Soon after the Government of India released the new currency notes of 2000-rupee denomination, designers in India went into collective depression. Social media was flooded with comments on how badly designed the notes were, and how the GOI never asks competent designers to design anything. Many designers blogged in detail, pointing out the exact design problems with the new notes.
I don’t think the Indian Government has any SOP on how to create briefs for such public value projects, or on who exactly is supposed to do this. As designers we can only react after something comes out in the market, and by then it is too late for anyone to listen and make corrections. The Government is all focused on solving the cash crunch issues. For them, what matters is that the currency was designed and released in the market; whether pink or yellow is perhaps not even an issue.
Till the Government decides to appoint a designer in every department, the design community must proactively work and create certain visions that can be shared with relevant departments; these can perhaps serve as starting points when the departments face situations requiring design.
POOL is conducting a small contest called ‘Design Our Currency’. We will publish and publicly share the entries that come in. This will hopefully work as a reminder when the Government next plans to redesign our currency notes.
Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief