Competition – design of motifs

In spring 2014, Norges Bank held a competition for the design of motifs to be used on the new banknote series. The purpose of the competition was to arrive at a proposal that can be the artistic basis for the design of the new banknote series and communicate the theme "The Sea" in an appropriate manner.

Eight participants were selected by a group of experts to take part in the final round of the competition. The jury comprised five external professionals and one member from Norges Bank. The decision on which motifs will appear on the notes is to be made independently by Norges Bank. Norges Bank has now decided which motifs will be used as the basis of further work on the new banknote series. See the press release of 7 October 2014.

The jury's conclusion

The jury noted that two proposals stand out: Ripple Effects by Enzo Finger and Norwegian Living Space by The Metric System and Terje Tønnessen. With some work, both proposals could be attractive and functional banknote series. While the proposal from The Metric System, Norwegian Living Space, is better suited to technical adaptations, on the basis of an overall assessment, a majority of the jury selected Enzo Finger's proposal, Ripple Effects, as the winner of the competition. The proposal meets all of the stated competition criteria, while it communicates the theme "The Sea" in a surprising way with considerable artistic flair.

Norges Bank's choice

In view of Norges Bank's need to incorporate necessary security elements, and the jury's assessments, the Bank has decided a combination of two proposals submitted will go on for further work. The obverse faces of the notes will be developed on the basis of the obverses from The Metric System and Terje Tønnessen, Norwegian Living Space. The basis of the reverse faces will be the pixel motifs submitted by Snøhetta Design, Beauty of Boundaries.

Reasons for Norges Bank's choice

The obverses from The Metric System's proposal are very well suited to the incorporation of necessary security elements. The expression is open, light and typically Nordic. Using the pixel motifs from Snøhetta Design as the reverse will give the notes both a traditional and a modern expression.

The traditional expression on the obverse faces clearly show what Norges Bank wishes to communicate: various aspects of the sea and its importance for Norway's business sector and economic prosperity. At the same time, the alternative form of expression of the pixel motifs supports each sub-theme. In this way, there is a connection between the obverse and reverse faces and the story that the banknotes tell. The wave pattern that repeats itself in the pixel motifs provides an appropriate allusion to the main theme "The Sea".

The colour signal of each denomination is clearly apparent when the two proposals are combined, especially to the visually impaired.

New banknote motifs

Obverse: The Gokstad ship from the 800s, with the Norwegian-designed bow X-BOW® developed by Ulstein Design & Solutions AS in the background.

Reverse: Pixel motif on the horizon: Cargo ship. Cubic pattern: 3.4 m/s. Organic pattern: Gentle breeze. Crests begin to break.

Further work

The obverse and reverse face motifs as shown above form the basis for further work. Motifs and designs need to be worked on to enable security elements intended for the public and machine-readable security elements to be designed and incorporated into the notes. For that reason, the finished notes may differ somewhat from the competition proposals. Before the notes can go into full production, original tools need to be developed and extensive testing needs to be done, to ensure that the notes function in vending machines, for example.

The first of the new notes will be issued in 2017 at the earliest.

Published 14 October 2014 16:00

Facts about the competition – new banknote series

In spring 2014, Norges Bank held a competition the purpose of which was to arrive at a proposal that can be the artistic basis for designing the new banknote series.

Proposed motifs for the new banknote series