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I'll ask you... about how you took the pretty minimal description from Brandon's books (I think we just knew that the Lord Ruler's face was on one side, and Kredik Shaw was on the other) to full coin designs.
As for designing the coins based on Brandon's descriptions, I brought it up at one of our Dragonsteel work meetings. We discussed what the coins ought to look like, I looked up old coins for inspiration, then I worked up some really rough designs and got them approved by Brandon. You can consider these designs to be canonical as to how they would've looked in the Final Empire and later on in Elendel.
For TLR, I actually started from the basis of this piece, but aging him further so that he appears more mature and regal.
The design for Kredik Shaw is an amalgamation of different versions I've done. I would expect that the building on the coin is merely the "main palace", and possibly only part of that. The Kredik Shaw palace complex would be much larger.
My favorite is actually TLM (Spook) "revealing the Elendel Valley" after the Catacendre. It came out much better than I anticipated.
What special considerations do you have when designing a coin? (compared to other art that you typically do)
I haven't designed a lot of coins, so I had that same question when first talking to Woody and Helen at Shire Post. Once we decided on the sizes for the coins, the biggest issue was designing something that's legible at that size. The images and text need to read well, and for the most part, I needed to keep the text from running over the top of the images (which affects legibility). The only change Shire Post asked to be made after seeing the first images was to separate the text from the images a bit.
Games and Other Licensed Work
Shire Post, creator of many fantasy-themed coins for various different properties, did a very successful Kickstarter for Mistborn coinage, and I’m quite pleased with both their professionalism and artistry. We here at Dragonsteel did the designs so that they’d be 100% in continuity with the books. We’re looking at doing more with Shire Post in the future.
How difficult is it to come up with a design that pops on a coin?
How do you draw something that factors in the contours that will be on a coin?
Designing for coins wasn't difficult because Brandon had already created great descriptions. The real trick was to not make it too detailed for the engraver at Shire Post! I think he did a great job bringing our intricate designs to life!
Factoring the contours was something I worried about a bit, which was one of the reasons I brought Ben onto the project. I described to him what we wanted, and he painted some grayscale depth to the coins so Shire Post would have an idea of what we were envisioning.