in 2014, following a competition held by the central bank of norway, snøhetta and metric design were chosen to develop the design for the country’s paper currency. now — a year and a half since the release of the 100 and 200 notes — the new 50 and 500 notes have gone into circulation.


all images © calle huth / studio illegal

 

 

snøhetta and metric design’s scheme reflects the importance of the sea to the norwegian national identity, exploring ‘the beauty of boundaries’ between sea and land, land and air, and air and sea. the image of water takes on a symbolic translation inspired by ancient mosaic glass or stone, graphically interpreted for contemporary times as the pixel. undulating waves and pixilated patterns vary from note to note by referencing the beaufort scale, which measures wind speed — on the 50 kroner note, the wind is gentle, represented by a dense cubic patterning and long, tame waves; meanwhile, the 1,000 kroner note is characterized by a strong wind, expressed through long, pixelated cubes and short, choppy waves.


the new 50 and 500 notes have gone into circulation

 

 

snøhetta’s vision is represented on one side of the banknotes, with metric design/terje tønnessen’s design proposal on the other. the schemes were adapted by the central bank of norway to comply with strict security measures. the final banknotes — the 1,000 kroner note — will be released in the fourth quarter of 2019, marking a fresh start for the entire collection. reflecting on the milestone, snøhetta muses that the release could also be norway’s last paper currency before stepping into a future of digital currency.


the scheme reflects the importance of the sea to the norwegian national identity
the designs explore ‘the beauty of boundaries’ between sea and land, land and air, and air and sea


the image of water takes on a symbolic translation inspired by ancient mosaic glass or stone


water is graphically interpreted for contemporary times as the pixel


undulating waves and pixilated patterns vary from note to note


the final banknotes — the 1,000 kroner note — will be released in the fourth quarter of 2019

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