There are a number of security features that help to recognise a genuine banknoteA banknote (or ‘bill’ as it is often referred to in the US) is a type of negotiable promissory note, issued by a bank or other licensed authority, payable to the bearer on demand. More. The firmness of the paperSee Banknote paper. More, the main motifs in the watermarkA security feature used on most banknotes. It consists of variations in density and thickness created during the paper production, resulting in variations in their opacity. The combination of these variations forms an image embedded in the paper, which is visible with backlight. Due to its variations in thickness, the watermark also has a raised relief effect. More and hologramA thin microscopic diffraction structure, that transmits or reflects light so a three-dimensional image can be seen. This image appears to move as the viewing orientation is changed. More or the colour-changing number. All these distinctive features are carefully studied by experts and help shape the new banknotes.
Reto Karrer, jury member of the IMAGINE CURRENCY photocontest, works at OVD Kinegram AG – a Swiss subsidiary of the German KURZ Group – for which he designs the visual security features, based on the non-holographic KINEGRAM® technology, for banknotes.
For the IMAGINE CURRENCYThe money used in a particular country at a particular time, like dollar, yen, euro, etc., consisting of banknotes and coins, that does not require endorsement as a medium of exchange. More photo contest, it is up to you to design new security features to make your creations as authentic as possible! Find out more about the tips and inspirations of our expert Reto Karrer to help you.
Can you tell us about the banknotes and designers that inspired? Which one stood out to you the most and why?
The euroThe name of the European single currency adopted by the European Council at the meeting held in Madrid on 15-16 December 1995. See ECU. More banknotes have a special significance for me, as they are about uniting diverse cultural interests and demands, but also about increasing protection against counterfeiting through new security technologies (such as the KINEGRAM REVIEW® Stripe over Window).
This window security feature offers three security effects, two different optical foil patterns on the frontFacade, face. See Obverse. More and back of the banknote as well as a third transparent security effect where the image only becomes visible when the banknote is held up to the light.
©Carlos Almenar Diaz & SICPA
©Carlos Almenar Diaz & SICPA
What do you think is the magic formula for a successful artistic banknote?
I think you have to approach a new project with an open mind and without bias! Exchanging ideas between disciplines with the aim and personal aspiration of finding the best possible solution means being able to create a banknote that people can relate to. Banknotes often reflect the history, traditions and cultures of the country in which they are issued, so it’s about creating a banknote with the right balance between aesthetics, functionality and security. Key for this balance within a banknote concept is an early and close collaboration between all parties like papermaker, security feature supplier, printer and Central Bank.
This post is also available in:
©Millerindigo, Vincent Mourlon B. & Jaycee Moraga
And if you could create a currency, what would it be?
I am fortunate to be involved in exciting projects on a daily basis and to be able to contribute to the design of KINEGRAM® security elements for the KURZ. However, I am already looking forward to seeing what interesting ideas and concepts will come out of the IMAGINARY MONETARY photocontest!
IMAGINE CURRENCY PHOTO CONTEST: JOIN NOW!
You still have a chance to share your imagination and win exciting prizes! The contest is open to everyone across the globe. It will run until 29 September 2021 at 23h59, (UTC+2), CEST: Central European Summer Time.
Click here to participate