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KU design students asked to make physical version of Kingston Pound

By Ine Schwebs Feb 28, 2018
A draft of how the physical version of the Kingston Pound might look. Photo: Kingston Pound

KINGSTON UNIVERSITY graphic design students have been asked to design the physical paper notes of the Kingston Pound, which will be printed in April.

Kingston students are contributing to designing physical pound notes for Kingston’s local currency, the Kingston Pound.

The project aims to use Kingston currency in an attempt to stop money from leaving the borough and instead circulate it among local businesses.

Third-year graphic design student Rosie Akroyd said: “It is really interesting, the fact that it’s money, you don’t get the chance to design that very often, unless you work for something like The Bank of England. It’s really nice to have people coming to Kingston [University] to ask us to design stuff.”

Another graphic design student, Ella Hilton, said: “I think it’s really good to be involved in live briefs while at university as it enables us to see what the industry is like.

“This is something that we wouldn’t experience otherwise. There is also the added benefit if our design is chosen and everybody in Kingston will own something that we created and might collect.”

As much as 80 per cent of the cash used to pay for goods in Kingston-upon-Thames leaves the borough within a day.

Independent financial adviser Andrew Connolly is one of the people behind the development of the pound and explained that although digital transactions will account for most of the pound’s appeal, a physical version will add value and hopefully expand the project.

“Having a physical currency allows us to increase the visibility of the project locally and nationally,” Connolly said.

The Kingston Pound, will keep more value within the borough and benefit the local community.

160 people are using the local currency that is accepted at outlets such as the Rose Theatre and Banquet Records as well as 70 other local businesses.

Connolly added: “The Kingston Pound is a real-life project and can offer a valuable opportunity for students to add to their portfolio … They need to have a certain ‘coolness’, be desirable and collectible.”

Bristol, Brighton and Brixton are among the places that have introduced their own local currencies and Connolly explained local developers are working together to figure out what works best for them.

Learn more about the Kingston Pound and the idea of local currencies.

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