Banknote design is about considering the delicate balance of beauty and functionality. Banknotes must be aesthetically pleasing and true to the nation that they represent as well as being functional in terms of size, material, legibility and tactility amongst the members of society. They should also be timeless and classic, because they supposed to last a very long time, physically and aesthetically.
Not just a question of taste
Banknotes are not just a means of payment, they also act as “calling cards” for their countries. The look and feel of the notes vary accordingly. However, this is not just a question of taste; increasing automation in our everyday lives make the technical requirements ever more important. Efficient handling and reliable verification are the focus – and this includes security features, which have to be readable for a variety of counting and sorting devices. In other words, today banknotes are real high-tech products.
Design for automation
When designing banknotes, there are complex requirements to be taken into account. This starts with choosing the substrate, which has to durable and suited to the security features. And there is even more to think about with the visual design: the various sensors in the cash cycle require several machine-readable features, and arranging them on the cramped surface area is a science in itself. Last but not least, all notes of the same denomination must look identical – regardless of how many paper mills and printers are involved in production. Very precise specifications are needed.