As far as in-house creative roles go, it’s rare to find one that comes with as much heritage as a graphic designer at The Royal Mint. The company’s history stretches back a staggering 1,100 years, beginning in the small workshops of Anglo-Saxon London, before moving to the Tower of London and eventually ending up at its current home in Llantrisant, South Wales. Having lived through countless political upheavals and its fair share of technological and scientific advances, today the government-owned company is the world’s biggest mint exporter, and produces almost five billion coins every year.
One of the company’s team of graphic designers, over the last 15 years Dominique Evans has created coin designs and campaigns for everything from the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death to the British discovery of dinosaurs, and, most recently, the commemorative £2 coin marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Here, she tells CR about the challenge of translating huge historical moments to the smallest of canvases and why every coin she creates is a tribute to her late grandfather, who was an avid coin collector.
On getting into graphic design I studied graphic design at Brighton. It was a very ideas based course, so even though it was graphic design focused, it was all about what is the idea, which I really enjoyed. There were one or two computers in the computer room, so a lot of the work that I did was maybe a fashion piece, 3D mock ups, still graphics but broadly across a lot of different disciplines. Looking back, I think that was a really good grounding, because it all comes down to what is the idea of communication.