For the German launch event of the Italian TV series Romanzo Criminale on SONY Pictures Entertainment pay-TV channel AXN we created an individually designed – and to a great extent handmade – press kit. With the aim to catch a little extra attention for the new series, we thought it might be a great idea to print a lot of counterfeit money handed out to all the top-notch guests of the event.

Before this flash of genius reached us we developed the press kit for a TV series taking place in the criminal underground of Rome in the 70ies.


At some point during our excursion into the underground we thought how nice it would be to print, slightly altered bogus money instead of boring flyers. And, contrary to our expectation, our client said: Yeah, why not. Do it.

For our purpose we chose three of the famous Italian lira banknotes. As we didn’t just want simple copies of the old banknotes we thought it would be fun to replace certain parts of the original design with elements from the series. We decided to put in portraits of the main actors as well as use the Romanzo Criminale lettering. To implement those elements seamlessly into the style and look of the banknotes we processed them in a way they looked as if they were engraved for the printing, too. While this wasn’t the easiest part of the project, the real challenge turned out to be to find a printing shop for our banknotes. When they realized what we had in mind we were rejected. Admittedly the reactions lead us to contemplate the idea and brought up some thoughts. In the end, after a lot of phone calls, unanswered emails to the Italian National Bank our search was successful. The owner of the printing shop himself brought us the finished banknotes to our office.

The press kits as well as the banknotes became a big success. The feedback during the event was amazing and even weeks after the event our client reordered banknotes – and press kits. And a few months after the launch event the Italian National Bank actually wrote us an email. We were on the safe side! As it is no longer possible to exchange Italian lira (in contrast to Deutsche Mark) there is nothing to be afraid of.

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