Paper Money

Hungarian artist designs fantasy notes with animals and flora

The vignette of a red fox appears on one side of the 50 "Hungarian euro" note designed by Barbara Bernat in Hungary.

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Recent designs for fantasy notes, the work of Barbara Bernát, an illustrator and graphic designer from Hungary, have a special touch. What makes these designs extra-special is that Bernát etched her designs on copper plates and then hand-pulled each example from the printing press.

She is a graduate student in the Graphic Design master’s program at the University of West Hungary.

Five  fantasy “Hungarian euro” denominations form her series — 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. One side of each fantasy note shows a European animal — lizard, dormouse, hooded crow, red fox and deer, respectively. The other side depicts native flora — grass, rowan leaves and berries, sycamore leaves, ferns and oak leaves.

She said she designed the paper notes for her master’s degree project because she “wanted to try something challenging.”

She adds, “Banknote design was a new field for me,” and, “I tried a new approach and portrayed animals instead of historical figures. It is very pleasant for me to work with real materials instead of digital media and the etching print gives a much more convincing result,” she said.

Images of her fantasy note designs and other examples of her work are on her Behance account, , an online portfolio for graphic artists, photographers and illustrators.

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