Comments on Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer

Started by <k>, July 31, 2014, 07:56:37 PM

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Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Thanks to Matt Bonaccorsi, to <k> and to eurocoin for providing this fine interview. I hope there will be more of the same.

My major takeaway is how the designer is primarily concerned with the client, rather than the functionality of the object he makes. In other words, the flan is there, it needs a design to be covered with. End of story. For the collector, it's the other way around. The coin coming out of the mint is a tool, a store of value, a means of exchange something that can be spent, kept, collected, holed, bent, warped or used for anything from economic warfare to playing guitar.

The two groups meet on the design front, or do they? MB talks about jewellery, sculpting and computer modelling where the collector thinks about aesthetics and emotional value. The two groups don't even have the same type of object in mind when they say "coin". Maybe the highest common denominator is the computer, the high-res pic and the internet. They changed the world for all of us. Yet, what would one group be without the other?

Another takeaway is how the chief engraver has become a manager. We drown in layers of managers always increasing cost, not always adding value, but MB is a special. He actually knows what he is talking about. He could work with the team. Wish there were more of that type. John Roettiers managed only his two sons, who, like MB, had come with him to England. In the end, he didn't manage to fight off his detractors, the catholics haters, the foreigner haters, the machinery haters. We made progress after all.

I really like that quote "Don't confuse legibility with communication". Also, don't confuse trying to fill every empty spot with decoration. Japan is more complicated than simplicity and simplicity is very difficult.

The gallery shows a wide range of techniques and styles. There's something to like for everyone. I can see why the ring satisfies. It gives a deep third dimension to a round, low-relief object. Natural harmony and equilibrium on an industrially produced, mass-manufactured consumer article. It reminds me of René Lalique, who started out as a jeweller and ended as a designer of beautiful, industrially produced perfume bottles...

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.