At The Royal Mint, craftsmanship can be found at every level of all we produce, from coins to the special touches that make each product’s packaging a pleasure to open.
Our Wedding and Baby Gift Collection is no exception. We caught up with Kamal Peshawaria, the illustrator behind Minty – The Royal Mint’s first ever piggy bank – to talk about his role in creating the designs for the new range of wedding and baby gifts.
Tell us about your background.
Growing up, I always had a pencil and sketch pad to hand. I was curious about how objects are made, and this often involved taking things apart! I studied design
at Loughborough University, which gave me an understanding of how an idea can be developed into a product. This led me into designing homewares for one of the United Kingdom’s largest kitchenware suppliers for ten years. During this time, I learnt how to mix materials, and use colour and illustration to give everyday objects new life.
What do you love about illustrating?
I love how an illustration can transform a product and packaging. It could be a simple line illustration, like the first edition Minty pattern, or an intricate watercolour painting like the one I created for the wedding gift collection.
I remember my mentor explained to me that “illustrations on products must convey a story or an emotion”, and that struck a chord. This can be a challenge, but fortunately The Royal Mint has more than 1,000 years of expertise and history so my task is to find a way of communicating this through design.
Did coins inspire your designs for The Royal Mint’s wedding gift collection?
Absolutely! For this particular project, I wanted to create a delicately painted illustration that celebrated the UK’s diverse flora inspired by the intricate patterns found on the original sixpences and the modern six pence coins.
At first glance the coins look like they’re decorated with a lovely pattern, but when you look closely there are intricately entwined flora representing the four nations of the UK. With this in mind, I wanted my design to convey a natural wildness that had an understated elegance.