Do you have a question for the designer of UK coins?

Matt Dent is the talented British designer behind the now famous ‘shield’ that adorns the reverse of the UK’s coinage. You will have seen it on coins in your change, and perhaps you have also bought the 2012 Collector Proof set. The design won the coveted D&AD Black Pencil award and saw Matt featured in Creative Review and other design journals.

Matt also designed the Charles Dickens £2 coin (see the Dickens coin in silver proof here) and the WWF 50p coin (see the WWF coin in silver proof here).

Since the launch of the coins, Matt has taken a leading position in the world of coin design and has spoken at many events and conferences. Although he’s very busy, we’ve managed to pin Matt down to answer your questions!

If you’re interested in the process behind designing a coin, the thinking behind the designs, or just what Matt has for breakfast…leave a comment below, send us a Tweet or ask your question on Facebook!

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  • Jonathan

    What makes a good coin? Is there anything in the coin designing world that just doesn’t work?

  • royalmint

    Thanks Jonathan. I would suggest that our 20p without a date didn’t really work :-o

    That aside…we need more questions. Hoping the design community will pitch in with some corkers!

  • Daniel

    What software do you use to design a coin? And what is the output? Just a vector file…? And will it have some special instructions?

  • For me, one of the most important part of coin design is the ability to instantly know what a coin is through touch and sight. This is something, I think, these coins don’t quite achieve due to the designs being quite similar across the set. Instead, the coin holder is forced to revert to shape recognition alone. Is making sure a coin is not only recognisable as a set but as an individual within a jumbled purse/wallet environment an important factor when designing or is shape relied on solely?

  • Stephen

    Hi Matthew,

    I was interested in finding out the process you go through when starting a coin design and how long it takes from start to finish?

  • Stephen

    In response to Mark Caudell. I believe this is what makes these coins simple and beautiful. The simplest way to understand the value of coin is through size, shape and colour – none of which have changed.

  • So far your designs have been graphic – more 2D than 3D. Your WWF design looked liked imagination + software, though the GIFs were neatly arranged. I wasn’t keen on your Dickens design at first, but it’s growing on me.

    Graphic design is fundamental, but I wouldn’t want the Royal Mint to follow the Royal Canadian Mint in going too far down that route. As one wit said, “Many people today are prepared to suffer for their art; few are prepared to learn to draw”. Do you ever see yourself producing figurative or representational art, Matt? Could you imagine producing the effigy of say, Charles III, in years to come? Do you ever yearn to be an accomplished portraitist, like Philip Nathan or Ian Rank Broadley?

    Finally, do you have any ambition to produce coin designs for overseas? Or have you ever been asked to do so?