#2 Painted Paper
May 24, 2020
The new AR$5000 bills apparently will be among us in the short term and, although the project is on track, thankfully the design is not final, but let's be honest, there is not much hope for improvement.
The news gave us an excuse to investigate, and now share other countries that issue their currency with a little more love and judgment.
Norwegians doing EVERYTHING right
Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway), launched the new Krone banknotes in 2016.
What does it mean to do "everything right"?
They called for design studios to submit their proposals. After a long work process, internal debates, and discussions, they broke with the established, classic and obvious, deciding to replace the traditional figures of heroes with other national icons. The subject: the sea, a bold decision.
The front and back were designed by two different design studios, how does that work in Argentina? The bank thought they fit well, and the studios worked together.
On the back, Snøhetta (the studio in charge) worked on an abstraction of the sea and the wind, developing a pixelated pattern that contrasts with the design on the front, based on the Beaufort scale, which measures the intensity of the winds and their influence on the condition of the sea.
At the end of the process, they made a documentary-style video that shows the different steps of the design process, from concept to reality (it's a 26-minute video, but if you want to check it out, it's very interesting).
A banknote is the product of highly advanced graphic design. You should be able to see and feel that genuine banknotes are worth far more than the paper they are printed on.
Barbara Bernát, designed banknotes for a fictitious currency, the Hungarian Euro, for her final degree project. Proof that it is possible to give a twist to animals and flora on banknotes.
On one side, she worked on illustrations of European animals, and on the other, plant species.
I only wanted to keep the essential visual elements of a banknote. The most important parts beside the graphics are the denomination, the serial number, the issuing authority and the authorized signatories.
In addition to being a beautiful project, we highlight the typographic design, the uniqueness of the illustrations, and the fantastic security detail. When checking the banknotes in violet security light, you can see the skeleton of the animal.
Security and design
Australia has one of the lowest rates of banknote forgery in the world. The main reason is the special attention to the security details of their banknotes.
The most interesting and noteworthy is how this is integrated into the design of the banknotes, adding value and contributing to the message. They include transparencies, embossing, reliefs, and gold/silver stamping.
In 2015, the Reserve Bank of Australia issued a new series of banknotes, to which they added the feature of being touch-sensitive, to help the blind community differentiate one value from another.
Creating the design for new banknotes is a demanding task. As well as being complex works of art, they are important security documents that incorporate a range of security features that make them difficult to counterfeit. These features need to be integrated effectively into the banknote without interfering with the aesthetics of the banknote.
To introduce the new series of banknotes, they made these videos with a special focus on security and how to recognize fake banknotes.
Cleavages are everywhere
Pedro Mezzini and Augusto Callegari are advertising creatives at David Argentina, and together they designed this series of Argentine peso banknotes in order to close this new cleavage: Banknotes with national heroes or animals? Why not both?
Argentina is the country of mate and asado; the country of Fernet with Coke; the country of the Pope and two of the best soccer players in history; the country of a thousand landscapes; the country of tango; the country of Gardel.
To this amazing list is added the most important stigma that crosses all Argentines, without exception and a fluctuating level of seriousness: the dialectical fight over anything.
Thanks for reading!
See you next time
Juan & Martina