Norway chooses pixelated banknote designs from Snohetta Design for its new krone notes.

Norway’s Redesigned Banknotes Will Be the World’s Coolest Currency

Norway’s Redesigned Banknotes Will Be the World’s Coolest Currency

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Oct. 13 2014 11:06 AM

Norway’s Redesigned Banknotes Will Be the World’s Coolest Currency

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The back of the new Norweigan krone banknote series will feature a pixelated interpretation of the sea from Oslo's Snøhetta Design.

Courtesy of Norges Bank

Norway’s Norges Bank invited eight teams to submit proposals for a series of sea-themed banknote redesigns. The standout concept above by architecture and design firm Snøhetta Design, which will appear on the backs of Norway’s krone bills, uses the abstracted language of pixels to depict coastal settings.

Snøhetta Design’s original proposal contrasted the pixelated backs with timeless black-and-white photos of Norwegian coast on the front, as seen below:

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The original proposal from Snøhetta Design included contrasting black-and-white photographs of Norweigan sea imagery on the front of the new krone banknotes.

Courtesy of Norges Bank

But the bank rejected Snøhetta’s front idea. It decided to use the more prosaic proposal submitted by the design studio Metric System on the krone fronts instead, like the 100-krone note design, below:

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Norges Bank selected Metric System’s designs, like this one, to be featured on the fronts of the new krone banknotes.

Courtesy of Norges Bank

Norges Bank pointed out in a press release that the banknote motifs and designs may “differ somewhat” from the proposals, as security and machine-readable elements are introduced into the banknotes before they are issued in 2017 at the earliest. Nevertheless, the pixelated banknotes are a great example of how exciting modern banknote design can be with a little risk-taking and imagination.

See all the creative proposals here.

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.