The Art of Money

You know that feeling you get when you’ve had an idea to do something, and you’ve not got around to doing it for ages, then you come across something that shows that not only did someone else have the same idea, they’ve gone and implemented it? And very well, too. Well, I’m getting that now. Stephen Barnwell has made these incredible banknotes for the fictional Antarctic colony of Nadira, and for various other fictional microstates. There’s also the non-existent denominations of the Dream Dollars, which you can download, and various other products which you can buy. I think the whole thing is fantastic.

Still, it doesn’t stop me doing what I intended to do as my intention is different. I just like banknotes, I could look at the designs of them for hours, and hours, and hours. A bit like maps really - give me a good atlas and I could look at it all day. Maybe I just have an obsession with finely drawn lines? Either way, I have a collection of images grabbed from around the net. I’ve linked to the original page where it still exists.

First, the aforementioned Stephen Barnwell’s latest. The 13-dollar note from the State of War:


Then a selection of Robert Deodaat Emile Oxenaar’s designs for the banknotes of The Netherlands, which to me represent the only real argument against the Euro. Why couldn’t the European Commission have got him to design the money? Found on this article on Creative Review’s blog:


And then (and it took me a while to re-find these) the beautifully simple banknote designs by Herbert Bayer of the Bauhaus. These were done for the 1923 emergency issue of banknotes for the State of Thuringia in the Weimar Republic. The only place I could find a decent image was through the eBay store “Room 606”, where you can actually buy original notes.


I also came across some images of banknotes that feature scientists, engineers and mathematicians. I won’t post the full images, but here’s a couple of exquisite details from the old one pound note. It’s about time Newton was restored to one of the denominations of the British pound:


From the same site, various details:


I love banknote designs so much.