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Cash or card? That is the question in the STATE PRINTING WORKS OF SECURITIES

There have been constant disputes about whether bank transfers will prevail over cash payments in the future. Although the digital world has been expanding its jaws more and more and card payment may appear to be the most common one, the statistics are merciless. Banknotes are and will be here with us. 

Yes, there are more and more places where banknotes have been substituted by payment cards, electronic transfers of currency. The Parliament of Sweden even approved cancellation of bank notes. Despite that, the surveys show that the popularity of bank notes persists and the global trend is increasing in this direction. The Czech Republic inclusive. We are conservative in this respect.

Who would not like our banknotes by Oldřich Kulhánek which have been in circulation for more than 27 years? The State Printing Works of Securities (STC) prints more than 100 million banknotes in three to four nominal values each year. Despite this huge volume, banknotes represent only 13% of STC’s production. For STC, it is mainly the question of prestige and national pride.

The company takes pride in its long tradition, and thanks to the high quality, the world talks about the Czech engraving school which is, unfortunately, missing successors at the present time. It must obviously respond to the needs of the market and technological development, and therefore, it combines the traditional methods with the new ones.

Another way is to establish cooperation with the art-oriented schools, such as the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and to educate its own experts. The first swallow in this respect was cooperation in the area of the new banknote design.

It is a common thing globally that the banknote design changes. The State Printing Works of Securities has been printing our banknotes for more than a quarter of a century. The Czech National Bank constantly deals with questions about when and whether we will have new banknotes. What the new banknotes might look like was also a question of the students of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague who took part in the competition as a part of the coursework “New Look of Banknotes” in the face values of 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 Czech crowns. It was one of the ways to recall the regularity of the security and banknote design that has been deepened for years.

The students faced the question of whether it is necessary to stick by the established traditions or, to the contrary, be creative and innovative at any price The top 10 designs of the entire issues were evaluated at the end of the winter semester of the academic year 2018-2019. The students were inspired by history, traditional Czech industry and design, visual art, significant Czech figures, nature, architecture and music.

The icing on the cake was implementation of the selected banknote design from the issue that the expert team from the State Printing Works of Securities evaluated as very successful. This was the banknote design by student Tuan Vuoung Trong. He called his issue “Banknotes as National Business Cards”. The banknote series stemmed from the motifs representing Czech design and glorious moments of its century-long history. In particular, the period of the early cubism modern style, 1930s to 1940s, Brussels style, 1970s and the present.

The banknote face always bears one representative object or product of the subject artistic movement or historical period, the back interprets the visual language of the contemporary artist’s trends in an abstract way. Besides the central motifs, each banknote has several protective layers, engine-turning, colour gradient, strip with micro-text, basic text information, face value, changing colour. The banknote size changes based on the face value according to the format of the present Czech means of payment. The default font is Topol by Jan Horčík and Filip Matějíček.

The State Printing Works of Securities chose to realise the design of the banknote with the face value of CZK 2,000 with the motif of an original inflatable buffalo toy from the legendary designer Libuše Niklová. The retro toys are icons of Czech design. The red buffalo made by Fatra Napajedla used to decorate kids’ rooms decades ago and today it is known all around the world.

Based on agreement with the author’s representatives concerning minor modifications which are required by the banknotes law and based on agreement with the Czech National Bank, the designs were redone in the security programme in the graphical studio of the State Printing Works of Securities. The commemorative banknote was provided with security ground screens. The design turned into a real banknote, which enabled printing by offset technology, digital print and stamping. It is very impressive to view the completed design under a UV-lamp that depicts the beautiful details of this commemorative note taking the form of a banknote.

The first commemorative note completed in the form of a banknote can be purchased only in our e-Shop. Check out our Issue Plan and create the entire collection of these banknotes. 

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