A country’s currency design is a ubiquitous component of its overall nation-brand which works as, in addition to as a legal tender, a visual reminder of the nation’s history, values and culture. This self-initiated project’s goal was to redesign Pakistan’s currency notes while exploring different possibilities in terms of patterns, motifs, personalities, layout and typography.
In the sub-continent currency designs revolve usually around one personality. For Pakistan it has always been Quaid-e-Azam, for India it’s always been Gandhi. Here we have a proposition by Lahore based designer Shan ul Haq that celebrates several major personalities who played pivotal roles in the making of Pakistan.
Backside of the banknotes.Front of the banknotes.
The Designs in Detail:
Shan ul Haq’s designs are a blend of traditional and modern, with a striking minimalistic look much unlike Pakistan’s usual intricately patterned approach. Nevertheless enough elements from our current approach are preserved in the new designs. The traditional arabesque patterns as seen on our current notes make a showing on the new designs as well. The color selection is also reminiscent of our current notes; the 100 rupee bill, the laal note, is still red so as to facilitate the transition into the new system for the audience, the people.
For some reason, we don’t use our official name, ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’, on the banknotes. These ones make it a point to highlight our complete official name, as it is our country’s identity.
The majority of people hand over notes vertically when making purchases. All machines accept notes vertically. Therefore a vertical note makes more sense. While working on the project, there wasn’t an intention or motivation to send it as a proposal to the State Bank, but who knows!
Popping out of an ATM near you very soon…just kidding!
About the Designer
Shan Ul Haq is a communication designer from Lahore and his work focuses on concept design and branding. History appeals to him: he is a WWII historian and a collector, currently developing an alternative WWII ending in forms of info graphics and poster designs, inspired by Harry Turtledove‘s ‘Drive to the East’. Dowling Duncan’s Dollar Redesign served as a major inspiration for this project.