Swiss banknotes are traditionally required to meet high standards of security, functionality and design. They are thus a fascinating symbiosis of aesthetics and technological sophistication.

First, the banknote must meet high security requirements. With the help of security features, the public should be able to recognise genuine banknotes easily and to identify counterfeits. These security features must be difficult to counterfeit. Rapid advances in reproduction technology mean that the SNB is continuously seeking to refine banknote security features. Additional security-enhancing features have therefore been developed for the ninth banknote series (Security concept).

Second, the banknote must be user-friendly and be readily recognisable by cash handling machines. Not only do users want banknotes that are easy to handle and distinguish from one another, but they also want them to be durable and available in practical denominations. In response to an analysis of user and machine requirements, some adjustments have been made to the dimensions of the ninth-series notes (Development).

Third, banknotes should be aesthetically pleasing. In other words, design considerations should be tightly meshed with those of security and functionality. To see how the designer rose to this challenge, go to Design.