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Meet the Maker: 75 Years of the NHS

As a senior designer at The Royal Mint, Alice Lediard always hoped that one day she would be in the position to design a coin. Much to her delight, her first submission to a coin-design competition was chosen as the winning entry. The design features on the reverse of the 75 Years of the NHS 2023 UK 50p Coin, a coin that celebrates the achievements of the National Health Service since 1948. The touching design incorporates words that reflect the nation’s gratitude towards the NHS and its incredible staff.

Alice, who studied graphic design at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, began working at The Royal Mint in 2020. Here, she tells us about her design and why she was proud to design a coin that honours one of Britain’s most admired and respected institutions.


After receiving the submission invite, what were you most looking forward to about this project?

“I was most looking forward to the design challenge of summarising an organisation that is embedded in the hearts of the British public. The design needed to encompass every NHS worker from every different background through the organisation’s history; a task that was both exciting and very challenging.”

How did it feel when you found out that your design had been chosen to feature on the coin?

“I was very, very shocked! It was the first time I’d submitted a selection of designs for a coin, so when I received the call to tell me that one of my designs had been chosen, I was over the moon. One of my life goals has always been to design a coin, so to win on my first attempt is something I will never forget.”


Do you have any personal connections to the subject matter?

“Like most of the nation, I have a deep-rooted pride and appreciation for the NHS. Both my partner and closest friends are NHS workers and worked on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic. I tried my best to incorporate the courage I’d seen within them over the past few years into the design.”


How did you approach the initial design concept?

“I knew I needed to find a design treatment which could incorporate everyone in the NHS, from nurses and doctors in 1948, through to porters, technicians, and carers in 2023. The main focal words are surrounded by supporting words, which reflect the qualities and feelings associated with the NHS throughout its history. The words are displayed in a clear, linear form with no beginning or end to each of the lines, emphasising the NHS’s continuous efficiency, and reinforcing the fact the NHS provides a ‘cradle to grave’ service to the British public. The design is purely typographic, ensuring there are no distractions from the words and their universal associations.”

Did you undertake any research for the theme?

“I spent a lot of time researching the history of the NHS before putting pen to paper for this task. I had a vast array of design treatments I considered using, and styles I could apply to the coin. I think, like most people in the UK, I have learnt about the NHS throughout my lifetime by using the services it provides. The NHS is such an integral part of British society that we have all relied upon it at some point in our lives and can take comfort that it is there for us when we need it.”


Could you talk us through any iterations that led you to the final design?

“My initial submissions contained several different typeface options, some which pointed more to the heritage of the NHS, and some which positioned it more in the modern day and looked to the future. Discussions were held to make sure the most important and poignant words were chosen to reflect the feelings towards the NHS by both workers and the general public.”

Were there any challenges you faced in creating the design?

“The main challenge was ensuring the correct words were chosen to represent all NHS workers and the public’s gratitude towards the organisation. The beating heart of the NHS is the staff who work for it, so I wanted to make sure the words encompassed everyone, presented a positive outlook, and summed up decades of healthcare provision to the British public in a personal way that everyone could associate with.”

Is there a coin that you would love to design in the future?

“I’d love to get the opportunity to design a commemorative coin for something musical or theatrical. My biggest passion outside of design is theatre, so I’d love to be able to merge those two passions in the future.”

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The Royal Mint will donate 100% of the net proceeds from this product to NHS Charities Together (registered charity no. 1186569 (England & Wales) and SC050716 (Scotland)). The estimated total donation from the sale of all NHS 75th Anniversary 2023 UK 50p products is £225,000.



The letters ‘NHS’, the NHS logo and the NHS75 logo are protected by copyright and/or trade mark law. They are owned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The letters ‘NHS’ and the NHS logo should not be used by any party without authorisation from the Department of Health and Social Care on behalf of the Secretary of State.

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