On 3 November 2018, the Bank of England launched their 'Think Science!' campaign, asking the people in the UK to nominate the scientist they would like to see on the polymer £50 note.

On July 15, 2019, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced that Alan Turing will appear on the new £50 polymer note. Announcing it at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the Governor also revealed the imagery depicting Alan Turing and his work that will be used to reverse the note. The new polymer £50 note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.

The challenge

To create an engaging video that would reveal the entire design of the new £50 note.

To create an engaging video that would reveal the entire design of the new £50 note.

The idea

Alan Turing was to be revealed as the person on the £50 note, so the idea was to use graphics from his papers, visual elements from computing and machinery, and mathematics to unveil the new note at the end.

Alan Turing was to be revealed as the person on the £50 note, so the idea was to use graphics from his papers, visual elements from computing and machinery, and mathematics to unveil the new note at the end.

Role: Motion Graphic Designer

The new £50 note will celebrate Alan Turing and his pioneering work with computers. As shown in the concept image, the design on the reverse of the note will feature:

• A photo of Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry, part of the Photographs Collection at the National Portrait Gallery.

• A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungs problem” Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. This paper is widely recognised as being foundational for computer science. It sought to establish whether there could be a definitive method by which any theorem could be assessed as provable or not using a universal machine. It introduced the concept of a Turing machine as a thought experiment on how computers could operate.

• The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine, developed at the National Physical Laboratory as the trial model of Turing’s pioneering ACE design. The ACE was one of the first electronic stored-program digital computers.

• Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the machine specified by Turing and one of the primary tools used to break Enigma-enciphered messages during WWII.

• A quote from Alan Turing, given in an interview with The Times newspaper on 11 June 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come and only the shadow of what is going to be.

• Turing’s signature from the visitor’s book at Bletchley Park in 1947, where he worked during WWII.

• Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing’s birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code. The concept of a machine fed by binary tape was featured in Turing’s 1936 paper.

Before the design of the £50 note was released, the animated character reveal of the Alan Turing £50 note was filmed live at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester.