Another bit of character study for Brian


Colin Hunt-Officer Joker from ‘The Fast Show’

I was inspired by a shop keeper that i came into contact with today, the sheer awkwardness in his attempt to make me laugh produced a tense atmosphere. I felt as if he was desperately searching for a way to bond with me in the short cashier-consumer scenario. A small pity smirk crossed my face…in the end, I’ve been on the other side of that scenario and i know what it’s like trying desperately to

1-Entertain yourself and

2-Engage with someone who is simply in contact with you for the shortest time possible, in order to make a purchase.

Thinking about it, It’s a very unnatural scenario.

often forced pleasantries are passed around between consumer and cashier in a fain attempt aimed to soften the implicit exchange of power between both parties, no REAL conversation is ever made, no TRUE exchange of ideas

it’s close to a non-event. Both parties know that the exchange will happen, it’s just a case of going through the motions. there’s no real negotiation, it’s not a ‘deal’ (other than in an abstract exchange of monetary value for consumerable goods) each parties roles are predetermined. One Provides…the other, Takes.

Psychologically, the characters in this story are Dominant/Subordinate. Does the sense of awkwardness derive from the dynamics of their relevant positions?.

Does the Subordinate character appear desperate because he/she is attempting to level the playing field?, are they trying to adjust the balance of power?,  but do they end up overreacting and by revealing how hard they are trying and actually end up project a sensation of weakness and desperation. In contrast does the Dominater present an aura of power by underplaying their involvement ( even though they must initiate the interaction)

I like the idea of improvising in this scenario, i think i can get more out of it than simple seaside town panto entertainment. I do want Brian to be more than that.

I feel that there’s something already quite bizarre about this scenario and i want to highlight it.

I guess the question I’m left with is:

Can I encourage ‘Shop’s viewers to think about the role they play next time they go shopping?

I’ll leave with this last video of Colin Hunt being superseded by Keith Uckyourself


This is the final design I did for the shop banknotes. I completely re did parts, like the drawing of Martin and edited certain elements from the previous design. I’ve tried to give the design an etched look, creating line based pattern fills and generally using line for most of the design.

Based on the discussion we had I used exact change as the denomination of currency.

I was planning to print the money using silkscreen or lithograph but I would also test it out on inkjet which as it turned out, works pretty well but before I decided to commit to printing the money via inkjet, I printed out the design on a laser printer to see what the difference in detail was and whether it was worth bothering with lithographs considering the extra time and effort. So I talked to Jess about it and decided that the possibility of a slight increase in detail didn’t justify all the extra time and effort, especially when printing more than one colour would double the printing time.

I was quite proud of my work on the fake notes, a few people thought they were real when at first I handed them a note. I was concerned about the trouble I might get in for making something so similar to actual banknotes when we were looking to do shop in Bournemouth but the idea of doing it in London got me a lot more worried.
I’m sure it would make an amusing story for my fellow prisoners if they were to lock me up for it but that wouldn’t really justify going ahead with the plan as is and distributing them in Selfridges.

So I talked about what to do with the group. We discussed various options; making them less realistic or not using them at all. I’m still unsure what to do.

Today I met up with Ellie K and we went to see the money at the British Museum as research for her project and came across this interesting note.

Equitable Labour Exchange note worth 10 hours work

As it says on the British museum website, it’s a note issued as part of a scheme set up by Robert Owen (1771-1858), the Socialist reformer and philanthropist.

He’s best know for his mills at New Lanark. I’ve been to New Lanark in the past, it’s a interesting place to visit if you’re interested in cooperative socialism. I really liked it.

Robert Owen opened two ‘Equitable Labour Exchanges’ in London and Birmingham. Workers exchanged their goods for special notes, which were valued according to the time needed to produce items: these notes could then be used to buy other goods, which were valued in the same way. An hour’s work was worth sixpence. This note from the Birmingham branch is worth ten hours; Robert Owen’s name can be seen to the lower right. The experiment failed because the exchanges became overstocked with goods which did not sell.

Anyway, Ellie K and I were talking about producing a note like this instead of a fake banknote. We have already said on our note is redeemable for 10 minutes of our time. They can still be as highly detailed and contain many of the same elements that are on the existing note but they wouldn’t be a stand in for money.
Their worth would be measured in our time, in the same way as Owen’s ELE, they would use this token to purchase the time we used to make each product, in that sense they would only be used to get products if we can word it so on the note.

The other thing we were discussing was printing this note one sided. On the reverse we can put the exhibition title, date and location so that they would essentially double up was advertising for shop which we could give out as leaflets or invitations to the exhibition.

Hey I think good for all to watch this… or look at my notes and decide whether your interested.

Utopias and Avant-Gardes Study Day – Part 8

‘MICROTOPIA’ and Relational Art
Relational art is a particular type of art or trend that came to rise in early 90’s, here she focuses on the artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and Thomas Hischhorn.

Suggested Reading:
Thomas Hirshhorn, calos basualdo LONDON Phaldon 2004
Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics, claire bishop, october no.110, 2004

here are my notes…
some defining characteristics of relational works
-turning gallery into a social space
-including viewers
-hybrid of performance art & installation art
but different from performance art because its the viewer who performs by responding to the created context and different from installation because have to use the space to discern meaning or value.
-a collective presence
-social interaction

The disillusionment of commodifiable
no longer producer of Art object but of an encounter

an example of his work

Thai Artist- Rirkrit Tiravanija
recreation of apartment
-reverse of the ready made- by using it (like peeing into duchump’s urinal)
-trigger for social situations- ‘encounter’
-domestic back drop & activity
-less formal relationship to gallery environment
-no white walls and no invigilators
-more accessible

Relation art and audience

The work envisages audience as a community, many people experiencing the work together and interacting with each other in the context set up by the work instead of the traditional idea that the viewer are isolated individuals- with one to one relationship with the work.

Idea of tradition one to one experience is that it transcends/eclipses reality

Reading: Micheal Fried- Art and Objecthood

Modernist theory- the traditional viewer of art audience
“presence is grace”
Art absorbs us and suspends us from the world (the everyday and we forget or transcend our context)
Private and alone the viewer is eclipsed by the work
60’s -70’s
Rosalind Krauss (predominate art academic) say its a myth

Don't no the name of the piece

Dan Grayham installation  1970’s
A room with 2 mirrored walls and a surveillance camera recording and relaying to a screen with an 8 second delay.

-viewers become more and more self conscious

If 70’s art was about understanding our perceptual relationship to others,
then 90’s art had more urgency, more political emphasis- less philosophic more about actual relations.

“capitalism depends on an idea of the privatised individual consumer, leading to an interest in producing works of art that emphasises our status as social or collective subjects, there’s been an resurgence of interest in collectivity and community in last 15 years which is in opposition to the idea that capitalism erodes the social bonds” -Claire Bishop

Reflected in many works that
questions (the problematic of) individual and society- like use with the collective really having to consider us as individuals and us in or as the group

Rirkrit Tiravanija came to success cos …

Recession of early 90’s
A rise of galleries taking more experimental approach to showing art, he produced a work where he relocated the gallery storage zone and office into the exhibition space and turned the back room in to the usable space-  with tables and food, work was about what happen and then there was the traces of activities.

Historical art linage of these works

-works like John cage 4minutes 33seconds
-Fluxus activities
-Instruction pieces – triggers like yoko ono’s

An Instruction Piece By Yoko Ono

Institutional critiques
Micheal Asher’s installation- 1976
Took out a wall of the gallery exposing the office, The director of the gallery and staff
So you see the business side -sense of economic

Nicolas Bourriaud coin the term Relational Art, this art came about as the reactions to now…

-Internet and do it yourself attitude
-Economy shift- not an economy of goods producers but of service industries
-erosion of social relationships in a society governed by market pressures
-individualism and consumption

The Society of The Spectacle, 1967 Guy Debord
A manifesto riling against the divisive and alienating effects of capitalism.
Capitalism prompted collapse of collective identity and produced society of passive alienated individuals
“ people are united but only in their separation from each other, it is a false relationship of togetherness that is constructed and controlled by commercial interests”

Today examples are programmes like Big Brother with its false relationships generated spectacle, public to the house mates… celebrities

he called for more authentic social relationships based on active engagement rather than passive consumption

In the 1960’s
change and optimism
student protests-(didn’t work out, didn’t change the world into utopian dream)

Then Post-modernism – A hostile reaction to Modernism with its ideas of Progress and Utopia
Art and Theory became preoccupied with difference- identity, class, race and gender etc.

Small scale harmony- No grand scheme for world to follow
Not solve worlds problems just make things a bit better in the here and now

Instead of trying to change our world artist are simply “learning to inhabit the world in a better way” (Nicolas Bourriaud)
‘It seems more pressing to invent possible relations with our neighbours in the present than to bet on happier tomorrows’

Do it yourself/Microtopian ethos
core of relational artificial
-Relief of possible totalitarian peril of utopia
-Reluctance to impose big ideas on other people

Immanuel Wallerstein book Utopistics

NEGATIVES OF Microtopia- this sort of work
Too quickly resign to compensatory gestures
Can’t change world so just change immediate surroundings- (lots just in gallery)
Not very ambitious

compared to say Russian Constructivist- ‘Art for the people! Art into Life!’, proclaimed the Russian Constructivists in 1917
Try to form a better world through design,clothing, art, architecture etc.
good design = harmony

with Relational Aesthetics… seem no real change… ???

Every utopia has a border and limit
They are always defined negatively by what they are not!

Thomas Hirschhorn
-work at the limit and border of social interactions
early work 90’s
Road memorial- appropriated everyday sculptural materials and objects
but as altars to artist not to an anonymous dead people

OUTSIDE ART CONTEXT-Risk not being read as a work of art at all
like many artist working in public arena regards any interaction as positive even destruction

Ulounge-about theme of utopia… exert from Tate website
“Thomas Hirschhorn brings two works to the poker party. One is Hotel Democracy (2003), which he describes as ‘a sculpture of an uncertain building embodying different concepts, realisations, misunderstandings, perversions, hopes, dreams and disasters of democracy’. Peering into this huge, two-storey, 44-room structure, we see creepy kid-size furniture and political posters – American, Chinese, Iranian, Swiss – each of them representing the souring of a sweet, precious principle. U-Lounge (2003) is very different: a sort of cultural laboratory-cum-hotel lobby built into the gallery’s structure that makes use, in a hopeful gesture, of its river views. The visitor is provided with books, videos and copies of works by the Vorticists and Marcel Duchamp. As the ‘U’ suggests, this is a utopian space – somewhere to sit, read, talk and think – embodying the artist’s belief that humanity’s paradise ‘is inside art, philosophy and poetry’. Reflecting on the show’s title, Hirschhorn has said: ‘Democracy is the “common”, utopia is the real “wealth”.’ With U Lounge, he plays the part of the rich man bearing alms.”

His monument to Bataille for Documenta 11( every 5 years most important contempoary art exhibiton)

like many relational works its temporary and made of cheap shody materials, not grand in appearance.

Monument to Bataille was miles for art gallery.. set in many locations in and around a poor housing estate and you had to wait for a speical local cab to take you too and from… tension- social zoo effect-locals and visitors watching eachother… very different people and socail back grounds the vistors… many were wealthy art people coming into very deprived area.
Uneasy – Not idealising human behaviour… IT IS IN OUR NATURE … not to get along with everyone to fight and hate as well as thing love and respect
Confront human social limits
created these very fragile encounters

all this 24 mins of a talk…. lots to think about in relation to our work and aims for the future!

video is from


Looked through this really good website today, going to post parts from this particular excerpt. It acts as a good back up for our use of media imagery, particularly the 1950’s Americana nuclear family


Re-Imagining the American Dream

By Elizabeth Thoman

Like most middle-class children of the 50s, I grew up looking for the American Dream. In those days there were no cartoons in my Saturday viewing, but I distinctly remember watching, with some awe, Industry on Parade. I felt both pride and eager anticipation as I watched tail-finned cars rolling off assembly lines, massive dams taming mighty rivers and sleek chrome appliances making life more convenient for all.

When I heard the mellifluous voice of Ronald Reagan announce on GE Theatre that “Progress is our most important product,” little did I realize that the big box in our living room was not just entertaining me. At a deeper level, it was stimulating an “image” in my head of how the world should work: that anything new was better than something old; that science and technology were the greatest of all human achievements and that in the near future — and certainly by the time I grew up — the power of technology would make it possible for everyone to live and work in a world free of war, poverty, drudgery and ignorance.

I believed it because I could see it–right there on television.

The American Dream, however, was around long before television. Some believe the idea of “progress” goes back to when humankind first conceived of time as linear rather than cyclical. Certainly the Judeo-Christian heritage of a Messiah leading us to a Promised Land inspired millions to strive for a better world for generations to come.

Indeed, it was the search for the “City on the Hill” that brought the Puritans to the American colonies and two centuries later sent covered wagons across the prairies. In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans “never stop thinking of the good things they have not got,” creating a “restlessness in the midst of prosperity” that drives them ever onward.

It is this search for “something-more than-what-we’ve-got-now” that is at the heart of the consumer culture we struggle with today. But the consumer culture as we know it could never have emerged without the invention of the camera and the eventual mass-production of media images it made possible.

Reproducing Pictures

In 1859 Oliver Wendell Holmes described photography as the most remarkable achievement of his time because it allowed human beings to separate an experience or a texture or an emotion or a likeness from a particular time and place- and still remain real, visible, and permanent. He described it as a “conquest over matter” and predicted it would alter the physics of perception, changing forever the way people would see and understand the world around them Holmes precisely observed that the emergence of this new technology marked the beginning of a time when the “image would become more important than the object itself and would in fact make the object disposable.” Contemporary advertising critic Stuart Ewen describes the photographic process as “skinning” the world of its visible images, then marketing those images inexpensively to the public.

the wheels of industrialization began to mass produce more and more consumer goods, they also increased the leisure time available to use these products and the disposable income ~ required to buy them. Soon the well-being of the economy itself became dependent on an ever-expanding cornucopia of products, goods and services…. as media critic Todd Gitlin notes, “production, packaging, marketing, advertising and sales became functionally inseparable.” The flood of commercial images also served as a rough-and-ready consumer education course for the waves of immigrants to America’s shores and the thousands of rural folk lured to the city by visions of wealth. Advertising was seen as a way of educating the masses ” to the cycle of the marketplace and to the imperatives of factory work and mechanized labor–teaching them “how to behave like human beings in the machine age,” according to the Boston department store magnate, Edward A. Filene. In a work world where skill meant less and less, obedience and appearance took on greater importance. In a city full of strangers, advertising offered instructions on how to dress, how to behave, how to appear to others in order to gain approval and avoid rejection.

Granted, the American “standard of living” brought an end to drudgery for some, but it demanded a price for all: consumerism. Divorced from craft standards, work became merely the means to acquire the money to buy the goods and lifestyle that supposedly signified social acceptance, respect, even prestige. “Ads spoke less and less about the quality of the products being sold,” notes Stuart Ewen, “and more about the lives of the people being addressed.”

In 1934, when the Federal Communications Commission approved advertising as the economic basis of the country’s fledgling radio broadcasting system, the die was cast. Even though early broadcasters pledged to provide free time for educational programs, for coverage of religion and for news (creating the famous phrase: the “public interest, convenience and necessity”), it wasn’t long before the industry realized that time was money–and every minute counted. Since free enterprise dictates that it’s better to make money than to lose it, the American commercial broadcasting system was born. But it was not until the 1950s that the image culture came into full flower. The reason? Television.

So who needed television? No one, really. What needed television, in 1950, was the economy. The post-war economy needed television to deliver first to America–and then to the rest of the world–the vision, the image, of life in a consumer society. We didn’t object because we thought it was, well, just “progress.”

What Price Progress?

Kalle Lasn, a co-founder of the Canadian media criticism and environmentalist magazine Adbusters, explains how dependence on television first occurred and continues today each time we turn on our sets: “In the privacy of our living rooms we made a devil’s bargain with the advertising industry: Give us an endless flow of free programs and we’ll let you spend 12 minutes of every hour promoting consumption. For a long time, it seemed to work. The ads grated on our nerves but it was a small price to pay for ‘free’ television.” “What we didn’t realize when we made our pact with the advertisers was that their agenda would eventually become the heart and soul of television. We have allowed the most powerful communications tool ever invented to become the command center of a consumer society defining our lives and culture the way family, community and spiritual values once did.”

This does not mean that when we see a new toilet paper commercial we’re destined to rush down to the store to buy its new or improved brand. Most single commercials do not have such a direct impact. What happens instead is a cumulative effect. Each commercial plays its part in selling an overall consumer lifestyle. As advertising executive Stephen Garey noted in a recent issue of Media&Values, when an ad for toilet paper reaches us in combination with other TV commercials, magazine ads, radio spots and billboards for detergents and designer jeans, new cars and cigarettes, and soft drinks and cereals and computers, the collective effect is that they all teach us to buy. And to feel somehow dissatisfied and inadequate unless we have the newest, the latest, the best.

Just like our relatives at the turn of the century, we learned quickly to yearn for “what we have not got” and to take our identities from what we own and purchase rather than from who we are or how we interact with others. Through consuming things, through buying more and more, we continue the quest for meaning which earlier generations sought in other ways — conquering the oceans, settling the land, building the modern society, even searching for transcendence through religious belief and action. With few places on earth left to conquer today, the one endless expanse of exploration open to us is the local shopping mall.

Transcending Materialism

Thus the modern dilemma: While few of us would turn in our automatic washing machines for a scrub board or exchange our computers for a slide rule, neither can we expect the images of the past to provide the vision for the future. We must recognize the trade-offs we have made and take responsibility for the society we have created.

For many today, the myth of “progress” is stuttering to a stop. The economic slowdown of the early P0s presents only the most recent example of the human suffering created by the boom and bust cycles of the consumer economy. But even if some magic formula could make steady economic growth attainable, we can no longer afford it. Material limits have been set by the earth itself. Unlimited exploitation in the name of “progress” is no longer sustainable.

True progress, in fact, would be toward a materially renewable lifestyle that would fulfill the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of all — not just some — of the world’s people, while allowing them to live in peace and freedom. Under such a system, communication’s most important aim would be to bring people together. Selling things would be a part of its function, but not the whole.

In many ways we are living in a new world, and around that world hungry eyes are turning toward the Western democracies’ longstanding promises of freedom and abundance — the promises the media has so tantalizingly presented.

Yet behind the media culture’s constantly beckoning shop window lies an ever-widening gap. West or East, North or South, the flickering images of the media remain our window on the world, but they bear less and less relationship to the circumstances of our day-to-day lives. Reality has fallen out of sync with the pictures, but still the image culture continues.

Elizabeth Thoman, a pioneering leader in the U.S. media literacy field, founded Media&Values magazine in 1977 and the Center for Media Literacy in 1989. She is a graduate of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and continues her leadership through this website, consulting, speaking and as a founding board member of the Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA).

(source )


Hey all!

I’m just starting research for my essay finally managed to get out of bed and read something!

I’m reading the essay A Genealogy of Participatory Art by Boris Groys, it’s pretty interesting stuff and its lead me back to thinking about what we are doing, or trying to do, us as a group and more specifically with Project ‘Shop’.

Maybe some of us know the answers already, maybe some of us are defining them through our essay writing but if not after this stress is over with

we need to find our group and/or individual positions on what we are doing, the different aspects of the project and the art we are making.

Whatever political and ideological statements we are making, we need to be aware, refine and define our understandings of it otherwise were not learning and we would just be having some fun… and I think we are definitely working too hard and definitely not having enough fun for this just to be frivolous play!

so after essay deadline I think each of us should read a piece of critical text relating to the content of this project… economy, consumerism, high-street culture, selling of ideas, buying the perfect life… and to continue reading context related texts about use of slack space, art and commodity and participation and collective and collaborative working.

Then through this blog we can consolidate all our research and thoughts and each one of us can become very well-informed individuals indeed.

what do you guys think?


Here’s a short list of Advert Spoofs I think are inspiring, there are several elements I would like to include in our own adverts.

I admit I have gone a little Peter Serafinowicz MAD. His clips are an interesting mix of Kitch 1970’s adverts and more modern infomercial.

This first one ‘Complico’ is a fantastic example of the absurdity in commercial advertising, great use of language


The post production on this clip utterly makes it. The highly stylized yet simplistic format is so widely used. The language of this clip is so familiar. I love the way it’s presented, as if it’s a no nonsense approach, but it is then juxtaposed with the nonsensical confusing information.

as a reference take a look at this currys advert from the 1980’s


The next ad spoof ‘Kitchen Gun’ is again a simple piece of exaggeration on a real advert, although the content is absurd…even surreal, it does strongly reflect the voice of advertising, every detail references the ‘Cillit Bang’ adverts. The mise en scene is simplistic, the use of shots, simple establishing shots mixed with close up shots. The whip pans and quick zooms. All presenting the concept of IMPACT, as if the way in which the advert is presented directly reflects the force of the product itself


The ‘Cillit Bang’ adverts became a popular object of ridicule within the public eye

it became popular to spoof and subvert these style of adverts that some became full blown meme’s (meme- is “a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena”-’wikipedia’ )

The fact of the matter is, I couldn’t even find the original advert,the spoof it’self has far outweighed the original, i think this Techno Remix video is so hyperbolic that it more than proves my earlier point about production values even better than the original



That ad is even more meme-tastic in this troper’s home country, where they for some inexplicable reason gave the guy a native name and dubbed the add in a really crappy way where the dialogue doesn’t match his lip movement at all.
The dialogue doesn’t even match in the original either..”


The atmosphere in this next clip, is closer to the ambiance I want inside of ‘Shop’


The fake…glossy…caked-on layer of obnoxious and hazey superficiality Is exactly what is conjured in my mind when i think about consumerism.

Again the mise en scene is made to measure. It’s use of non threatening soft pastel colours are designed to engender a calm sense of non resistance and friendliness. This includes the camera and editing work. The use of slow dissolves, straightforward framing and typographic captions are also designed to make the content as palatable to as wide an array of viewers as possible. This soporific attitude is similar to the design of early morning talk shows. This sense of a forged and fake atmosphere is encompassed in the performance of the actors in this genre of entertainment. Peter Serafinowicz’s performance reflects this sensation brilliantly, his use of false laughter and over dramatic pausing as well as his appearance as ‘Nancy Cohlesterholes’

take a look at this clip as a reference to the reality of Teleshopping


Bellow is a clip from the Excellent Charlie Brookers Screenwipe, it’s a series that explores media language it a critical and often wry manner. This piece on Presenters i believe fits well to my impressions.

‘Charlie Brooker Screenwipe’ play from 1:20


This next clip for me, reflects the language of adverting most succinctly. Creating and presenting a problem, and then a solution. As if the product or service is offering an answer to a question within the viewers mind. The use of narration interests me as a stylistic choice and helps to make a reference to the sometimes patronizing relationship between advert and viewer


another reflection on this relationship can be found here


Through searching through these spoofs of adverts and finding their real life counterparts. I’ve found the elements of what i want the ‘Shop’ adverts to reflect

  • Low Tech appearance
  • Overly complicated Post production, especially typography
  • Obnoxious voice over/ narration
  • Exaggerated visual presentation
  • and a performance evoking  a soporific and patronizing presenter

This is Cellu-Lite, a multi-purpose beauty spread. Yeah, you heard. I decided to ‘develop’ Cellu-lite’s unique formulae as a backlash to the volumes of so-called anti-aging or miracle cosmetic products that are on the market. The adverts for these products are packed with quasi-science mixed with consumer opinion polls to give you the latest serum which maps and scans the contours of your face on application and works to plump and smooth your naturally aging skin. Apparently..

Patrick, Martin and I worked on this, and in early discussions, we decided we wanted it to have many ‘uses’ or to develop a product range that would span a few of the absurd aspects of cosmetic consumer culture. We thought that a product that could be used on the face, toast and furniture was an absurd enough span.

Here is some quasi science from real life:

Here is some quasi-science from Cellu-Lite:

I opted to use language that would mimic the existing blurb of cosmetic packaging. To translate, The New Beauty Spread from Cellu-Lite has been made out of a mix of fats that were found underground.

Please take a closer look at this:

This stuff is £460 for 60ml.  Apparently it’s been bio-engineered. Got to love the science words, there.

Today I had a really useful talk with print technician Jess about how to fabricate the fake money for Shop. I showed her the stuff I’ve been working on and we talked about engraving, intaglio, lithographs, etc.

I’ve been working on the money thing like it’s a personal side project; it’s been great for developing my skill in Illustrator and design. Although having said that, I think it’s quite an integral part of the whole Shop experience and I would like some input from everyone else.

The First note I made for the project I made mostly as a joke because it was a straight up copy of a £10 banknote with Martin’s face instead of the Queen.

After I showed it to Martin; we started working on making it something a lot less like an actual banknote and introducing elements which related to the idea of shop. Although a lot of it is based on in-jokes.
I have fully redone this note a few times now but I’ve constantly been making lots of small changes especially as I’ve gotten better at using Illustrator and I look back at things that could be improved.

The Money we used for mini-shop was this old design printed on normal paper using an Inkjet Printer and while it worked okay for mini-Shop; a couple of people commented on how it either didn’t go with the aesthetic of Shop; either because it wasn’t hand made or because it wasn’t cardboard. Quite a few people also gave the money back. I think one problem is that it simply lacked any intrinsic value; which is the whole point of money.
Although Banknotes are technically Fiat money having themselves no intrinsic value, they are backed up by the intrinsic money of the bank which makes them and are therefor treated as if they are intrinsic money. It’s for that reason I decided it would work better if our fake money felt like it had some intrinsic worth, by printing the money on rag paper to give it that money feel and by printing them myself using etching or whatever technique achieved the best results but wasn’t too time consuming.
So I started doing research into how money is actually made but the best information I could find was from guides about counterfeiting.

How Counterfeiting Works

. . . however, there is quite a good website for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing which has some interesting information. I like the the fact that the original plates for money are all hand engraved.

One thing about the designs I’d done which I didn’t like is that they don’t have that engraved look. That’s why I’ve began drawing the notes again from scratch; using the same etched style found on banknotes but still doing it on illustrator.

I was showing this to Jess earlier and one problem that came up was that I might not be able to print with this level of detail but aside from that it was quite good. Jess suggested I use lithograph printing. So that’s the plan for now. I’ll either find a printer which can print this level of detail onto acetate or change the design but either way, lithographs is the way to go.

Here’s Darth Vader :D

cardboard and uv

so it works fine