A Design Fit for a Queen

Categories: Collect

At The Royal Mint, craftsmanship can be found at every level of production, from design to striking. This care extends to the packaging our coins are placed into, which are designed to capture imaginations and reveal the interesting stories behind every coin. When we produced the stunning new collection for Her Majesty The Queen’s 95th birthday, every detail was considered to make a product fit for a queen. When it came to creating the collection’s packaging, designer and illustrator Claire Thomas, who has collaborated with The Royal Mint for other projects, was the perfect person for the job. We caught up with Claire for a distanced discussion of her background, the process of production and what she thinks of the final design.

Tell us a little about your background.

My background lies in design and illustration. Since graduating from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 2014 with a first class honours degree in Illustration, my career began within publishing. I have spent the past several years working as a Children’s Book Designer and Illustrator, a field which I continue to enjoy working in.

You’ve collaborated with The Royal Mint in the past. Where might eagle-eyed customers recognise your work?

I’ve had the pleasure of working on several projects for The Royal Mint. The first being a set of illustrations which featured on the packaging for the coin marking the birth of His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge. This was a lovely project to work on as the imagery had a deep meaning relating to life and longevity, which are wonderful notions towards celebrating the birth of a child.

Talk us through the design process for this project.

With this particular piece I was given a lot of guidance from the project’s designer, Dominique Evans, as to what the overall feel of the illustration should be, and which flowers and plants should be included.

Using Dominique’s brief, I began to research all the necessary flora, learning about their traits and symbolic meanings. From there, I sketched the individual flowers in various angles and poses and began to construct an interweaving pattern that combined all of the flora, but also celebrated each one individually.

Were there any particular challenges or considerations when designing this packaging?

One of the main considerations for this piece was to balance the size and scale of the different flora so they didn’t overshadow each other or become more important than one another; for example, the shamrock is every bit as important as the rose. The size of the packaging also needed to be considered as the flower heads would be reduced down considerably in size but would still need to retain their detail and prominence.

How do you feel about the finished product?

I’m very happy with how the illustration turned out. This is a testament to the excellence of the design team at The Royal Mint who gave very clear directions and feedback to ensure that we created the best possible outcome to answer the brief.

This floral collection includes two original designs struck on a range of coins, from a Brilliant Uncirculated £5 coin to grand kilo coins and a United Kingdom first – a 9.5 kilogram masterwork.

To explore the range and find out more about this special celebration, visit …..

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