The Life of a Bank Note: From the Lab to Your Wallet – Part 2: Design

The Life of a Bank Note: From the Lab to Your Wallet – Part 2: Design


Canada’s new polymer
bank notes are special for a number of reasons, not the least
of which is security. But also for
the advanced engineering and materials
incorporated into the design; for the fact that Canadians
had the chance to say what they wanted to see on them; and for the
artistry of their design and the skill
involved in their production. To launch a new bank note,
we need to address both the technical
and design requirements. While we recognize that
it’s important for bank notes to be functional and secure,
they are a form of art as well – art that we hope will
instill pride in all Canadians. As part of the process,
people from across the country participated in
focus groups to brainstorm ideas for Canada’s new bills and
were asked to bring along items that they
associated with being Canadian. Through the consultations
we held with Canadians, we were able to learn
what is important to them. It was interesting
to see these various themes and images emerge
and then to reflect them in the new series of notes. The integration
of security features with the artistic design
makes the notes secure. Traditionally, engravers
used metal and a sharp knife to engrave
the features on bank notes. But these days,
they use digital tools, special computer software,
tablets and styluses. Our new notes are printed
on a material called “polymer.” It has a smooth texture and
has allowed us to integrate many features into the design. One of the most unique
and striking features is the large, transparent
window that can be seen from each side of the note. While Canada’s
polymer bank notes are among the most advanced in the world, the Bank is not the first
to use such technology. Their experts drew
upon the experience of other polymer bank note issuers when
designing Canada’s new notes. The Bank of Canada didn’t
go through this process alone. We consulted
with security experts and searched the world for
the most current developments in bank note design. We wanted to ensure that our
bank notes are state of the art. It takes years
to design bank notes! That may seem like a long time – but it’s well worth the
effort when the final product is an eye-catching
new bank note. Next time you have one in
your hand, take a closer look. Canada’s new polymer notes. Secure. Durable. Innovative.

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