Snøhetta and Metric Design/Terje Tønnessen were appointed by The Central Bank of Norway in 2014 to develop the design proposal for its new paper currency. After the release of the emblematic 100 and 200 notes in 2017, the new 50 and 500 notes have been put in circulation recently. The final banknote designs release will take place in the fourth quarter of 2019 with the 1000 kroner note coming into circulation.
Snøhetta’s design reflects the notion of the beauty of boundaries of the characteristic Norwegian coastline which is the longest in Europe. The boundaries between sea and land, between land and air and between air and sea are shown in the banknotes with a graphical expression inspired by ancient mosaic artefacts of colored glass or stone. Snøhetta has translated this analogue art form into the mosaics of our time: the pixels. In this sense, the design represents boundaries as a travel in time: a travel between old and new, past and present.
The designers also add the element of "wind speed' in the banknotes design. On the 50 kroner note the wind is gentle, represented by a dense cubic patterning and long, tame waves in a subtle organic wave pattern. On the 1 000 kroner note is characterized by a strong wind, expressed through long, pixelated cubes and short, choppy waves.
Banknotes are symbols of a nation and perhaps the most social design of our time. The banknotes connect people and create value as people meet to exchange them so the value of the banknote far outweighs its material worth. However, stepping into a future of digital-only currency and exchange, will the collection be the last paper currency of the country?
Photo and Source: Snohetta