possible if initially given to a designer as he would have to stick with the client's specifications, whether appealing or not.



Challenge coins are referred to as ancient tokens as they were first used in the Roman and Greek empires. Decades later, they are still a popular tradition that various organisations and institutions embrace.

This makes it safe to say firmly that they are not going out of trend anytime soon. So whether you're creating souvenirs or want to appreciate a person's effort, include challenge coins in your plans.



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Article written by

Simon Davis

At Vivipins, we specialize in crafting custom socks that truly represent you. Our dedicated team prioritizes your needs, ensuring every pair tells your story. Here’s what we offer:

  • Personalized Design: Tailored branding for companies, unique patterns for teams, or individual styles for personal flair.
  • Wide Range of Customization: From logo placements to detailed embroidery, we cater to all your customization needs.
  • Quality Materials: A selection of premium materials to ensure comfort, durability, and style.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team is on hand to assist you through every step, offering recommendations and helping you select the perfect materials and designs.

Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we're here to make sure your custom socks perfectly fit your unique personal style.

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