Currency GBP Research


To begin my research I began by looking at the current British Pound notes (exception of the twenty and fifty pound note which has been updated). All the notes gradually increase in size because of the increase in amount as that they can be easily counted electronically. British Pounds like most currency have differing main colours so that they care easily distinguishable to people as well as being harder to replicate because of the inks. All the notes and coinage feature the queen of England positioned in the right hand side of the notes as well as featuring the numerical value of the note featured on both sides. Like most currency the notes feature historical figures that have contributed to the world in some way.


The five pound note is a blue/green in colour, like most of the notes the queen is placed on the on the right side with the alternate character on the right of the opposite side. It cant bee seen in the imagery but when held up to light there is a watermark of Elizabeth II to prevent forgery. Foiling and holograms are also used on the notes which will be an interesting but difficult thing to try and produce on the redesigned notes.


The ten pound note is a brown/orange colour which features the very unique Bank of England text at the top which can be found on most notes. There are multiple codes and numbers placed on the notes so that they can be identified as well as when they are sorted. The back of the note features Charles Darwin with imagery of the boat he used as well as a magnifier identifying plants and animals.


The twenty pound note has been recently updated which features a a repeating hologram a third of the way along the note as well as a clear area which you can’t see but there is a watermark of the queen to check for legitimacy. I like the new £20 note because of the interesting design and colours because the design is so much different from the original with the different multiple uses of rectangular shapes and patterns. The old note had a purple colour to it, but this note has a more intense purple over larger areas. Adam Smith is the character on the back with an illustrated background.


The old fifty pound note has the similar layout to the five and ten pound notes with a red colour scheme and a complex design. The note is similar to the other notes with the layout and placement of imagery and security markings on the notes. Comparing a £5 to a £50 size wise are vary different with the increase in size and colours; the size of the notes make a large difference when designing a note which is a key aspect that I have to keep in mind when creating an alternative and if I create a higher value note (£100?).

The newer £50 note which feature the same layout and style of the new £20 note. The note is less red than the original with a mixture of purple and features the same interesting imagery as as background as well as the use of rectangles with imagery behind it as well as having a border around the note which is designed so that as the notes begin to wear and rip slightly the main imagery will still be untouched.


These are the security options that are used and integrated into the notes so that they can be protected against fraudulent reproductions as well as keeping track of them.


The coins all vary in size and shape with the Queen’s head stamped on one side with different imagery on the other. The coins are made so that they are different weights, so when they are used in coin operated machinery the mechanics can tell what coin is being used.


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