Gualtiero Giori (1913-1992)
Gualtiero Giori came from a long line of Italian security printers. In 1876, his grandfather purchased a small printing company in Milan which soon became a leading supplier of security documents such as share certificates, bonds and cheques.
As a young man, Gualtiero Giori joined the family firm, Calcografia & Cartevalori, and quickly made a name for himself. By his early twenties, he had already extended the firm’s customer base and was working with high level government agencies throughout Europe.
Seeking to extend the firm’s traditional product range, he started to consider the rather bland banknotes of the time, convinced that new ideas and techniques could transform the monochrome designs. He set about making key alliances with the manufacturers of printing machines and security inks, as he sought to develop purpose-built equipment for printing banknotes.
By the age of only 34, Gualtiero Giori had developed the first 6 colour intaglio printing press which would revolutionise the security printing industry. It was sold to the government security printer Casa de la Moneda in Argentina in 1949 and was the first machine in the world designed to print banknotes in a variety of colours with the added benefits of greater security and lower costs.
In 1952, Gualtiero Giori relocated to Switzerland and set up Organisation Giori, the first company to develop and sell technology, equipment and services for printing banknotes. A centre of excellence for training state printing plant staff in the best practices in banknote design and production would be set up in Lausanne a few years later. This made it possible for any country in the world to independently produce its own banknotes.
The Swiss company De La Rue Giori was formed in 1965 and soon became the leading provider in the world of security printing equipment and services for central banks seeking to set up their own banknote production facilities. Gualtiero Giori remained President of the company until his death in 1992 when he was succeeded by his son Roberto.
Gualtiero Giori is generally acknowledged as both a pioneer and a visionary who totally revolutionised security printing and developed much of the technology which is still being used today. The outstanding contribution made by Gualtiero Giori to the security printing industry was officially recognised by the Currency Conference in 2011 when he was inducted into the Currency Hall of Fame.
Virtually every banknote in the world today is still printed using Giori technology.