Designing the new £50
De La Rue worked collaboratively to realise the Banks vision and direction of the design. The aesthetic design of the new £50 was created by the Bank of England, before being passed over to De La Rue to complete the process of converting this design into a functional, printable banknote. This collaboration involved layering the chosen security elements and inherent security features of polymer substrate into the aesthetic representation of the note. In addition to the security element integration, our Design Engineering team ensures that the end vision for the banknote will complement the manufacturing process so that the notes can be printed as efficiently as possible.
By integrating all the elements of the banknote into the design, it intensifies the beauty, adding intuitive security and functionality to the banknote. This is delivered via complex windows and striking features, whilst still allowing for control, stability, and performance in the printing process. When designing for polymer, the greatest advantage is the substrate itself becoming an integral part of the total banknote design. Unlike paper, which carries the design, polymer is a fundamental and active participant in the design.
We use our expertise, modelling techniques, design rules, proofing prototypes, and pre-print trials to optimise the design and machine set up prior to commencing full production. This is the case for both paper and polymer substrates.
The Bank of England £50 is one of the most technologically advanced banknotes in the world and is printed on De La Rue’s fastest growing product, SAFEGUARD®.
Printing the £50
All Bank of England denominations are printed in Debden, Essex. In 2020 this site (owned by the Bank, but operated by De La Rue) manufactured more than 1.3 billion banknotes for the Bank of England. This year, Debden’s presses are running all day, every day for the first time to meet demand and take on work from closed facilities around the world.
The Debden site in the UK has seen a significant increase in throughput and performance since switching to polymer. The printing presses are frequently run at speeds of up to 10,000 sheets per hour, on both polymer substrates and paper, switching between substrates as needed.
De La Rue are the sole printer for the Bank of England and from July 2021 will be the majority substrate provider for the £5, £10 and £50 denominations. Following previous awards, this means that every Bank of England polymer denomination is printed on De La Rue’s SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate.