Reason for Introducing a Vertical Design for Canada’s $10 Note

30 May 2019  Thu

Canada had released a new $10 banknote in November 2018 featuring a portrait of Viola Desmond. For the very first time, a Canadian note featured a portrait of a woman not belonging to a royal family. Viola Desmond also became the first women of colour to be featured on a Canadian note. Also, the note’s design was vertically oriented, which was again a first occurrence in the history of Canadian Currency. Vertical designs have been recently introduced by some countries like Bermuda, Switzerland, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Experts note that people generally handle banknotes vertically and not horizontally. For example, when we search notes in a wallet, we hold it vertically. Also, when we exchange notes with someone or pay cash, we hold the notes vertically. That’s the reason why some experts believe that a vertically oriented banknote design is more practical.

The Bank of Canada claims that it introduced this new design to frame the portrait of Viola Desmond in a better way. A special design was considered as a Canadian woman was being featured on a Canadian note for the first time. The brave black businesswoman and civil rights advocate, Desmond had refused to leave a whites-only area in a theatre in Nova Scotia. She was convicted for tax violation for this act in 1946. After 64 long years, she received a pardon in 2010.

Apart from highlighting the portrait, the Bank Officials also wanted to differentiate the new series notes from the one ones. The next four notes from the series will also be vertically aligned. The new note was also declared as the banknote of the year by the International Bank Note Society. Moreover, the marketing material for the note uses phrases like “a new direction”, “Time for change” which are in line with the decision to introduce a vertically aligned banknote design.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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