Creating through repeated ‘observations’ and ‘refashioning’
-What skills does one need to attain a realistic likeness for fictional banknotes?
Observation skills and refashioning, I should think.
Without question, you must have the keen observation skills. During your free time, look at a banknote with a magnifying glass then think, ‘how is this pattern/design made? Is it made this way or like that?’
Then put those answers into practice and see if it works or not. And observe again - it’s by repeating this process that one can learn how to make your designs realistic.
Besides fictional banknotes, I also made parodies of news broadcasts as well as articles. The process of creating them are all the same for me.
A series of neatly filed banknotes and a foldable magnifying glass.
- What does it take to reach your level of “observation” and “refashioning”?
In order to grasp the ability of ‘refashioning’, I think it’s important to have many samples that you can observe.
For example, if you’re given a 1000 yen banknote and being told to “find what makes this design realistic” - you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference unless you put the 1000 yen of various series (Series C, D and E) and all sorts of banknotes of different eras side by side that you can look at all sorts of details and then compare it to the U.S. dollar...
In my case, doing so would give me an idea or two.
*Series C, D and E 1000 yen bills - the names of the 1000 yen banknote designs. The current circulation of 1000 yen banknotes are referred to as Series E.
- I see. This also means that without banknotes to observe, one is also unable to refashion them.
Tutorial: How to make a “guilloche”
Here’s a tutorial of how olo makes their “guilloche” on Illustrator!
Make a pattern by overlapping wavelengths
Draw your desired length of a line and then choose ‘Effects’ > ‘Distort and Transform’ > ‘Zig Zag (smooth points)’ which will give you a wavy line.
Copy the wavy line that you made and paste it in a slightly different location each time. Repeat the process and this will be the base for your guilloche.
Make the base into a pattern brush
Save your base by choosing the ‘options’ in the ‘Brushes’ panel, and choose ‘New Brushes’ then ‘Pattern Brush’.
Distorting your guilloche base and turn it into a mesh
While we used ‘Distort and Transform’ to alter the lines or shapes to prepare it as a pattern brush, we will use this command, ‘Object’ > ‘Envelope Distort’ > ‘Make with Mesh…’ for this part of the tutorial.
Altering the shape of your guilloche
You can alter the shape of the mesh by moving the control points up or down.
A process of trial and error
Through a process of trial and error, you can make all sorts of guilloches simply by repeating the process of ‘making the base > save as a pattern brush > then distort again’. As this is something I improvised, it doesn’t look good at all (laughs) Even so, you still can take out parts of the guilloche for future use.
Once it’s done, set them away as your collection of materials
Once you made something that resembles a guilloche, save it and you can use them when you design a fictional banknote.
Actual people who make guilloches for real banknotes also sets them aside as they use the geometric lathe though it will be silly for me to be considered in the same league as them (awkward laugh)