Problem: Design a currency for a fictional world that addresses an issue.
Solution: Identified a problem and proposed/designed the solution: three denominations of 50k, 100k, and 500k.
Software: Photoshop & Illustrator
Background: In COMD-242 Process and Production, we were tasked to design three denominations for a fictional world that also addresses an issue. I chose the world of Animal Crossing for two reasons: I love the game's universe (especially Tom Nook) and also because I identified a issue with the AC currency system if it were a reality.
Research and Concept Proposal
I started the project by breaking down three denominations from the Ukrainian Hryvnia to determine what the wants and needs for banknotes are. Additionally, I further researched the visual and functional uses for other banknote elements. I thought about all the fictional worlds I was familiar with and decided on Animal Crossing's Bell.
The Problem and Solution
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, residents have to pay Tom Nook with Bells.
The lowest amount of bells is 100 bells, which is a single bulky gold coin. Any higher values are stacked in a bag at the max of 990 coins per bag (for a total of 99,000 Bells per bag) which you carry around. This becomes an inconvenience when carrying higher amounts. And when you're making mortgage payments to a greedy but incredibly cute middle aged greedy raccoon, you shouldn't need to pay in bags of coins.
So, I propose the Bell Bills, which reduces coin bags into banknotes of higher denominations. Based on the average mortgage payment amount, I determined that the 50k, 100k, and 500k banknotes were appropriate denominations.
Rapid Prototype Iterations
I created 8 different layouts with different color palettes and typefaces. With these prototypes, I chose three to continue developing. Then, I created two denominations for each of the three layouts. For the colors, I went for a blue, red, and yellow color palette to match the bright, playfulness environment of the game while maintaining a semi-serious feel for the banknotes.
Complete Draft vs. Final Deliverable
From those three, I decided to expand on the first design with more graphic elements and further texture treatment. In the last stage of iterations, I improved contrast issues and added the final banknote features I was originally missing.
I enjoyed the project immensely as it was my first time studying and designing banknotes from scratch. I also really enjoy working in the Animal Crossing universe and of course was ecstatic to involve Tom Nook's character and design in my work. Overall, it challenged me to consider functional design choices beyond material limitations. I now have a newfound appreciation for currency design!