Money makes people do crazy, stupid, irrational and wonderful things at the same time. Money, currency or wealth has and continues to cause a lot of conflict and corruption across the world today and that is what I want to communicate in this brief. It drives us crazy and I think I can show this through experimental print making and the combining of a lot of different signs and symbols. I will look to incorporate bold contrasting colours, sections of abstract patterns and interesting textures. I will make it trippy and psychedelic to reflect the mental state of a soul consumed with wealth and greed that comes with the desire of currency. I want my designs to make a statement, whether that be political, social or cultural. I know that I don't necessarily want to design a note for an already existing currency, I just don't see that as being an exciting or challenging enough or a project for me currently.
Ultimately, this brief is asking me to interrogate the relevance of physically printed money in today's consumer society. We are completely captivated by products and goods. It's gotten to a point where we have evolved an obsession with efficiency in terms of money and its value. We want everything to be instantaneous and effortless. Technologies offers the solution to this need and desire to spend constantly. The Internet has revolutionised the way we spend and save currencies, and in the future, I believe this is only going to increase in terms of efficiency and scope. I believe that there will be less relevance for physical money in the future in terms of actual spending and trading. But, I do think that generations to come will still value printed money for its tactility and aesthetics. Humans have a tendency to gravitate to physical matter, whether that be money or other printed materials. Printed bank notes are beautiful works of art in their own right. In the future, our society will be ever more dominated by technologies, so we may yearn and lust over physical currencies in the future to offer some sort of rest-bite from electronic money. I am in two minds as to whether or not banknotes will be relevant in the future. But for the purpose of this brief, I am going to say that there is in fact, no future at all for banknote design. I want to go down an extremely abstract, concept route, because it seems fun to do so.
Themes to explore:
Greed, gluttony, wealth
Money being the route of evil
Demons and the devil
Dante's circles of hell
The 7 deadly sins
The stages of a mental break/becoming insane
Bespoke symbols, numbers and lettering
Chapman Brothers various etchings: Their artwork is dark and eerie and relates to the themes outlined above. To me, it appears to be depicting various forms of evil and mental disgruntlement. The work also reminds me of demons and monsters, something that I could look into incorporating into my designs.
Dante's Inferno: This is one of the most prolific representations of an afterlife or 'hell'. It is so complex and well considered that it is synonymous with the very intangible, abstract concept of evil. Over the years, numerous artists have depicted their version of the Inferno, which I find intriguing. The Inferno features nine very different 'circles' in which the damned must pass through in order to reach the bottom of the Inferno. These nine circles could provide me with a starting point for a fantasy currency. Botticelli's paintings and probably the most famous depictions of Dante's visions. I really like the painterly style and the old fashioned quality of his works, very inspiring.