Drawing out the Dark Side With Matte Black Enamel

Posted by Patrick Moyer | Monday August 24th, 2020 | Topic: Design

Covering All Your Challenge Coin Color Options

Choosing the right colors for your challenge coins is one of the most important parts of the design process. Even choosing not to add color to your coins is an important decision that will help you define the artwork and create an unforgettable design.

We’ve talked about the difference between soft and hard enamel, we’ve compared glitter and translucent enamel, and we’ve even shed some light on glow enamel. Today, we wanted to cover one more color option: Matte enamel.

Specifically, we’ll be taking a closer look at matte black, and showing you how it seems to absorb incoming light and make the designs around it shine a little brighter.

What is Matte Enamel, and How Does It Look on a Challenge Coin?

Matte enamel has a flat finish that does not reflect any light. This makes it ideal for challenge coins with reflective metal plating like high polish gold and silver. We always recommend using color to add contrast to a high polish challenge coin so that the artwork doesn’t get overpowered. Standard soft enamel is usually enough to get the job done, but if you want to make a particularly striking contrast in your design, matte black might be exactly what you need.

Soft Enamel vs Black Matte Enamel by Signature Coins

In the sunlight, light bounces off gold coins making it difficult to appreciate the finer points of the design. For these two coins, the black enamel helps the artwork stand out.

However, regular soft enamel still reflects some light. As you can see, the flat finish of matte black darkens the whole design and brings the exposed gold metal into higher relief. By absorbing all of the incoming light, the matte black has a much more noticeable effect than the glossy soft enamel.

Most of the time, we end up using matte colors on high polish coins, but the effect looks just as striking on coins with antique plating as well. Antique plating is much more subdued than our high polish plating options, giving them a more weathered appearance. However, when you add matte paint to an antique coin, the effect seems to brighten the exposed metal.

Masters of Maintenance Black Enamel challenge coin

This design is made with antique nickel plating, which is one of the darkest metal plating options we offer. Normally, antique nickel makes up the darkest parts of a design, but as you can see, the flat finish of the matte enamel makes the antique nickel seem to shine.

In this instance, pairing matte black paint with antique nickel creates a ghostly effect. It’s almost as if the grim reaper is emerging from the shadows, except that his signature scythe is replaced with a wrench to represent the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron these coins were made for.

Pairing Matte Black With Different Types of Enamel Paint

If you’re thinking about adding some matte black to your custom coin design, but you also want to include glitter enamel or translucent enamel, we can make it happen.

Black Matte - 3D - challenge coin

Using Matte Enamel in Your Own Challenge Coin Designs

Today, we showed off examples of coins with matte black paint, but you’re not limited to black if you’re hoping to include a different type of matte color in your design. Creating matte enamel is a process that starts with standard soft enamel paint. This means that we can create any shade of matte enamel that you have in mind.

The different types of paints we offer can add a vibrant splash of color to your challenge coins. However, the effect of matte enamel is unique. The flat finish draws out the other colors in a design and makes them shine a little brighter.

Patrick Moyer Blog Author

Patrick Moyer

Patrick Moyer studied communications, professional and persuasive writing and marketing at the University of Central Florida. He is a full-time copywriter for Signature Promotional Group and spends all of his free time working on his next novel. Books, movies and late night brainstorming sessions around the kitchen table are his favorite pastimes, and his love of stories has him searching for the message hidden behind every custom design that comes through the office. If you think your Signature order deserves to be featured in a blog, give us a call or contact us explaining why at https://signaturecoins.com/contact