The Goote Project, the dystopian currency.

Design: Enrique Raimúndez Fernández

This project defines the concept, graphic design and functionality of a currency, born of two dystopian fiction novels : We (Yevgeny Zamyatin, 1921) and 1984 (George Orwell, 1948).

The Goote is the official currency of Oceania in 2036: A tool to control the resources distributed by the totalitarian and warmonger regime of the Well-Doer, and aimed at state workers, which are designated by numbers, impersonal and devoid of individual freedom. All for the sake of a successful accomplishment of a dogma based on the worship of machines, science, and the application of perfect mathematics in everyday life.

Each Goote (Good-Note) is issued and regulated by the Goote Department, part of Miniplenty (Ministry of Plenty), one of four ministries.

Values ​​are set according to the good or service that relates to each Goote: Routeport, territorial mobility; Safestrong, security and domestic material; Infoknow, information and education; Homeostasis, food; and Restsonal, intimate relationships. These values ​​are the result of five groups which are divided hierarchically Oceania needs. In this way are supplied efficiently every aspects, and the State remains cohesive and productive through his workers.

For safety and functionality, all the Gootes include strict check measures, including two reading levels of information: A visible to the naked eye (place of issue, type of goods or services, and magnitude), and another one only visible under UV light (a check digit and beneficiary number). The information entails that each Goote is a personal and non-transferable document.

Some design aspects reflect the type of prevailing ideology in Oceania. An example is the Goote currency symbol, which is built from the spiral as a link between nature and mathematics and is the result of a typographic evolution of 79, the number which is the atomic number of gold (Au) and the scientific meaning of this metal as wealth and universal exchange value. Or the enigmatic signature of Well-Doer, it’s the only organic and hand-drawn element in document, but looking so precise and synthetic. That it seems more like a machine gesture.

Back to today, The Goote Project explores the relationship between design and function in a currency (and banknotes by extension), and studies the permanence of some elements that define it as such even when its operation and limitations change, because of either political or social causes. In lower measure, it reflects on the gradual transformation suffered by money, created as a commercial measure that facilitated equality between people and slowly converted into an end in itself, that also seems to be one of the most effective control methods population.

All in all, it seeks to create discussion around a graphic element daily, so ingrained and necessary in our society that even seems natural. This is why almost nobody usually think or question their preparation, form or function. However it was created by human beings and therefore could have taken other features, still possible and even necessary.

The Goote Project is developed by Enrique Raimúndez Fernández, and was one of the Career Final Projects presented in EASD Antonio Faílde Ourense during the past school year, 2012 – 2013.

More information:

School: Escola de Arte e Superior de Deseño Antonio Faílde, Ourense