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Humania Banknote Designs Celebrate Humanity

Categories : Cash connects people, Cash is a social network, Humania
May 21, 2021
Tags : Banknotes, Covid-19, disaster recovery, Humania
In December 2020, the Global Cash Community joined forces in an initiative called HUMANIA to support the people who have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. HUMANIA launched a currency design initiative, inviting designers to capture a moment from the pandemic and depict it in banknotes or coins.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

The COVID-19 pandemic is the first truly global crisis. Beyond the loss of life, there are numerous far-reaching consequences such as human seclusion, suffering, economic distress, and a sense of helplessness. The global cash community has already reacted to the ongoing crisis and consequent hardship experienced by societies worldwide. A diverse number of individual initiatives, driven by community members, are underway and making a real difference for millions of people.

HUMANIA is all about leveraging the unique characteristics of cash to help restore hope and support the people in society who have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in their efforts to recover and rebuild. We aim to achieve this by:

  • Raising funds and awareness to support post-COVID-19 recovery.
  • Paying tribute to those who have been on the front line during the fight against the pandemic.
  • Demonstrating that cash connects people in a crisis thanks to its unique attributes: universality, resilience, trust.

HUMANIA has been launched with a currency design initiative, inviting designers to tell their story by capturing a moment in time from the COVID-19 pandemic and depicting it visually in the form of a banknote or coin. These designs will help us remember and celebrate those special people who demonstrated an exceptional degree of courage, humanity, and solidarity and directly contribute to raising funds to help societies most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, we have received several design projects, and we wish to sincerely thank these people and their organisations for demonstrating a true sense of solidarity and wishing to give back to society by telling their story via a piece of artwork. The first organisations to submit artwork and design material to the initiative are:

  • CCL Secure
  • Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions
  • Independent Currencies
  • KURZ

The HUMANIA initiative continues, and the more people who participate, the stronger our impact will be. We count on you to take a little time to give something back to our world – have a little fun by visually telling a story, provide prepress or production services for a particular design, help market and distribute the final product. You can do this alone, as a team, or as a corporate entity. Not everyone needs to be a banknote designer- What really counts is that you participate…!

Here are some of the HUMANIA designs received to date:

Organic Algorithms

Designers: Sebastien Freuler & Gregory Syrvet

Humania Banknote Design Sicpa

The HUMANIA specimen alludes to current social issues that have arisen during the pandemic. With the rise of digital communication and social distancing, we seem to be drifting away from the human experiences and connections we knew only a year ago. The specimen questions the essence of our human experience and how it is changing. Two faces stare at each other through polymer windows connected through the web of geo-localized information: a two-faced society, the self, and the digital self. Our human DNA merges with information gathered through ever-expanding digital webs that simultaneously bring us together yet distance us from one another.

“With the rise of digital communication and social distancing, we seem to be drifting away from thehuman experiences and connections we knew only a year ago.”

– Sebastien Freuler, SICPA

The Future Opens its Arms to Us

Designer: Carlos Almenar-Diaz

Humania Banknote Design CCL

The Coronavirus has left us all in dismay. A virus that has forced many of us to remain confined and isolated for long periods. A virus that has disrupted the economies, education, culture of all world nations without exception. A virus that has distanced us from our loved ones. A virus that has made us reflect and change our lifestyle and how we work.

The HUMANIA project is a journey for all of us. Through art and currency design, this initiative serves as a channel that allows us to join forces, build to bring us back together, celebrate, and pay tribute to people with the spirit of collective solidarity and humanity during the Covid-19 pandemic. At CCL Secure, a banknote concept called HUMANIA Currency has been created, under the motto: The Future Opens its Arms to Us. The design is conceptualized depicting the reconstruction of a new world; it is a modern concept inspired by geometric figures and colours to represent a futuristic polymer note that opens our imagination to the future. The message of this note is the outlook towards a new world where society harmoniously integrates with nature through the solid foundations of respect for our environment and our community since we are all part of a global society.

“The message in this design is the outlook towards a new world where society harmoniously integrates with nature through the solid foundations of respect for our environment and our community since we are part of a global society”

-Carlos Almenar-Diaz, CCL Secure

Solving Inequality

Designers: Michelle Bonzon-Vuilleumier/ Giovanni Galuffo

Any form of crisis brings out inequalities and makes them more visible. The health crisis we are experiencing disproportionately affects the most vulnerable individuals in crucial dimensions such as health spending, access to education, the labor market, gender equality, etc. It reinforces intra- and inter-country inequalities. In all major crises, ambitious political measures are necessary to ensure a better distribution of wealth, equality of opportunity and gender, and a more humane economy for all. Regardless of their origin, social status, or race, all humans are interconnected with their fellow human beings. This is clearly visible through the crisis in the difficulties we are going through that separate us and the numerous acts of solidarity and mutual aid that recreate social links and restore faith and courage in a brighter future.

“The health crisis we are experiencing disproportionately affects the most vulnerable individuals in crucial dimensions such as health spending, access to education, the labour market, gender equality, etc.”

-Michelle Bonzon- Vuilleumier, Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions


Designers: Phillipe Mermoud/Jérome Badan

Humanity in the first sense refers to all humans. It is in this sense that this project is focused and developed. The goal is to break out stereotypes of race, skin color, etc. The project is focused on connectivity, interconnectivity between people, which symbolizes a human chain, knowledge, mutual aid. The objective is to remain neutral so that the different cultures and races can identify with it and that no emphasis should be placed on any skin color, religion, or others.

“The project is focused on connectivity, interconnectivity between people which symbolizes a human chain, knowledge, mutual aid.”

-Phillipe Mermoud, Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions

Sincerity/Home Schooling

Designer: Tom Badley


Depicting humanity’s shared experience about Covid-19 creates a challenging layer. The actions of governments’ response have been met with every reaction: from complete acquiescence to violent backlash. Regardless of the politically correct perspective, any cash product that is not sympathetic to the public’s diverse experience is doomed. My design is purposefully absent of Covid-19 imagery and instead features a seated meditating figure: a universal symbol of quiet introspection. The theme is mindfulness, a return to stillness, regardless of the chaos of the world.

The enduring image of Covid-19 will be the homeschooling phenomenon. While the meditating figure on the front offers the ideal, homeschooling has become a reality for millions of families. Whereas before, parents conveniently dropped children at school in the morning, and the parents were compelled to their place of work. The collapse of both worlds into one has forced both parents and children to question their role, their ability to perform, and the function or disfunction of their own family unit. The consequences this introspection will have on the nature of education, family, work, and of course, money itself will change the direction of the world forever.

“I consider cash to be the most sincere of payment methods: it is sensory, engaging us with touch and visuals; it is face-to-face, local; the point of exchange is more than financial, it is Human”

-Tom Badley, Independent Currencies

KURZ Security Element Development

Designer: Reto Karrer

KURZ, the industry leader in foil security feature technology for over 30 years, approached the HUMANIA project from a different perspective. Rather than elaborating a complete design, the KURZ feature development team decided to support and facilitate other designers by developing HUMANIA-specific security features. These security elements use different formats and technologies for seamless integration into each specific artwork. Many years of experience in designing, manufacturing, delivering and applying patches, stripes, or threads for banknotes enables KURZ to act as a consulting team partner already at the early stage of a banknote design project. This approach added a new element to the project and fully embraced the HUMANIA philosophy of working together to do some good. The KURZ team worked hand in hand with designers to help bring the designs to life through movement and animation, as seen from the first sketches of individual KINEGRAM® elements developed exclusively for the HUMANIA project.

On behalf of HUMANIA and the Global Cash Community, we wish to thank all designers. We look forward to realising the designs together as we move forward to the printing and distribution phases in the initiative.

To find out more about HUMANIA, please visit or send a mail to

This post is also available in: Spanish