Fresh From The Field — A project fit for a new king – By Fuller Studio

10 months ago by

Fresh from the Field is a weekly article series sharing the fresh and inspiring work of our Aotearoa Design Assembly community.

Fuller Studio walk us through their design process for the development of NZ Post Collectables new range of coins to commemorate the pending Coronation of King Charles III.

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The brief

It’s not every day we get to create work that will be part of a memorable historic event, be hugely collectable to many around the globe, and be passed down the generations.

Like many Commonwealth countries, the NZ Post Collectables team joined in the celebrations for the pending Coronation of King Charles III.

Fuller Studio was commissioned to design and develop a range of six coins to commemorate this royal event of our lifetime along with presentation boxes.

There was a desire to use colour imagery within the silver coins because that is a popular feature of collectibles and is sought after by the numismatic community. But because of the timing required to design and mint coins, the Fuller team started the project with key questions like “What will Charles wear?” and even “What name will he choose?” unanswered. Sizes would also be something that would be confirmed along the way.

Colour imagery coin of King Charles III wearing official military attire sitting inside white box
Detail shot of colour image of King Charles III wearing official military attire on silver 5 dollar coin
Coronation coin of King Charles III wearing civilian clothes sitting inside white box.
The Design Response

We wanted the coins to feel bold, strong, and masculine, befitting the man and the historic occasion.

We were inspired by the royal portrait paintings of previous English kings. In particular, we were drawn to the the shapes, patterns, symbolism, and embroidery designs used within the uniform of the Scots Guards. These elements became the basis to visually explore surface textures and designs within the series of coins. We worked through how we could translate these elements three-dimensionally for the mint and to create a strong visual series.

The Aiguilette, we discovered, was worn with every official military uniform worn by Royalty. These shoulder cords are typically part of the ceremonial attire for special events, or for occasions recognising an honour or achievement. The ‘braiding’ of the Aiguilette became the circular iconic wreath element that connected the coins together visually. It also provided the bold masculine strength we wanted to express.

To resolve how the silver coins could make best use of colour imagery, we sourced two recent images where Charles was positioned in the same way. In one, he was in his civilian clothes, signifying his everyday duties and role as a Royal Ambassador; the other was more formal. Together, the images helped us create an oil painting of the future King Charles III wearing a Scots Guard uniform.

By using the colour imagery front and centre within the circular coins, these coins became symbolic of the medals that Charles was likely to wear at the Coronation.

We discovered that the new monarch would wear the St Edward’s Crown during the Coronation. This crown has been traditionally used to crown English monarchs since the 13th century.

That crown then took centre stage on a couple of the gold coins accompanied by two coins with Charles in his Scots Guards’ uniform and the smallest coin which used the new Royal Cypher.

For the presentation boxes, we played with the British colours of Red White and Royal Blue, combining the Royal Cypher and the St Edwards Crown to create a graphic illustration that could be used on the top of the boxes as a foil stamp.

In order for the mint to create the three-dimensional moulding from the artwork we supplied, we needed to work through a special process. Everything we created needed to be thought through in terms of how it would translate into dimension or texture.

Approvals were complicated, with many factors and parties to be considered both here and internationally. So we were delighted when NZ Post Collectables rang to say they had received approval from the King himself.

As a bonus, Stephen was also asked to create an effigy of the King to use on commemorative coins. This was first used on the obverse of this series of coins but will also be used on collectibles into the future. Stephen observed, “It’s not every day you get to put your initials next to a King’s effigy.” But then, the name Stephen itself means ‘crown’ – so perhaps none of us should be surprised.

Close up of coin with side profile of King Charles
Gold King Charles coin sitting inside blue box
Detail shot of King Charles III coronation coin showing crown
Gold King Charles III coronation crown sitting inside red box
The Design Team

Stephen Fuller
Visual Explorer / Illustration

Dianne Fuller
Visual Explorer / Design

fuller.studio
https://www.instagram.com/fuller.studio/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/fuller-studio/

The Client Team

NZ Post Collectables
Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Client details

https://www.instagram.com/nzpostcollectables/
https://www.facebook.com/NZPostCollectables/
https://collectables.nzpost.co.nz

Collaborators

Mint: BH Mayer’s Kunstprageanstalt GmbH.
Official distributor partner in Europe: Modern Numismatics International Netherlands.


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