Paper Money

Artist revisits old idea with corporate paper money

Ray Kroc of McDonald’s and one of the fast food giant’s sandwiches appear on a private note imagined by artist Jade Dalloul and profiled by CNN.

Original images courtesy of Jade Dalloul.

Even though private currencies are well-known to collectors of obsolete currency, they are apparently something new to CNN, which published a story on Aug. 30 called “What if Companies Printed their Own Currencies? “

It is estimated that there were in the area of 8,000 issuers of private paper currency in the United States alone before the Civil War, so while the idea is not new, Jade Dalloul, a Parisian art director and motion designer, is giving it a fresh perspective.

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As part of an art project called “Brand Currency,” Dalloul adopted a thesis of “What would happen if companies become States?” and “In this case, could companies issue their own currency?” 

His designs adopt company mission statements as if they are national mottoes, and use portraits of company patriarchs, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s as if they are statesmen. He also uses elements from a company’s history, for instance, a Shell gas pump, Apple’s corporate campus, the Golden Arches, and a barista preparing a latte. Explaining how he developed his designs, he told CNN, “Banknote aesthetics are really linked to the richness of culture, history and personalities of their countries. On top of that, you have the anti-counterfeiting elements that take (up) a lot of space.”

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Dalloul also applies the technical aspects of modern paper money production. He says he adopted vertical and horizontal reading directions as on the Swiss franc, chose the monetary units used by the U.S. dollar, and the height and width proportions of the euro. The notes also consider modern printing techniques and anti-counterfeiting devices.

In the event his motives are questioned, Dalloul says: “This project is an art graduation work, a pure fiction. I do not intend any infringing.”

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