Commemorative Coin Design for a Tulsa Air Conditioning Repair Service
“Designing coins was something we hadn’t done before, but a project we were thrilled to undertake. It was important that the meaning behind each coin came across in an aesthetically pleasing way while remaining true to the brand.”
How One Coin Design Snowballed into an Entire Coin Series.
We had previously done some work with Oklahoma Chiller. For example, we created a custom responsive website design and development, along with their trade show booths, providing an immersive experience for conference attendees. The products and exhibition were hits, and we look forward to working with them again.
In 2020, they approached us about creating a commemorative coin to give away to employees who exemplify the values of their brand. Originally, they were only interested in creating one coin design: the lion and the lamb design. When we brought it to them, however, they were so impressed that they wanted to create a series of coins, including one coin for each of the five core values that Oklahoma Chiller strives toward.
The project – originally to create one coin – ended up being a series of six coins. The lion and lamb design came first, followed by each of Oklahoma Chiller’s core values: trust, loyalty, humility, courage, and excellence.
Every coin in the series needed to be different, showcasing the core values along with a scripture verse to highlight the importance of each one. We spoke with their team to get an idea of what concepts and images to include for each design and then got to work.
“Culture is paramount to us at Oklahoma Chiller. We believe that if we define and reward behavior that… challenges every one of us to be all we were called to be – only then can we achieve our mission. We want to make a meaningful impact on the world. The coin program is one way we inspire each other to do just that. – John Claybourn, President of Oklahoma Chiller”
As thrilled as we were that Oklahoma Chiller was pleased with our first coin, creating six more like it (but different) came with its own challenges. We wanted to make these coins as similar to something that would come out of the US Mint as possible – with textures and a three-dimensional effect.
To do this, we needed to think of the design visually and dimensionally. We had to consider where we would like to add ridges, raised lines, and texture. With the lion/lamb design, we needed to find a way to strike the balance between making it texturally interesting without allowing the texture to overwhelm the design or adding so many details that the image of the lion and the lamb were lost at first glance.
Coin design comes with a specific set of rules: a coin design has to “strike” well, so it’s important that letters and numbers aren’t too close together and that the print isn’t too small. The process of checking for these potential issues is called a “coinability check,” which we participated in with the minting company that Oklahoma Chiller chose for this project.
Once we developed our first drafts of each coin, we brought them to the client for approval. They requested some minor tweaks – for example, they wanted us to add raised circles to the outside of all the coins, remove a fleur de lis and replace it with the Hebrew symbol for strength – an idea that we loved.
One final challenge: we wanted each coin to be completely different – with different designs on the front and back. Due to cost, however, we were unable to do that, so went with the backside of the coin that made the most sense.
After some minor tweaks, we emerged with six beautiful coin designs for the client.
The trust coin shows a laurel or wreath with five stars above it, symbolizing a “first class, five-star rating.” The word “trust” is embossed, with the verse (Zechariah 8:16-17) below, followed by the Hebrew symbol for strength. There are four points on the coin, giving it an almost compass-like look to it. The way that the laurel is shaped appears almost like arms extended for an embrace – and laurel symbolizes recognition/achievement. The teardrop-shaped ridges on the coin are in sets of seven – the Christian number for completeness/perfection.
The courage coin features a sword at the forefront, symbolizing knighthood, strength, and bravery. The curvature over it makes it appear almost like Excalibur, the sword embedded in the stone. The end of the sword is in the shape of a crown, showing that leadership takes bravery. The coin also features the Hebrew symbol for strength, stars, and the word “courage.” The scripture reference is Joshua 1, a chapter that mentions courage five times. The X also carries meaning: it can allude to mystery, the unknown, or danger. Whatever the circumstance, this person has the courage to march onward.
The loyalty coin shows an anchor, with a banner displaying the word “loyalty” in front of it. The anchor has long been associated with stability, strength, and unwavering dedication. The verse here is John 15:13, the famous verse Christ uttered when discussing the true meaning of love with His disciples.
The humility coin shows a cross made from nails with a crown of thorns at the top. This is the ultimate example of humility – the message of the Christian faith. A banner displaying the word “humility” is just under the cross, with Philippians 2:3-5 below as a reminder to live selflessly.
The excellence coin features the star of David, which symbolizes King David or seven virtues (including kindness, perseverance, and splendor – all of which are tied to excellence). The radiant lines behind the star show the brilliance and impact that excellence can have on others. The featured verse is Titus 2:7-8, a command to maintain good works.
The lion and the lamb coin, which we touched on earlier, is a stunning depiction. The lion is looking to the left, and the lamb is looking to the right. The positioning of the letters perfectly echoes the two subjects, highlighting the core representation of Oklahoma Chiller’s principles. The verse is Philippians 3:12-13, a portion of the Bible where Paul discusses the importance of striving toward the worthy goal of being like Christ. The two directions that the lion and the lamb face seem to illustrate verse 13 (forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead).
The backside of every coin features the company logo, name, and the date it was established, and the bullet points by the scriptures on every coin are the Oklahoma Chiller hexagon logo. All of the character coins feature four-pointed stars, which symbolize clear observation and cardinal direction – the calm and peaceful assurance that you are headed in the right direction.