Competition with: The Royal Mint

Output: Base metal, Sterling silver and 22ct gold

The Royal Mint: Pippa Sanderson, the designer's notebook

While studying for her BA (Hons) Degree in Graphic and Media Design in 2011, Pippa won a prestigious national student competition with The Royal Mint to create the design for the official London 2012 Paralympic Games’
£5 coin.


Pippa enjoyed working innovatively to a detailed brief with strict guidelines in relation to technical specifications, dimensions and placement of official logos, typography and the use of licensed forms of words.


Competing against art and design students from across the UK, Pippa submitted two designs: one for the Olympics and the other for the Paralympics.


Both designs were shortlisted in a list of five by The Royal Mint and, following approval by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Privy Council and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Pippa’s design for the Paralympic Games was selected as the winner.

"Before I started to design the £5 coin, I thought about what the Paralympic Games actually meant to me.


"From initial pencil sketches and a mind-mapping exercise, I came up with three words: accuracy, manoeuvrability and speed, and this is what I wanted to visually communicate in my design.


"With the coin being circular, I played around with circles found in the Games and decided on a spoked wheel for manoeuvrability, a target for accuracy and a stopwatch for speed.


"I then split the design into these elements and added the partial face of Big Ben to represent London, working closely with The Royal Mint to finalise the design.


"I thoroughly enjoyed the process and complexities of designing the Paralympic Games’ £5 coin and strived to achieve harmony and balance in the overall concept. It certainly provided me with a real appreciation of the intricacies of designing for such a small medium."

Sterling silver version

Sterling silver and 22 carat gold versions

Pippa's design is featured on the Design Council's 'Beyond 2012' website here, which celebrates all design for London 2012, from built environment and fashion design to product design, graphic design and digital design.

Along with the following press coverage, Pippa also appeared on national and local television, and conducted nationwide radio interviews from a broadcast studio in London:


The Royal Mint: The Official Olympic and Paralympic Coins


BBC television: London 2012 £5 coin design success for Midlands pair


Media Bistro: New Coins and Posters Unveiled for London 2012 Olympics

"It's the Paralympic coin, designed by Pippa Sanderson, that wins our hearts. It cleverly incorporates a shot-up target, a bicycle spoke, a stop watch, and the face of Big Ben, all split into sections on one face of the coin. It's interesting, fun, and beautiful, and bravo to the Olympic committee for selecting something more interesting than the usual."


The Metro: Commemorative £5 coins for 2012 Olympics and Paralympics unveiled


The Telegraph: London 2012 Olympics: Royal Mint to produce £5 coins


Worcester News: Pippa's coin design takes gold

© Pippa Sanderson 2019


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