High Security Print Awards Celebrate Best in Class of 2021

16 December 2021
Tags: Awards

The HSP (High Security Print) Awards are normally held three times a year, coinciding with three regional HSP conferences – for Asia, EMEA and Latin America respectively. The last HSP conference before lockdowns took hold took place in March 2020 in Lisbon. And with a question mark still hanging over the resumption of in-person events, Reconnaissance International, organiser of the HSP events, decided to bridge the gap by holding a series of virtual awards.

‘The Regional Banknote & ID Document of the Year Awards 2021’, to give the ceremony its proper title, was streamed online on 16 December at 12:00 GMT. The awards were divided by region (Asia, EMEA and Latin America) and into a number of product categories for both banknotes (Best New Banknote, Best New Banknote Series and Best New Commemorative Banknote)and ID documents (Best New Passport, Best New National ID Card and Best New ID or Travel Document).

The regional Banknote of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievement in the design, technical sophistication and security of a banknote or banknote series, the key judging criteria being that successful banknotes should combine visual artistry and high levels of technical and security sophistication, with considerable emphasis placed on reflecting the cultural heritage of the issuing country in the note, and the relevance of the overall design and symbolism to the issuing country.

The independent judging panel included recently-retired representatives from issuing authorities and printworks around the world.

The ID Document awards, meanwhile, recognise outstanding achievement and technical sophistication of a personal identification or travel document programme. The awards are designed to promote the best in system infrastructure and implementation of a government passport, identity or other secure identification scheme.

The judges for the ID Document award series were all part of the editorial advisory board of the industry newsletter ID & Secure Document News.

The winners for the banknote awards were as follow.


Best New Banknote – the Reserve Bank of Australia for the new Australian $100, produced by Note Printing Australia and the culmination of the country’s new 2nd generation polymer series.

Best New Commemorative Banknote – the Reserve Bank of Fiji, for the $50, issued to mark the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. Produced by De La Rue, it was world’s first carbon-neutral banknote


Best New Banknote – the Bank of England for the English £50, the last in its new polymer series, featuring the father of modern computing, Alan Turing. The note was produced by De La Rue.

Best New Banknote Series – Qatar Central Bank for the Qatari 5th series, an integrated family of banknotes with a number of advanced security features, including some appearing for the first time in circulating banknotes. The producer was, again, De La Rue.

Best New Commemorative Banknote – the Bank of Namibia for the 30 dollar note celebrating 30 years of independence.  Prominent on the note is the image of the black rhino, one of the world’s most endangered species. The note was produced by Oberthur Fiduciaire.


Best New Banknote – the Central Bank of Costa Rica for the new 20,000 colones, a stand-out banknote in terms of design and security.  It was printed by Oberthur Fiduciaire.

Best New Banknote Series – again, the Central Bank of Costa Rica, this time for the entire new series, featuring flora and fauna and a wealth of new features that, in the view of the judges, clearly states ‘this is us, this is our country’.  Along with the 20,000 colones, the 2,000 and 5,000 notes were printed by Oberthur Fiduciaire. The 1,000 and 10,000 colones were printed by Orell Füssli.

Best New Commemorative Banknote – Banco de Mexico for the Mexican 20 peso issued (as with the other award-winning banknotes) to commemorate the anniversary of independence, in this case 200 years. The note was printed by the Bank of Mexico Printing Works.

The winners of the ID awards were as follow.


Best New Passport – Veridos and the Bangladesh Department of Immigration and Passports of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the Bangladesh ePassport programme, which has been overhauled and is currently being rolled out.


Best New Passport – HID Global and the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board for the Estonian ePassport, which has successfully captured the balance between the natural and synthetic worlds that are so popular in this Baltic state.

Best National ID card – the judges were unable to split the entries from two contestants apart, so the award was awarded jointly to the French Ministry of the Interior and IN Groupe for the new French eID card and Bundesdruckerei together with Bundeskriminalamt for the new German eID card.

Best New ID or Travel Document – IN Groupe and Département de l’Intérieur for the Monaco Residents Permit, in which the deployment of colour shift to send strong authenticating signals was cited as a particular strength.


Best New National ID Card – IDEMIA and the National Vital Statistics Registry for Colombia’s new eID card, which is loaded with innovative features, including connectivity to a mobile phone and the use of a QR code.

Best New ID or Travel Document – HID Global and the Argentine National Registry of People for Argentina’s Smart DNI, judged as a good example of the trend in the function of ID and travel documents to link identity to a range of government services.

The award ceremony concluded with the invitation to all participants to gather, travel restrictions permitting, at the forthcoming HSP conferences in Latin America in March in Mexico City, EMEA in Tallinn, Estonia in June and Asia in Sri Lanka in December.

The awards ceremony can be viewed here!