USMC Force Reconnaissance Military Coin

Custom 3D coins are exceptional means of expressing gratitude for the ingenuity, relentless effort, and unwavering commitment required to achieve personal or group milestones. When it comes to making these tokens unique to the specific challenge or accomplishment being honored, there are numerous avenues to explore. One distinctive approach involves transforming the coins from a “2D” appearance to a “3D” one, achieved by altering the coin’s surface finish. But what sets 2D Coins and 3D Coins apart, and which one suits your needs best?

What Is the Difference?

What is a 2D challenge coin

The difference is that 2D challenge coins have both raised and recessed areas that are made of metal (struck and non-strict).

What is a 3D challenge coin

When it comes to challenge coins custom-made to your specifications, the choice between traditional 2D and innovative 3D designs brings distinct advantages. Traditional 2D challenge coins provide ample space for intricate artwork, but the allure of 3D challenge coins lies in their ability to showcase lifelike details. With 3D coins, the possibilities are limitless, allowing for the rounding of edges and seamless transitions between raised and recessed elements.

Both the two-dimensional and three-dimensional coin options introduce physical characteristics that influence their appearance, tactile feel, and weight. Neither option holds a definitive advantage over the other; instead, they serve as versatile canvases to bring diverse designs to life. Ultimately, determining which style best suits your needs is a pivotal part of the custom challenge coin design process.

2-Dimensional Design

Within the realm of challenge coin design, 2D coins are characterized by a single raised level set upon a flat base. This distinct configuration results in the formation of edges and depressions that lend depth to otherwise flat images.

These metallic “edges” can be customized in a range of standard colors, effectively introducing contrast to the coin’s overall appearance. What makes 2D designs particularly appealing is their ability to enhance artwork with vibrant colors.

Thanks to the solidity of these edges and lines, applying precise colors to the recessed areas becomes effortless. This attribute makes 2D coins an excellent choice for featuring logos, flags, or well-recognized color contrasts, making them a popular option among challenge coin gallery enthusiasts.

What are the advantages of 2D challenge coins?

Vibrant color options and striking contrast are among the standout qualities that make a significant impact.

Simplicity in design can yield remarkable results, especially when aiming to highlight essential elements.

This style is ideal for emphasizing critical modifications, even on smaller coins, as the design features remain readily discernible.

Notably, these coins boast an impressive visual appeal, and you have the option to select high-polished plating to ensure that their brilliance remains unblemished by texture.

When 2D is the best choice

Simple Artwork: 2D coins work well for straightforward drawings, cartoon characters, or logos.

Vivid Color Variation: When you require distinct color contrasts, such as for flags, ranks, or similar elements.

Text-Heavy Designs: Opt for 2D when your designs feature an abundance of text, as the two-dimensional surface naturally accommodates text elements.

Budget Constraints: If you’re working within a tight budget, explore smaller and thinner coins with 2D designs as a cost-effective choice.

Fast Turnaround: In situations where rapid production is essential, 2D coins offer a streamlined option to meet your deadlines.

3 Dimensional Designs

Shellback 3D Challenge Coin

The realm of 3D challenge coins opens up a world of artistic possibilities, offering an extensive range of raised and recessed details that bring sculpted imagery and lifelike rounded edges to life.

One distinguishing feature of 3D coins is their inception from photographs or realistic images, which serve as the foundation for intricate layered textures. These textures can encompass a variety of subjects, from statues and buildings to mascots and emblems.

While 3D coins can incorporate color, doing so requires meticulous planning and may yield a subtler visual impact compared to their 2D counterparts. Furthermore, both 2D and 3D coins can be produced in different sizes, with larger 3D coins often exhibiting heightened levels of detail due to their increased surface area, allowing for more intricate designs to flourish.

What’s good about 3D coin design?

Unreal Military Shellbacks 3D Coin

Achieving Greater Realism and Intricacy in Designs:
3D coin designs offer a canvas for creating highly realistic representations with an abundance of intricate details. These designs can incorporate complex layers and shapes that transcend the limitations of 2D rendering.

Sculpted Edges and Textures:
3D coins are characterized by edges and surfaces that are meticulously sized, shaped, and textured, allowing for a tactile and visually engaging experience.

Enhancing Depth with Antiquing:
To enhance the depth and character of 3D coins, many opt for antiquing as a favored finish. This technique, which is particularly effective with smooth curves and shapes, creates shadows and shades that add a captivating dimension to the coin’s appearance.

Tailored to Any Size or Shape:
The flexibility of 3D coin production means they can be precisely cut to any desired size or shape, making them a versatile choice for a wide range of applications.

When 3D is the best choice

Intricate and Textured Art: When your design boasts complexity, intricate textures, or an abundance of details, such as symbols or organizational icons.

Realism and Depth: 3D designs are ideal for artwork derived from photographs or real-world objects with curves that require shading to achieve a lifelike three-dimensional appearance.

When should you order 2D or 3D coins?

2d vs 3d challenge coin

When it comes to choosing between a 2D coin and a 3D coin, the decision isn’t a straightforward one-size-fits-all matter. Your choice largely hinges on the specific design you envision and any unique features you wish to incorporate into your coin.

As a general guideline, designs that lean towards realism and intricate detailing tend to shine in the 3D format. Conversely, simpler designs characterized by clear shapes and vibrant colors often find their ideal canvas in a 2D coin.

However, the decision isn’t always binary. Many clients opt for a harmonious blend, featuring both 2D and 3D elements on a single coin, with one side showcasing the 2D design and the other revealing the intricate 3D counterpart. This approach allows you to preserve essential colors and text for organizational purposes while harnessing the added depth and texture of a 3D coin.

Depending on your specific design vision, you can even split a coin into distinct 2D and 3D sections, providing the best of both worlds within a single, unified design.

At Super Challenge Coins, your trusted challenge coin maker, we take pride in delivering top-notch 2D and 3D challenge coins. Our commitment lies in collaborating closely with each client to ensure their vision is brought to life precisely as they envision it.

No matter your coin preference, we possess the expertise and tools to ensure your custom challenge coins are of the highest quality. Are you ready to get started? Reach out for a free quote and share your designs with us, and together, we’ll determine whether 2D or 3D is the ideal fit for your unique project.