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Blog

Norway's new "artsy" currency

Billy Fasig

From a young age, I've always thought the US currency was pretty bland. Don't twist my words though, I always loved having money in my pocket, but I never really liked the design of them. Once I started expanding my design side, I really started to question why the US currency hadn't changed throughout the years. I'm not talking about slight edits to the currency forms, mainly for extra security measures. I'd like to see current bills scrapped and completely redesigned from the ground up.

Well, the United States didn't do it, but Norway is on the verge. This spring (2014), Norges Bank of Norway held a competition to redesign the new banknotes. As the mission stated, "the purpose of the competition was to arrive at a proposal that can be the artistic basis of the new banknote series and communicate 'The Sea' in an appropriate manner." A design group called The Metric System was selected for the front side, while the reverse side of the banknotes would feature art by Snøhetta Design. [image shown below]

I personally think these new banknotes are stunning. I'd love to see something like this adapted for American currency. The front sides leave plenty of space for security elements in the design. It features five illustration designs based on the Norwegian landscape/life, all of which illustrate the sea in some fashion.

The reverse side is extremely interesting to me. Snøhette created an idea that is pretty clever in my opinion. First, you notice that the designs are somewhat abstractions of the illustrations from the front side of the banknotes. However, it goes a little further than that. As the amounts of the bills increase, so do the length of the rectangles in the design. Why is this? It's a concept based on the Beaufort wind force scale (yet again a reference to the sea). As the denominations increase, the abstraction of the wind force does as well. You'll see on the 50 kroner that it's only small bars and slight pixelation. Once you get to the 1000 kroner, the bars are extremely long with absolutely no clarity in what the original design is.

These designs are set to enter circulation in Norway in 2017. 

Now really, who wouldn't want to see the United State switch things up?

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Retro Movie Posters

Billy Fasig

South African creative studio MUTI recently created a series of posters that are based on four famous film locations, designed in a retro-esque styling.  MUTI was commissioned by FoxP2 to create these posters for their Ster-Kinekor Theaters. I absolutely love how it was pulled off. Using a limited color palette in each poster, MUTI created great designs for all four films (The Shining, Avatar, The Lord of the Rings, and King Kong). These are excellent posters. I really want to own them.

Diploma Arrival

Billy Fasig

It's been over three months since I walked across the stage for my graduation and my diploma finally showed up at my doorstep today. It's funny how the timing of events happen sometimes... just yesterday I was planning on calling the university to ask when it would be arriving, seeing as though they told us it'd be about a month after our graduation. But regardless, it's finally here. Five years of hard work and dedication. It almost seems silly how proud I am of this piece of paper.

Designing for the Homeless

Billy Fasig

The Signs for the Homeless project exchanges handwritten cardboard signs for colorfully illustrated, extremely eye-catching redesigns in the hopes that they will benefit those holding them... by helping them get noticed. I'm sure we've all encountered homeless people asking for money. Many times they just walk by and don't even ask, as if they've given up hope. I read an article on this project and found it to be extremely fascinating. The new signs are so much more eye-catching and provide the homeless people holding them a little more hope of being noticed.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't typically have loose change or dollars in my wallet. Most of my money is on my card. So when I encounter a homeless person, I usually try to avoid eye-contact all together. Christopher Hope, one of the creators of this project says, "good design helps you see the world in a different way." So I ask you, if you were walking down the street and happened to see a homeless person holding an excitingly colored sign like this, would you be more likely to stop for a second or at least glance their way? I believe that I would.