99% Invisible Challenge Coin

I had the honor of designing a challenge coin for one of my favorite podcasts, 99% Invisible, a show about design and architecture. Host Roman Mars and his team wanted something that referenced traditional challenge coin tropes with a beautiful, minimal design that aligned with their sensibilities.

Side 1

For the front of the coin, I used two commonly-used challenge coin elements, a shield and a ribbon.

I drew shipping cranes to reference the podcast's headquarters in Oakland, a staircase for architecture, and a lightning bolt for radio. The waveform is a clip from the show's iconic intro: "This is 99% Invisible. I'm Roman Mars."

And of course, always read the plaque.

Side 2

For the back of the coin, I surrounded an enamel yellow square, a reference to their logo, with the following symbols culled from notable episodes – from top, clockwise:

The 99% Invisible Challenge Coin was manufactured by Coinforce and was only available through the Radiotopia Forever fundraising drive, which resulted in an order of 17,000+ coins going out to beautiful nerds everywhere. The good folks at 99% Invisible also liked it enough to adapt it into a door decal and neon sign for their office in beautiful downtown Oakland!

I was also commissioned to design a second challenge coin as a fundraising prize for Radiotopia, 99% Invisible's parent podcast network. The sixteen planetary/subatomic particles in orbit represent the sixteen Radiotopia shows on the network at the time the coin was produced and distributed.