G+D Magazine
Close up of the number 100 on a banknote

Functional banknote design: aesthetic and efficient

A range of functional elements is required to enable the reliable use of banknotes as a means of payment in the cash cycle. These must be recognizable to people and technical devices, and must integrate harmoniously into the overall graphical concept. We also set the course for secure and efficient production right from the design stage.

The concept of functional design includes target group-customized design elements: From the general public, to vending and cash deposit machines and ATM’s, to processing systems for cash centers and central banks – different functional features need to be taken into account for each target group. The design guidelines we have developed ensure optimum efficacy for all these applications throughout the cash cycle.

Illustration of banknote with watermark and security thread

Communicating features: easy to recognize, hard to forge

Functional features, such as security elements and identifiers for the visually impaired, are essential components of any banknote. We harmoniously integrate these elements into the overall graphical concept, using recurring leitmotifs and visual effects. This enables the enduser to quickly learn how to identify counterfeits. Moreover, counterfeiting banknotes becomes significantly harder and its technological expenses increase.

Cash cycle compatibility: equipped for the long cash journey

Banknotes travel more than almost any other product, and need to meet very demanding requirements. Automated devices and systems for sorting, counting and authentication are elementary parts of the the cash cycle – counting, checking and issuing banknotes. We analyze the technical infrastructure within our customers’ cash cycles, from retail, through the banking sector to cash centers. This guarantees that new banknotes are not only perfectly attuned to cash cycle automation, but also equipped for future requirements.

Production feasibility: maximum speed and top quality

We think about banknote implementation right from the design phase, focusing on reliable, efficient production with consistently high quality and the lowest possible level of waste. Much of our production is in-house, we employ vertical integration, enabling us to constantly refine production. Our BPS X9 banknote processing system also sets a new benchmark for finishing and quality testing in banknote printing. Combined with the Compass LUNA analytical software, we are constantly improving the quality and efficiency of production.

Expert functional banknote design means

  • Functional features such as for security and identifiers for the visually impaired are neatly integrated into an overall graphical concept.
  • Banknotes which are easy to identify – but hard to forge, due to repeating motifs and effects in different technologies.
  • Analyzing our customers’ cash cycle infrastructure enables us to design banknotes that can be processed very efficiently.
  • The result: High production speed with consistent quality and a low waste level.

Related products

The BPS® X9 sets a new standard for Single Note Inspection for print works and is a record holder with a processing speed of 44 banknotes per second


The system sets new standards for speed and productivity in banknote testing at printing plants. A fully integrated packaging system further enhances efficiency, in a design distinguished by clean lines and intuitive operation.

3D visualization of process optimization for banknote printing

Compass LUNA

Optimize banknote production operations with this data-rich software that reduces errors and reduces wastage.

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If you have any questions about our end-to-end business solutions or about our SecurityTech company, seek expert advice, or want to give us your feedback, our team is here to support you, anytime.