Design Tips For The Perfect Army Challenge Coin

These tips will enhance any Army coin design

Challenge coins have a rich history that dates all the way back to ancient Rome. Often associated with the military, they have been used to commemorate big events, special dates, accomplishments, and so many more. Most people associate these coins with the military, even if they don't officially recognize them. This means coins are created by units, companies, and even individuals. 

Army challenge coins have a great tradition, and they continue to be used to this day. Let's take a closer look at Army challenge coins and what makes a perfect design. The aim of a challenge coin should always be to tell a story. It might be the story of a unit, specific deployment, or even a location. Challenge coins are often used to commemorate specific soldiers or the date of an event. 

Consider the Story First

Before you start thinking about what your coin looks like, decide on the story. Your story doesn't need to be complicated, and it's best if you keep it short and to the point. If it's too broad, your coin will be overwhelmed with details and information. Choose a specific detail to focus on, such as single accomplishments, special dates, and events. The more simple your design, the better the results. 

Once you have chosen the story, your coin will tell; next, consider the imagery you want to use. Most military challenge coins feature a picture or illustration at the center of the design. It provides a focal point around which you may include text and other elements. Popular options include flags, aircraft carriers, logos, and logos for various branches of the military. But, the options you have are limitless. As long as your image fits and isn't too detailed, you can make it the focus of your design. Depending on the size and type of images, you may be able to include more than one on your coin. 

Color Stands Out

Do you want to take your challenge coin to the next level? Add a pop with some color! Some military challenge coins are colorless, simply relying on the metal coating. However, color is a great way to enhance the look of your coin and the details within. A few details of color are sure to help certain elements stand out. Color provides definition between shapes and makes it easier to see the details throughout the coin. While you may use several colors, don't go overboard. A small coin will easily get cluttered and become tough to read with too many colors. Consider using complementary and contrasting colors as well. 

Simplicity is Best

As we mentioned earlier, keeping your design simple is your best bet. This not only applies to the imagery you select but also the text you choose. Keep your message short, include important details like a unit name, a special date, or other important text. Too many words will call for a smaller font, which can be hard to read on a small coin. You may always reduce the size of the image to fit more text if needed. 

One important element that is usually an afterthought in the back of your coin. Once you have created the perfect concept for the front of your challenge coin, consider adding something unique to the back. This could be a single word or a phrase, a date, or more. While the front of your challenge coin is more decorative, a subtle back will call further attention to your message. You can also continue your design on the back, making it just as intricate and detailed as the front. The choice is yours. 

At, we understand the meaning of Army challenge coins. We understand the bond that fellow soldiers have with one another, and we are dedicated to providing the finest quality custom coins they will display and carry with pride. We will craft challenge coins to your liking, and we have the experience needed to produce the best coins you will find. 

Whether you want to create an existing design or a new coin from scratch, we will make it happen. Simply fill out our Free Quote Form or email us. Let us show you how easy ordering challenge coins can be.

Jesse Daugherty

Jesse Daugherty


Hello, I'm Jesse Daugherty, a music enthusiast, sports aficionado, and an avid supporter of the arts. I'm a writer and content creator. For the past 5 years, I've shared my knowledge of custom challenge coins and other promotional products, exploring their designs, meaning, and purpose.