Responses by Raphael Vandystadt, director of sustainability & institutional relations, Africa
Background: Our main purpose has always been to drive the attention of the world on the importance of valuing professional journalism, and on the need to invite new readers and subscribers so that newspapers like Folha De S.Paulo can maintain their editorial independence.
Reasoning: The idea was to be as direct and assertive as possible. The professional press is so valuable that newspapers should be printed with the same care used to produce money. Basically, we wanted to popularize the following idea: where everything is misinformation, and quality, reliable information is worth as much as money.
Challenges: Convincing the staff of Casa da Moeda (Brazil’s Mint), the company responsible for printing Brazilian real, the currency of Brazil, that we were not forgers and that we would not compromise the security of their process. In fact, the hardest part was emulating, in a newspaper, all the aspects and validation criteria of a legitimate note: holographic stamps, dotted serial numbers, watermarks, embossed inscriptions, invisible inks and dozens of other aspects unknown to most people.
Favorite details: I am particularly delighted about how we managed to reproduce, in a newspaper, all the fundamental elements exposed on a ballot without compromising the reading and the enjoyment of the reader.
Visual influences: The notes themselves were our major inspiration, of course. But there was a big challenge to be overcome. The entire wide range of symbols— patriotic and natural—that represented the look of the banknotes needed to be extensively studied, not only because of the verisimilitude required by the idea, but also to ensure harmony with the highlighted news. We needed to match the texts with the illustrations while preserving the appearance of a genuine Brazilian real note. It was definitely not an easy task.
Anything new: Yes! We have learned, above all, to value the currency production process and recognize the countless technologies embedded in the process. It is a highly niche production line, involved in aspects of national security and constantly changing.