Following a final presentation of my work and outcomes, I was selected by De La Rue to present this project to the De La Rue creative team in January 2019
This brief was set by De La Rue, global developers of products associated with cash supply, citizen identity and product authentications, with notable examples including the 'Bank of England' polymer notes and Microsoft authentication. The brief looked at producing a full set of currency focused on a given scenario, mine being the achievement of peace and cooperation in Syria.
For my outcome I wanted to produce a set of denominations that would symbolise change and development to inspire the nation. For the full set, I took advantage of my use of polymer to produce predominantly transparent portrait notes, with each denomination representing one of the four climate zones within Syria.
Each note incorporates various elements in order to present each climate zone and what makes it unique. The colour schemes used for each note are sampled from satellite imagery of each region and the topographic lines are taken from actual mapping of towns and cities within them. Within the topographic lines is microprint text of cities, towns and villages names from within the regions which adds an added layer of security.
Building on the focus of the land and climate of Syria, I wanted to construct an added dimension to the sets narrative. I choose to do this through a technology which is already widely used as a security feature on bank notes, UV. I incorporated UV by using it to reveal a 'night time scene' on top of each of the notes illustrations, revealing small lights, stars and night time details. The shapes used for the lights and stars are from a checkerboard (with the pattern sampled from Syrian art and design), tying it more deeply in to Syrian culture.
Through my research, I discovered that ensuring accessibility for those with visual impairment would be crucial, to achieve this I have incorporated a textured checkerboard strip to assist in orientating the note, while Arabic Braille can be found alongside the topographic lines. As Braille is rarely used on currency there are no rules or directions for it use, to solve this I researched and followed pharmaceutical Braille guidelines used universally on drug packaging to structure and format it.
To provide an added layer of security and push the narrative I have included textured illustration of crops found within this region, above the horizon of each transparent image. The transparent illustrations that cover the majority of the note were hand drawn and then re-traced digitally to achieve an organic yet formulaic illustration.
The decorative emblem used on the 50 denomination is an image used on the existing Syrian currency as well as in Syrian art and design, and depicts the 'flowers of Syria'. I choose to use this emblem on the lowest denomination but as the notes value increases so does the complexity of the emblem. To create each of the images I deconstructed the initial emblem and reconstructed it in increasing complex ways.