House Notes


Notes that Speak to Design, Technology and Aesthetics

CURRENCY NEWS, JULY 2021 – Crane Currency holds a holistic view of banknotes, with a passion to continuously strive to integrate new security features, substrate enhancements, print and design. With an ever-increasing number of technologies being introduced, Crane Currency remains continuously end-user oriented with product design and feature integration at its core.

For two decades, the Crane Design Team has honed its skills, explored new technologies and educated central banks on matters of design and technology through its production of house notes, averaging the creation of a new house note every year.

“The Crane Design Team sees itself more as architects and product designers than creators of a banknote aesthetic. This is an ongoing evolution of mindset and skill and comes with the emergence of new and exciting technologies, and the ongoing collection and application of experience”, said Karin Mörck-Hamilton, Director of Global Design Crane Currency.

2018 – The ‘Malta Note’ Featuring MOTION SURFACE®

The Malta House Note was the second house note produced by Crane Currency to feature its micro-optic feature MOTION SURFACE®. From the most modern banknote printing works in the industry, and having the industry’s first micro-optic stripe, the Malta House Note speaks to the global appeal of experience and expertise, cutting-edge technology, and aesthetics.

Motion Surface Animation

Its principal public security feature, the 10mm wide MOTION SURFACE stripe, has the visual effects Deep, Shimmer and Topo – the latter being the subject of a research study conducted by Birmingham University that showed it enables the general public to detect counterfeits reliably with just a glance.

2019 – The ‘Bug Note’ Featuring RAPID® Detect

The Bug Note was designed to introduce another industry first, a machine-readable RAPID® micro-optic security thread which includes an invisible near IR-absorbing material that produces unique responses at different wavelengths. It is easily interrogated with sensors that today exist in most banknote equipment, from those used at POS to the high-speed processing equipment employed by central banks.

The theme of bugs provided spectacular subjects that included naturally occurring phenomena involving iridescence, ultraviolet and even near infrared wavelengths, i.e., those that we humans cannot see but can be displayed and/or detected by many types of insects. The Bug Note’s combination of visible and invisible features makes it a study of functionality effectively balancing and integrating security features for both the public and machines.

2018 – ‘The World in MOTION’ House Note featuring full Crane Micro-Optics

The World in Motion note was the Crane Design Team’s submission to the World Banknote Project sponsored by the International Banknote Designers Association. Crane’s goal was twofold: to stimulate thinking, and to show off the diversity of talent and skills resident within its team.

Crane embraced the idea that its theme would be truly worldwide selecting global climate change from a shortlist of ideas generated by the team.

Leveraging the micro-optic technology behind the security features MOTION®, RAPID® and MOTION SURFACE®, the Crane Design Team created a fully micro-optic banknote integrating all three technologies. The front of banknote features the South Pole. The team brought depth to the flat space of the banknote with Topo effects that bulge out from the note surface with an apex of up to 10mm above the note. In the plane of the banknote itself, there is a micro-optic-propelled compass effect integrated with offset and intaglio printing. Tilting the note towards and away from you ‘blows’ snow from side-to-side; and tilting the note left and right sends the snowflakes rotating in place.

On the reverse of the note, the North Pole provides storytelling with movement. The Topo feature and compass effect tie themes on the front of the note to the back. Topo bubbles are rendered in a different colour from their surrounding micro-optic effects. This heightens contrast and enforces the separation of their above-the-surface feeling from the dynamic Deep water molecule icons below.