In their latest issue, National Geographic have published previously unseen photographs of The Titanic. The photographs show the full ship for the first time and are incredibly atmospheric, capturing the alluring tragedy of the disaster.
Our own unseen pictures
The Royal Mint has produced a beautiful collectible Titanic coin for those with an interest in commemorating the Titanic’s 100th Anniversary. Today, we release our own unseen Titanic pictures in the form of a sketch and design test from the coin design process.
For a commemoration as internationally recognised as the 100th anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic, there is a huge amount of competition to produce the definitive commemorative. On such occasions, The Royal Mint draws on its unique depth of experience to produce a lasting work of art that captures the emotion and the history of the event.
The design of the Titanic coin was entrusted to Lee Robert Jones, who has 16 years of experience in coin design and combines classical craftsmanship with modern production processes in his pursuit of the perfect coin.
After making the initial sketches, Lee uses a combination of photographs and cad modelling to create his design.
The detail of the ship was Lee’s priority; it bursts into the foreground, its prow catching the eye and drawing the viewer deeper into the picture. The waves are simple strokes that add depth and movement. The figure of Thane rises in the background, her ominous presence bringing a sense of dramatic portent to the picture.
I have used an ‘apparition’ of Sir Thomas Brock’s Thane memorial, reaching in readiness before the ship with a laurel wreath, its stark silhouette contrasting with the detailed striking model of Titanic cutting through the waves with purpose and pride. I wanted to convey the emotion of the anniversary, this drove my approach to the design.
Lee worked on his design using low relief software which provides both CAD and drawing tools. He says,
As a Coin designer I feel it’s imperative to exploit the ability of modelling in 3 dimensions; making the most of the ‘light play’ on the metallic surface.
The finished coin, particularly when seen in silver proof quality, shows the result of Lee’s efforts. The coin reflects light beautifully and the elements of the design are distinct and clear. This is a truly memorable keepsake.
Beyond the coin
Even when the coin is complete, The Royal Mint’s work is far from over. We work hard on our packaging, as it offers an opportunity to add detail to the story behind the coin.
As with the coin design, the packaging design was completed here on the Royal Mint’s site. Packaging designer Aaron West worked with a catalogue of photographs and a history book, until he was happy with what he had produced. Historical perspectives were allied with photographic evidence that communicated the magnificence of the ship and the scale of the human achievement her creation represented.
I wanted the emphasis to be on remembrance, but at the same time, I wanted to celebrate Titanic as a huge feat of engineering and design.
Creating a commemorative coin represents an opportunity to share the experience of this commemoration with millions of people around the world. The Royal Mint is proud to be a part of The Titanic commemoration, and we are proud of what we have brought into existence…a sensitive, artistic and beautiful coin that will last for generations.
Buy the Titanic coin from The Royal Mint website