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Graphic design


Enrique Raimúndez Fernández

Project year: 


Final Degree Project in Higher Studies in Graphic Design 2012-2013

The Goote Project, the dystopian currency

This project defines the concept, graphic design and functionality of a coin, nothing from reading two dystopian fiction novels: We (Yevgueni Zamyatin, 1921) and 1984 (George Orwell, 1948).

The Goote is the official currency of Oceania in the year 2036: A control tool for resources, distributed by the totalitarian and belligerent regime of the Well-Doer (Benfeitor), and aimed at state workers, who are designated under numbers, depersonalized and lacking of individual freedom. All for the sake of the happy fulfillment of a dogma based on the cult of machines, science, and the exhaustive application of perfect mathematics in everyday life.

Each Goote (Good-Note) is set and regulated by a department of the same name, and is part of the Miniplenty (Ministry of Abundance), one of the four ministries in which the state is articulated.

The values are established according to the good or service to which each Goote refers: Routeport, territorial mobility; Safestrong, security and home supplies; Infoknow, information and training; Homeostasis, nutrition; and Restsonal, intimate relationships. These values correspond to the typology of five groups into which the needs of Oceania are divided, hierarchically. In this way, every aspect is efficiently supplied in order to keep the state cohesive and productive through its workers.

For safety and functionality, all Goote tickets include strict control measures; among them, two levels of information reading: One visible to the naked eye (place of issue, type of good or service, and its magnitude), and another only visible under ultraviolet light (a control digit, and beneficiary number). The information it contains implies that each Goote is a personal and non-transferable document.

Some aspects of the design, reflect the type of ideology prevailing in Oceania. An example is the monetary symbol of the Goote, that constructed from the spiral like nexus between nature and mathematics, is product of a typographic evolution of the 79; atomic number of gold (Au), and scientific meaning of this metal as wealth and universal exchange value. Or the enigmatic signature of the Well-Doer, the only organic and hand-drawn element of the document, but with such a precise and synthetic look, that it looks more like a machine.

Back in the present time, The Goote Project studies the relationship between design and function of a coin (by extension, also paper money); and how, by varying the functioning and restrictions for political or social causes, certain elements are maintained which still define it as currency. To a lesser extent, it reflects on the progressive transformation that money has undergone; created as a commercial medium that facilitated equality between peoples and slowly became an end in itself that also seems to be one of the most effective methods of population control.

In short, it tries to create debate around an everyday graphic element, so ingrained and necessary in our society that it even seems to be of natural origin, so its elaboration, form or function is rarely reflected or questioned; but that it was created by man, and therefore could have adopted other characteristics, still possible and even necessary.

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