The World's First Black Banknote

Immersed in the Darkness of Nothingness, printed with light: with digitization, Money is becoming increasingly independent of physical matter. It is approaching nothingness, a state where everything is absent, including light. We took the light away – and then brought it back by printing light. A dark dance floor only welcomes a dancer who is its exact oppostie: light.

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A banknote is presented in this film. A voiceover describes the individual characteristics and special features of this banknote and why colors play a special role. Several scenes in the film visually depict the motifs, play of colors and security features that make the banknote so unique.



IGNIS is the world‘s first black banknote. A cooperation designed to foster dialogue about the future of money, it shows that future banknotes can be conceived much differently than today‘s banknotes.

The Blackest Substrate

Durasafe® is Landqart’s highly secure composite substrate, paper-polymer-paper. The paper layers are dyed directly at the papermill with the blackest black ever used for banknotes – a new level 1 anti-copy feature making it easy to identify counterfeits, because the copy will always appear grey in comparison to the original.

Silk Screen Pigments that Reflect Light

Together with Lorenz Boegli, the inventor of a technique, which is new to banknotes, we printed light on the blackest substrate – a place where light is absent. This was done with iridescent pigments that reflect light instead of absorbing it (like conventional pigments) and a special additive fourcolour screen print.

High Security Chip

For CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) documents or other digital services a chip from the leading chip manufacturer can be built into the cavity of a half window. This chip uses NFC and can access a full range of digital payment services that a central bank wishes to offer. Hold your mobile phone against it to test its functionality.

Applied Patch label

A laminating patch by Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG shelters the chip. Its dynamic and diffractive effects are unique to banknotes and stage perfectly on a black background. In doing so, the patch not only protects the chip but the banknote as a whole.

Front view of IGNIS

Front view of IGNIS (Download, 72dpi)



The back of the note acts as a stage for various elements, effects or hidden details that perform perfectly on their dark underground. This is why we let black claim most of the space.

RGB Luminescent Offset

Excited by black light, Luminescent-inks can also be used to print light on a black substrate. SICPA‘s trichromatic Luminescent-inks with its base colours red, green, and blue blend into photo-realistic images.

Bright Intaglio

On a white substrate, shadow accents are printed. On black, this is not possible, since the colour black is already the deepest shadow. We need to print light accents, and this is achieved with whitish intaglio.

Spark Flow®

On black, the brilliance of SICPA’s SPARK Flow® is engaging and captivating. The dimension effect creates a threedimensional impression of the triangle, the alchemical symbol for fire.

Security Foil

A KINEGRAM COLORS® laminating foil, was applied in full registration. On the dark background, the buzzling flames are shown to their best advantage.

Serial Number

The serial number serves as unique identification. It is achieved via conventional letterpress or an innovative perforation method, depending on the distribution. Depending on the distribution you have either the first or the latter.

Rear view of IGNIS

Rear view of IGNIS (Download, 72dpi)

Do you have any questions?

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