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DinoTrucker!


rockotter
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Hello, ladies and gentlemen! I am currently in the process of designing my first geocoin in honor of my son, DinoTrucker. My boy is about 21 months old, and his three favorite things are dinosaurs, trucks, and trains (in no particular order). Here is DinoTrucker wearing mom-in-law's homemade Barney costume for halloween:

DylanBarney.jpg

 

Here is the design I came up with for the geocoin (please realize I am not an artist):

DinoTrucker.jpg

From what I could tell by trolling the forum the past few weeks, there are a lot of people here that know A LOT about making geocoins. Are there any suggestions regarding my design, such as what won't work and what can be improved? Do you all recommend 2D or 3D? Would I want to go with soft enamel or hard enamel (I have seen this come up on a couple different threads)? Is there any other considerations that a newbie may be totally ignorant of?

Any help/feedback you all can provide would be greatly appreciated!!! :blink:

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Hello, ladies and gentlemen! I am currently in the process of designing my first geocoin in honor of my son, DinoTrucker. My boy is about 21 months old, and his three favorite things are dinosaurs, trucks, and trains (in no particular order). Here is DinoTrucker wearing mom-in-law's homemade Barney costume for halloween:

DylanBarney.jpg

 

Here is the design I came up with for the geocoin (please realize I am not an artist):

DinoTrucker.jpg

From what I could tell by trolling the forum the past few weeks, there are a lot of people here that know A LOT about making geocoins. Are there any suggestions regarding my design, such as what won't work and what can be improved? Do you all recommend 2D or 3D? Would I want to go with soft enamel or hard enamel (I have seen this come up on a couple different threads)? Is there any other considerations that a newbie may be totally ignorant of?

Any help/feedback you all can provide would be greatly appreciated!!! :blink:

 

That's a nice coin! I can imagine buying one.

 

Just a few minor comments. You have more than four colors on each side. I expect that it will raise the cost of each coin a bit, but I personally would pay the higher price to have a better coin made. I have no idea why people use soft enamel over hard except for price. The only other advantage of soft is that you can feel the texture of the coin. Myself, I like the smooth feel of hard enamel much more.

 

This is just a nit pick that should most likely be ignored. The DinoTrucker is in his truck on the one side. Why do we see both tire tracks and foot prints on the other side? Did he get out of his truck and chase another truck? Did his truck start to roll away on its own and he chased after it? It is a perfectly good design even if I don't understand why he makes both tire tracks and foot prints.

 

By the way, cute picture! I have two young children myself, so I like the whole subject matter.

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This is just a nit pick that should most likely be ignored. The DinoTrucker is in his truck on the one side. Why do we see both tire tracks and foot prints on the other side? Did he get out of his truck and chase another truck? Did his truck start to roll away on its own and he chased after it? It is a perfectly good design even if I don't understand why he makes both tire tracks and foot prints.

 

Thanks for the feedback, Gregson!! As to the tire/dino tracks, I thought it was fairly obvious...the dinosaurs were stuck on (and within) a path towards extinction. Just as obviously, this is a clumsy allegory referring to the human condition. We are on a path towards extinction as well, due to problems relating to war, overpopulation, and the dangerous dearth of pirates (and I am not referring to the bad ones in the amazon and east africa, but the good ones with beards, wood legs, parrots, and the "arrrr mateys", who's absence have been conclusively correlated with global warming by those smarter than I).

 

All joking aside, however, that is a good point. As we all know (and DinoTrucker can attest), during the Mesozoic, dinosaurs did not propel their cars Fred Flinstone style, they used combustion engines. My attempt there was merely to juxtapose the dino tracks next to the tire tracks, showing that (again, as we all know) cars coexisted with dinosaurs. But I would definitely like to avoid the inherent confusion. I am thinking that I should show the tire tracks starting at 4:30, and the dino tracks staritng at 7:30, and have them meet at the horizon.

 

As to the enamel situation, as long as it is not a huge price gap, I will go hard enamel per your recommendation. I also think I will keep the current color scheme, I assume that extra colors won't break the bank. I was thinking of making the coin black nickel, so the black on the perimeter of both sides will be the actual coin.

 

Any thoughts on 2D vs. 3D, by any chance?

Edited by rockotter
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This is just a nit pick that should most likely be ignored. The DinoTrucker is in his truck on the one side. Why do we see both tire tracks and foot prints on the other side? Did he get out of his truck and chase another truck? Did his truck start to roll away on its own and he chased after it? It is a perfectly good design even if I don't understand why he makes both tire tracks and foot prints.

 

Thanks for the feedback, Gregson!! As to the tire/dino tracks, I thought it was fairly obvious...the dinosaurs were stuck on (and within) a path towards extinction. Just as obviously, this is a clumsy allegory referring to the human condition. We are on a path towards extinction as well, due to problems relating to war, overpopulation, and the dangerous dearth of pirates (and I am not referring to the bad ones in the amazon and east africa, but the good ones with beards, wood legs, parrots, and the "arrrr mateys", who's absence have been conclusively correlated with global warming by those smarter than I).

 

All joking aside, however, that is a good point. As we all know (and DinoTrucker can attest), during the Mesozoic, dinosaurs did not propel their cars Fred Flinstone style, they used combustion engines. My attempt there was merely to juxtapose the dino tracks next to the tire tracks, showing that (again, as we all know) cars coexisted with dinosaurs. But I would definitely like to avoid the inherent confusion. I am thinking that I should show the tire tracks starting at 4:30, and the dino tracks staritng at 7:30, and have them meet at the horizon.

 

As to the enamel situation, as long as it is not a huge price gap, I will go hard enamel per your recommendation. I also think I will keep the current color scheme, I assume that extra colors won't break the bank. I was thinking of making the coin black nickel, so the black on the perimeter of both sides will be the actual coin.

 

Any thoughts on 2D vs. 3D, by any chance?

 

I personally have no preference for 2D versus 3D. 3D gives a more traditional coin look but that is not always a look that I like. 3D is more expensive and there are some limitations to how color can be used with 3D. I get the impression that the front of your coin is supossed to look fun and child-like and I think that 3D would be too serious. By the way, I really like the dinosaur, because you've captured the toddler look so well.

 

About price, I only mention it because price is an issue for some people. For me, it sounds like artistic vision is more important to you, so I would guess that the price difference will not matter. Looking at your particular art, I would say that you need all of those colors. However, some of my favorite coins have very few colors, but those tend to be more serious coins.

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That is a really cute coin. I really, really like it!

 

I really don't see anything in your design that would call for 3D. I would just do it in 2D and it will look very similar to your drawing. Keep in mind that raised metal is a channel for the enamel, so your outlines would be raised metal, so they would be the color of the metal. Around the dino, you have a green outline, and around the car, you have a red outline. You would either have to do those lines in raised metal, or you could have a double line that could channel that color. I would guess that the raised metal line would look better.

 

On the back, for the tracks, dino and tire, you could make those just raised metal.

 

I really love the hard enamels in 99.9% of the coins made, but in this coin, I don't think soft enamels would detract from the coin, and might compliment the "child-like" look of the art.

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another thing to consider is many times, translucent or hard enamels can look muddy over black nickel as the colour of the metal affects the enamel over it.

 

rsg

 

Please tell me if I am wrong, but I believe that the muddy colors are only true with soft enamel. If I remember correctly, the black nickel plating is applied after the hard enamel is in place, so what is seen under hard transparent enamel is the core metal.

 

Soft enamel, on the other hand, is applied after the plating step.

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another thing to consider is many times, translucent or hard enamels can look muddy over black nickel as the colour of the metal affects the enamel over it.

 

rsg

 

Please tell me if I am wrong, but I believe that the muddy colors are only true with soft enamel. If I remember correctly, the black nickel plating is applied after the hard enamel is in place, so what is seen under hard transparent enamel is the core metal.

 

Soft enamel, on the other hand, is applied after the plating step.

 

That is an incorrect assumption. All platings take place prior to the application of soft or hard enamels.

 

~J

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another thing to consider is many times, translucent or hard enamels can look muddy over black nickel as the colour of the metal affects the enamel over it.

 

rsg

 

Please tell me if I am wrong, but I believe that the muddy colors are only true with soft enamel. If I remember correctly, the black nickel plating is applied after the hard enamel is in place, so what is seen under hard transparent enamel is the core metal.

 

Soft enamel, on the other hand, is applied after the plating step.

 

That is an incorrect assumption. All platings take place prior to the application of soft or hard enamels.

 

~J

 

This is wahat Jackalgirl has to say about the matter:

 

"Also, there's a key process difference: for 3D or soft-enamel coins, the mints will PLATE FIRST, then enamel. So if you have an antique enamel under translucent color, or black nickel under translucent color, the color will be muddy (or, in the case of BN, totally black). For IHE coins, the mints will ENAMEL FIRST, then plate (this makes sense; if they plated first, they'd grind the plating right off the coin during the process of stoning). So you can do black nickel coins with vibrant translucent enamel, as long as the IHE process is being used."

 

My guess is that she is correct because I own some black nickel coins that have brilliant colors under the enamel.

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Howdy!

 

I'd definitely buy a couple. I've got a child who also loves dinosaurs (it hasn't grown into full-blown addiction yet, but just you wait).

 

I'd suggest using 2D with black nickel plating. I'd go with IHE (imitation hard enamel), which will raise the cost a little; however, what you can do is set up the tire tracks and dinosaur tracks as a recessed level under translucent #11, which is a brown/green color. In fact, I'd recommend that the "dirt" part be semi-recessed and the tracks be regular recessed*, which will lighten the color of the enamel.

 

*Kind of hard to describe without pictures. "Raised" (aka "Level 1") is the top-most level of the coin. "Recessed" (aka "Level 3") is the level the mint uses for most of your color fill areas. "Semi-raised" (aka "Level 2") would be somewhere in between, and "Recessed 2" (aka "Level 4") would be for areas recessed even more deeply than recessed areas.

 

The pro and con with 2D with IHE is that it'll be perfectly smooth. I say "pro and con" because some people (me) like this effect. Other folks like their coins to be textural. That calls for soft enamel, which "slumps" into the color areas so that you can feel the lines with your figures more readily.

 

If you want that, soft enamel is the way to go, but you should not use black nickel plating if you're wanting to use translucent enamel for the tracks. As GregsonVaux points out, in the soft enamel process, the mint applies the plating /before/ the enamel, so your trans #11 will be really, really dark. With the IHE, the enamel goes on first, so your colors stay pretty bright.

 

If you're set on soft enamel, then I'd recommend making the dirt a dark grey color, like volcanic ash/dirt. Then make the tracks raised metal (level 1) so that they're plated in black nickel and stand out from the background.

 

I like version 1 best, btw. Don't mind the Fred Flintstone effect at all. : )

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I like the original concept best and it appears that 2d and black nickel with IHE enamels is going to suit this particular design best. The best thing you can do to help yourself when it comes to Black Nickel coins is to approach the design like a child's coloring book. That is to draw all the lines and fill in the colors. Every color change will be divided by a black nickel ridge of raised metal. To achieve the 2-tone colors like your design suggests you can use different depths of recessed metal. The deeper the recessed area, the darker and richer the color of enamel will appear. Also keep in mind that very small areas are tough to fill so you sometimes need to exagerate size just a bit on some items (like the teeth) to get the fill area to work successfully. The easiest way to do that for this particular design is to just expand the size of the dinotrucker to fill every last possible bit of space on the coin. Go right to the edge as close as you can and make your outer ring a background element. That being said, this is a wonderful design based on a great concept and I'm excited to see how the project develops! If any of that sounds like greek let me know and I'll show in a bit more detail what I meant :anibad: Keep up the good work!

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Fox-and-the-Hound has hit it on the head. And it made me think of another point that you should consider: if you draw anything using a vector-based program like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, convert all of your brushstrokes to paths and submit the .AI or .CDR file to the vendor to give to the mint. The goal is to capture the thicks and thins of your child-like drawing (the mint artists will tend to use straight, boring lines).

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well... when I saw the coin, something funny came in my mind...

 

I like the first version of the back design with the dino feet between the truck marks...

 

the thing that came in my mind (I do not know if it was mentioned bafore...), is that it lookes like it was a truck in the time of Flindstones!!! :D

 

so... How about make a small change in the design... put the car a little higher... to see the feet of the dino coming out... like he is running but this is the first truck ever in existance...

 

Think how the Flindstone car is....

 

Then... if you want... just to make it funnier, you can put a pair of braces on the dino... and these will hold the car like it is trousers??? :anitongue: You can also put some foot marks to show this...

 

I do not know... I find it quite funny and nice to see it! :laughing:

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That is an incorrect assumption. All platings take place prior to the application of soft or hard enamels.

 

~J

Not sure if it was mentioned later but this is not correct. Hard enamel is added before plating and soft enamle is added after. This is unless the design is 3D then the hard enamel is added after unless requested.

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...convert all of your brushstrokes to paths and submit the .AI or .CDR file to the vendor to give to the mint. The goal is to capture the thicks and thins of your child-like drawing (the mint artists will tend to use straight, boring lines).

 

That's a good idea! That's something I go rounds with the mint over. <_<

 

That's how I get around the font issue, too. For some reason, I can't get the mints to tell me what fonts they have. If I don't export all text to paths, all of my fonts are converted to either Arial or Copperplate Bold. : \

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That is an incorrect assumption. All platings take place prior to the application of soft or hard enamels.

 

~J

Not sure if it was mentioned later but this is not correct. Hard enamel is added before plating and soft enamle is added after. This is unless the design is 3D then the hard enamel is added after unless requested.

 

Just to clarify: hard enamel is a resin that's overfilled in the coin and then stoned (polished) down so that it's flush with the surface of the coin. The factory couldn't plate first, then enamel, because if they did, they'd grind the plating right off the coin when it came time to stone the coin. So with imitation hard enamel, they apply (and bake and stone) the enamel first, then plate. So with IHE coins, you can use black nickel and still have bright colors.

 

With soft enamel, the factory applies the plating first, then the enamel. That's why translucent soft enamel colors end up looking muddy on antiqued coins, or black on black nickel coins: it's because they're sitting on top of dark antique washes (or black nickel).

 

Most 3D coins use the soft enamel process; that's because the mint can't polish the coins properly if they've got sculpted 3D relief sticking up.

 

This shouldn't be a problem with this coin, though; it looks like it's a really good candidate for a straight-up 2D coin. It should work really well with hard enamel, if that's what the OP decides to use.

 

Edited to add: let me just note that your mileage may vary. This approach to plating/enameling is the case with the mints with which I have experience. Other mints might very well do it differently (tho I'm not sure why they'd want to, given the issue of polishing off the plating). So the important thing is: ask. When you choose a vendor, and if you want to use translucent hard enamel over the "dirt" area, make sure you ask about the plating process. That way, you (hopefully) won't be unpleasantly surprised!

Edited by Jackalgirl
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Thanks to everyone who are contributing with all of the great info! This is making my job much easier in getting the coin I envision.

Fox-and-the-Hound has hit it on the head. And it made me think of another point that you should consider: if you draw anything using a vector-based program like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, convert all of your brushstrokes to paths and submit the .AI or .CDR file to the vendor to give to the mint. The goal is to capture the thicks and thins of your child-like drawing (the mint artists will tend to use straight, boring lines).

 

This is a great idea, but unfortunately I drew up my coin on AutoCAD, and opening it up on Corel resulted in a lot of the info being lost. I just have to hope that the mint can faithfully reproduce the crappy child-like art!

Edited by rockotter
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That is an incorrect assumption. All platings take place prior to the application of soft or hard enamels.

 

~J

Not sure if it was mentioned later but this is not correct. Hard enamel is added before plating and soft enamle is added after. This is unless the design is 3D then the hard enamel is added after unless requested.

And pearl is done randomly as I recently found out!

 

BTW I love this coin! I'm a pretty big fan of simple cartoony stuff.

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This is a great idea, but unfortunately I drew up my coin on AutoCAD, and opening it up on Corel resulted in a lot of the info being lost. I just have to hope that the mint can faithfully reproduce the crappy child-like art!

 

I'm not as familiar with Corel Draw as I am with AI (and not at all with AutoCAD), but in AI there's an option called "Live Trace" (and I'm sure that there's something like that in Corel). If you use AutoCAD and export your art (specifically, hide everything but the "child-like" lines) as a very high-resolution TIF or BMP (300 dpi, if you can do it), you should get a pretty clean trace in AI/Corel. I can help you with that, if you need help; I can't export into CDR format, but I /can/ export as .WMF, which Corel Draw should be able to handle. Shoot me an email via my profile, if you like, and I can help you convert it over.

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Just want to let it be known, this project is not dead. Samples are being made now, and I am hoping to get them by Christmas (I intend to surprise the wifey with them in her Christmas stocking). A few things have changed, but the coin is more or less what I intended (unfortunately, the colored outlines of the dino and the truck are eliminated in favor of raised metal and the tracking code will not be in the cloud).

 

Otherwise, things look great, and I can't wait to see the samples! I will post pics when I get them. The coin vendor has been beyond helpful (dealing with a nub like me). The vendor made additional suggestions, such as a sparkly sun and a glow-in-the-dark dino, and I can't wait to see the samples!

 

Thanks to all who made suggestions, you all made a daunting task a little less daunting. Jackalgirl, I decided to go with IMHE based on your comments, and thanks a lot with the offer of help on the graphics! The mint did a pretty good job, however, so I felt sending them the .AI or .CDR files was unnecessary.

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Well, I got back the samples.

IMG_0028.jpg

IMG_0029.jpg

The upper left coin black nickel, the upper right is shiny nickel, the lower left is black nickel with glow-in-the-dark dinosaur, sparkly sun, and opal cloud, and the lower right is shiny nickel with glow-in-the-dark dinosaur, sparkly sun, and opal cloud. I believe I likely mangled the descriptions, just as I mangled the photos...I will try to get some better pics.

 

What do you all think?

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I just got a friendly reminder from the vendor that this project has to move along (I had to pay down some Christmas bills first :)). So I am going to place the order in the next week or two. I am planning to go with the black enamel, with the standard yellow sun, white cloud, and green dinosaur. I will be making an order of 50, and this is obviously more than I need. So if anyone is interested to purchase a coin or two, let me know via e-mail. I don't need any money at this point, just intent. We can deal with the monetary issue later. Heck, I don't mind having the money sent to me by check or paypal after you get the coin. If I get enough orders, I will have a custom icon made (the dino's head, of course). I will not be making any more of these coins, so what gets made now will be all that gets made. I also do not intend to make money off this coin...I am thinking a price of $10 will be about right (less if an icon is not made). I highly doubt this will be necessary, but production will be capped at 100, and I intend to keep at least 20 so I can put one coin a year out in the wild on my boy's birthday.

Edited by rockotter
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I just got a friendly reminder from the vendor that this project has to move along (I had to pay down some Christmas bills first :)). So I am going to place the order in the next week or two. I am planning to go with the black enamel, with the standard yellow sun, white cloud, and green dinosaur. I will be making an order of 50, and this is obviously more than I need. So if anyone is interested to purchase a coin or two, let me know via e-mail. I don't need any money at this point, just intent. We can deal with the monetary issue later. Heck, I don't mind having the money sent to me by check or paypal after you get the coin. If I get enough orders, I will have a custom icon made (the dino's head, of course). I will not be making any more of these coins, so what gets made now will be all that gets made. I also do not intend to make money off this coin...I am thinking a price of $10 will be about right (less if an icon is not made). I highly doubt this will be necessary, but production will be capped at 100, and I intend to keep at least 20 so I can put one coin a year out in the wild on my boy's birthday.

 

I would like to buy one. Do you need anything else beyond this post?

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