Is 2D or 3D Best? Bringing Challenge Coins to Another Dimension

by | Feb 25, 2022 | Custom Pins, Custom Pins and Coins

2D / 3D Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are fantastic pieces used to commemorate the innovation, effort, and diligence required to meet personal or communal goals and objectives, and there are a number of ways to customize them to reflect the particular challenge or achievement being honored. One method is designing coins to have either a “2D or 3D” appearance, which is created by varying the finish levels on the coin’s surface. What are the differences between 2D Coins and 3D Coins, and which is right for your needs?

2-Dimensional Design

2D Coins are those designed with one raised level above a base surface, which creates edges and recesses that form flat images. These metal “edges” can come in a variety of standard colors for contrast, but also serve one of the greatest benefits of using 2D designs, adding color to artwork. Because there are solid edges and lines, the recesses are much easier to add precise color to, which makes them a great option for logos, flags, or iconic color contrasts.

What are the Benefits of 2D Coin Design?

  • Rich color options and contrasting are some of the greatest advantages
  • Simple designs make a great impact
  • Best suited for adding essential customizations
  • Design elements are distinct, even with smaller coin sizes
  • They look great with high polished plating options for shine that isn’t lost in texture

When 2D is a Better Selection

  • For simple illustrations, cartoon mascots, or logos
  • When needing bold color contrasts for flags, ranks, etc.
  • When designs are text heavy; text is 2D by nature
  • For smaller and thinner coins when working on a budget
  • When fast production timelines are essential

3 Dimensional Designs

3D coins have infinite levels of raised and recessed detail, allowing for sculpted images and rounded edges with more realistic depth. A good determinant of 3D coin design is that they likely start with a photograph or realistic images, and feature layered textures like those in statues, buildings, mascots or emblems. While 3D Coins can have color, these additions will involve more planning and will ultimately have a more subtle effect. Both 2D and 3D coins can be different sizes, but many larger coins are 3D because they allow for more room when highlighting finer details.

What are the Benefits of 3D Coin Design?

  • More detailed and realistic looking designs
  • Can feature layers and forms that are impossible to capture in 2D
  • Captures size, shape, and feel of edges and surfaces
  • Rounded curves and shapes are great for antiquing the surface, which is a popular finish that can create shadows and shades
  • Can be cut to any size or shape required

When 3D is a Better Selection

  • When designs are complex, textural, or highly-detailed, like symbols or organizational icons
  • When artwork is based on photos or realistic objects that have curves or require shading for visual depth
  • With designs that include buildings or vehicles with textural elements

Make Your Challenge Coins an Out of This World Memento

At Galaxy Design Squad, we understand how important it is to truly capture your ideas for creating a memorable gift that celebrates the well-earned achievements within your business or organization. Our professional design team members will lend an experienced eye to your concepts and offer ideas and suggestions to help materialize your vision into a commemorative piece that exceeds your expectations in every way. Please reach out today to get started on your next 2D or 3D coin project!

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