Some talented Emirati students at Zayed University (ZU) created new banknotes with special features in the hope that these will be used across the U.A.E. some day.
Out of five competing teams, only one team — comprising three students — won a trip to Switzerland to introduce them to the world of designing, producing and issuing banknotes and to give them information on high-security printing industry.
The results were announced during a ceremony held earlier at ZU in the capital.
"Banknotes are seen as the most sophisticated security documents and design plays a critical role in their creation. A banknote is not only a means of payment but it also represents the business card for a country. The first thing that visitors to a foreign country are likely to see are the national flag and a country's currency,” Christian Rubino, instructor in the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at ZU, said.
Gulf News spoke to the students of the winning team.
Fatima Farah, a 23-year-old senior student at ZU, told Gulf News: "We have worked on this project for almost five weeks. A banknote is the visitor's window into our country, culture and heritage. Therefore, we wanted to include elements from the old and modern U.A.E.. We wanted both residents and visitors to interact with our banknotes and flip them to get more familiar.”
"We didn't change the colour, so residents and visitors don't get confused; however, we changed the design. The banknote has been designed to be viewed vertically and horizontally in English and Arabic. The English side showcases the modern U.A.E. and the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the capital while the Arabic side features the oldest mosque, which was built in Fujairah years ago, keeping in mind the words of our father Sheikh Zayed ‘A nation without a past is a nation without a present or future',” Farah, who studies graphic design, said.
Gulf News also spoke to Noora Al Ali, another member of the winning team, studying graphic design at ZU.
The winners also pointed out that their designed currency notes will feature Braille characters so that they are readable by the visually impaired.
When asked about their future plans after graduation, Fatima told Gulf News: "I see myself as a graphic designer and social worker. I would like to find a career which combines both.”
Noora is looking forward to working as a freelance graphic designer after graduation.
"All our banknotes include Islamic patterns and curved lines around borders to represent the desert, but in a more modern style. The vertical and horizontal designs make the banknote much more interactive as the user flips the money over and plays with it. The more they interact, the more they remember,” Noora, a 20-year-old senior student, told Gulf News.
Shaimaa Al Ameri, who is part of the winning team, was not present at the ceremony.
The ceremony was also attended by Adrian Bless, deputy head of the Embassy of Switzerland, who spoke on the occasion.
"I am impressed by the students' creativity. Some of the banknote designs display a great deal of thought and attention to detail, showing originality and conveying a clear message. Out of this competition, enriched with new knowledge and skills, all teams come off as winners,” Bless said.
The Embassy of Switzerland in the U.A.E. and KBA-NotaSys of Switzerland hosted a workshop on banknote design at Zayed University in June, as part of the graphic design curriculum.
KBA-NotaSys in Switzerland is the main driver of innovation and excellence within the high-security printing industry. It offers a unique range of products and services to authorised security printers and central banks, enabling them to design, produce and issue banknotes according to their specific and individual needs.
Source: Gulf News