About the new notes

They have already been called "the world's most beautiful banknotes". The combination of the retrospective, iconic obverse motif and the reverse's modern, abstract cubic pattern is completely novel in international banknote design.

Obverses: An easily recognisable primary motif

Each denomination features an easily recognised primary motif on its obverse side that communicate central characteristics of Norwegian maritime history. The motifs are based on proposals by Metric Design and Terje Tønnessen.

Obverses

Reverse: Abstraction of sea and wind

The pixelated reverse side of the banknotes contrasts with the iconic obverse sides. The motifs are merely suggested in the cubic pattern, while the organic pattern is an abstract depiction of the sea. The cubic patterns developed from Snøhetta's proposal, are designed to follow the Beaufort scale.

Reverses

Both obverse motifs and reverse motifs in the banknote series are closely associated with the sub-themes of each denomination:

More than just pretty pieces of paper

A banknote is the product of highly advanced graphic design. You should be able to see and feel that genuine banknotes are worth far more than the paper they are printed on.

In order to easily distinguish between genuine notes and counterfeits, Norwegian banknotes have many security features. Some of these are visible and others are not.

The banknotes are printed on cotton paper and therefore feel different to the touch from ordinary paper. A number of security features have been integrated into the paper. The cotton paper has been treated with a dirt-resistant coating, which is intended to strengthen the note and extend its lifetime.

Cotton paper permits the inclusion of more security features than the alternative, which is polymer and requires fewer adjustments of the infrastructure for cash handling.

Intaglio printing and tactile markings for blind and visually impaired people

The intaglio process used for the banknotes results in printing you can “feel” with your fingers. For instance, the primary motif on the obverse side is printed in intaglio.

Along the left and right edges of the notes, there is a series of slightly raised tactile markings. These short raised lines are arranged in a way to enable blind and visually impaired people to distinguish the denominations.

What do the new banknotes cost?

Norge Bank is paying approximately NOK 0.55 per note for the denominations to be issued in 2017. This represents an approximately 20 percent cost increase compared to what the Bank is currently paying. The increase is due to enhanced security features and the protective coating that is expected to increase the lifetime of the notes by up to 50 percent.

Norges Bank’s costs for developing the new banknote series are estimated at NOK 50 million. Most of this is associated with the preparation of original artwork and test prints at the banknote printer’s. Costs for information and communication are estimated at NOK 20 million. These amounts include VAT.

Who has created the banknotes?

Norges Bank’s own banknote designers, Arild Yttri and Morten Johansen, have designed the new notes. That is, they have translated the design proposals from Metric Design and Terje Tønnessen (obverse sides) and Snøhetta Design (reverse sides) into “banknote idiom”, and designed security features, etc.

The banknotes are printed by Oberthur Fiduciaire in France. The paper for the 100-krone and 200-krone notes is made in Germany.

Numerous contributors

The artist Sverre Morken has designed the primary motifs on the 100-krone, 200-krone and 500-krone notes.

JURA Security Printing and Giesecke & Devrient have provided input into the original artwork.

The calligrapher Julia Vance has advised the designers on the choice and layout of lettering and numbering on the notes.

The puffin motif in the watermark is based on a photograph taken by Tom Schandy.

The primary motif on the 500-krone note, RS 14 “Stavanger”, is based on a photograph taken by Robby Madsen of the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue. The vessel is currently owned by Jeppe Jul Nielsen.

Behind the Gokstad ship on the 100-krone note you can see the Norwegian bow design X-BOW®, trademarked by Ulstein Design & Solutions AS.

The gas pipeline network on the reverse side of the 500-krone note was designed on the basis of information from Gassco’s website as at August 2016.

Per Norseng, senior conservator and research director at the Norwegian Maritime Museum and professor II of history at the University College of Southeast Norway, Bø in Telemark, and a dedicated museum network as well as The Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway have provided useful information about the theme “The Sea”. Norges Bank would also like to thank Colin Archer enthusiasts, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, the University of Oslo and Vener av Utvær [Friends of Utvær] for valuable information about parts of the motif design.

Published 22 November 2016 10:00