The idea for wooden tokens was conceived around the same time as the ballot box. We wanted something that felt good in the hand, reminded people to vote, and was quintessentially Houston. We made a list of Houston iconography and then got to work sketching out designs in Adobe Illustrator.
After sketching out a few designs, we made the trip over to Post Studio in East Downtown to laser cut our first physical prototypes. This particular process was not easy as etching on both sides of the token requires tracking the exact location of the original etch after the board has been flipped over. Our first attempt pretty clearly demonstrated the challenge.
We also realized that our original size didn't quite feel right for some reason. We had made the tokens about the same size as quarters, but it was only after observing the way we cupped them in our hands like we were about to throw down a bet in Texas Hold 'Em that we realized that they should be larger. Making them the size of poker chips felt much more natural.
Once we got the spacing and the size right, however, manufacturing the rest of the tokens was much simpler. We made 99 tokens in total, which seemed to go over well in our public debut at Pop Shop Festival. The full results of the Pop Shop poll can be found here.
As a side note, the sign in the back was also laser cut. We may have gotten a bit carried away...