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Reforging a Precious Identity

A potential goldmine

Hailing back to 1792, the United States Mint is the world’s largest coin maker, the sole authorized manufacturer of American coins and official medals, and the official guardian of the American gold supply.

The problem was, no one knew it. The breadth of the U.S. Mint’s mission seemed to be as closely guarded as its gold in Fort Knox.

The Mint had three main objectives: to drive sales of collectible coins, to encourage the use of dollar coin, and to boost public uptake on the U.S. Mint as the only legal manufacturer of all American coins.

To do so, the Mint needed an identity that pays homage to its storied role in history, but also signals its ongoing relevance to the modern American public.

A new spin

The Siegel+Gale team deduced that our American coins are not only the bedrock of commerce, but are also part of our country’s common language. From the humble penny to the Peace Dollars that commemorated the resolutions of horrific conflicts, our coins are “currency” in every sense of the word. This insight helped us to elevate and enliven the Mint’s brand promise: Connecting America through Coins.

To re-introduce the public to the U.S. Mint, we developed a new logo—the optimistic image of a coin flipping in the air—with detail that both captures the Mint’s history and evokes its commitment to artistic excellence. We also designed an elegant new website that integrates the Mint’s government and marketing responsibilities, and balances its historical and current perspectives.

Because the purpose and impact of branding were unknown to most employees at the Mint, we also developed a detailed, internal rollout plan featuring a brand story, a brand video and an updated intranet. Through a Train-the-Trainer program, we prepared key stakeholders to educate employees at all six United States Mint locations—all of which generated newfound brand awareness and excitement, and ensured a consistent, successful adoption of the new identity.

Encouraged by the success of the implementation, the United States Mint again called on Siegel+Gale to redesign the packaging for its highest selling retail item: the annual United States Mint Proof Set®. Because these sets originate from production facilities around the country, they had previously featured disparate imagery and visual executions. We unified the sets with a simple, elegant family of packaging that still allows flexibility to demonstrate each set’s unique heritage and origin. The resulting package and certificate of authenticity echo the elegance and unity of the Mint’s new identity, and showcase the artistic excellence of the coins themselves.

Continuing to shine

According to the United States Mint’s Chief Strategy Officer: “This brand unification re-engaged the United States Mint while saving the agency and the country valuable time and money. A well-managed agency has a well-managed brand. Our design united multiple disparate brands and was the best way to reduce redundancies and costs, while creating a more effective agency. This will be high on every President's agenda.”

The United States Mint earned a 2011 REBRAND 100® Best of award, one of only nine organizations worldwide to receive this designation.

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