Norway's beautiful new "pixelated" money
March 16, 2017 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Norway has unveiled its new banknotes, which have a sea motif (50 krone, "The Sea That Binds Us Together"; 200 krone, "The Sea That Carries Us Forward") and "digitized" reverses designed to follow the Beaufort wind force scale, with the blocks lengthening as the denomination rises. (via kottke)
posted by Etrigan (40 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
krone island!
posted by thelonius at 11:52 AM on March 16, 2017 [17 favorites]


damnit thelonius
posted by GuyZero at 12:10 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


The images and the design on the front of the 50 and the 500 wouldn't be at all out of place on Canadian banknotes.
posted by sardonyx at 12:11 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Interesting - these are beautiful indeed.

Sweden as well is making changes to its currency. It introduced new bills last year; while this summer, it is retiring some coins from circulation.
posted by seawallrunner at 12:12 PM on March 16, 2017


I loved these when I first saw them (previously). But: as someone who now sees kids in Minecraft-branded sweatshirts & backpacks every day, I look at that 50-krone note and only see: Minecraft.
posted by miles per flower at 12:12 PM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


DO WANT

It's very Shipping Forecast, which pushes all of my grabby hands buttons.
posted by Kitteh at 12:14 PM on March 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


These are gorgeous. I love the theme, it seems very relevant in light of climate change and Norwegian history and ahh so pretty. How did they choose the theme?

I'm excited about the women coming to the US, but our currency still seems so...old-fashioned...somehow. Why is that?
posted by epanalepsis at 12:30 PM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


Are there any modifiers to help the blind?
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:37 PM on March 16, 2017


Money based around how windy it is? Kind of a disincentive for tourism, no?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:41 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


One side says NOREGS and the other says NORGES for some reason.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:43 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Huh...any reason why it's spelled "NORGES BANK" on the front of the bill, but "NOREGS BANK" on the back?

Is that a not-so-subtle hint at deregulation?

On preview: dammit Wolfy :-P
posted by darkstar at 12:45 PM on March 16, 2017


It's very Shipping Forecast, which pushes all of my grabby hands buttons.

"North Utsire, South Utsire. Southeast veering southwest 50 krone, occasionally 100 later. Thundery showers. Moderate or good, occasionally poor. Viking. Northeast 200 krone. Occasional rain. Moderate or poor. Forties. North gale 500 krone to severe 1000 krone, veering west. Rain, then squally showers. Poor, becoming moderate."
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:45 PM on March 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


FirstMateKate:

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.

About The New Notes
posted by Static Vagabond at 12:55 PM on March 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


One side says NOREGS and the other says NORGES for some reason.

Norway has two official languages, Bokmål and Nynorsk. Norges is Bokmål, Noregs is Nynorsk.
posted by jedicus at 1:04 PM on March 16, 2017 [43 favorites]


Huh. TIL.
posted by ZaphodB at 1:06 PM on March 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


Not bad. But I wouldn't have minded seeing more scenes of Ragnarok. Where's the Fenrir note?
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:11 PM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


They left off "What is dead may never die!" No respect for tradition.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:29 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well there is the 0kr Fimbulvetr note.
posted by Zalzidrax at 1:30 PM on March 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


Where's the Fenrir note?

There's only one, and it can only be used to break an Odin note.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:43 PM on March 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


As a Canadian speaking to Americans - damn, you guys have the ugliest money ever.
posted by davebush at 1:47 PM on March 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


Americans, fwiw, think that money that comes in variable sizes and colours seems equally odd. I'm with you that American money is dull and difficult to tell the denominations apart, but Americans gotta American.
posted by GuyZero at 2:00 PM on March 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


We *should* honor and commemorate the ocean in ways like this, since it will soon be dead. And we like the dead on our money.
posted by agregoli at 2:17 PM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


These makes me want to move to Norway and then get rich somehow!
posted by aubilenon at 2:37 PM on March 16, 2017


davebush: "As a Canadian speaking to Americans - damn, you guys have the ugliest money ever."

Yeah, if only we had the Queen all over it.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:43 PM on March 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


The Queen is kida de rigeur in Commonwealth countries but the pretty part of Canadian money is usually on the other side.
posted by GuyZero at 2:55 PM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


I want to understand more about the connection to the Beaufort wind scale. They look nice and that's a really cool idea, but I'm not sure I get how it's being carried out... is it just that the blocks are wider on the higher notes, or is there some more precise or detailed relation?
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:42 PM on March 16, 2017


I like these. Nice money.

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.

Similar system to what's used here in Canada. Except here it's a series of of one or more full Braille cells, which vary in number and arrangement by denomination.

First issues in 2001, the Canadian Journey series of bank notes were the first Canadian series to use tactile features to identify the denomination. However, the tactile features didn't do so literally:

Although similar in appearance to Braille, it differs because standard Braille was deemed too sensitive. The currency denomination must be recognized easily, thus the banknotes use full Braille blocks (or cells) of 6 dots, ⟨⠿⟩. The $5 bill has one cell, with the $10, $20, and $50 denominations each having one more cell than previous. The $100 bill has two cells arranged such that there is a space of two empty cells between them: ⟨⠿⠀⠀⠿⟩.

The polymer series of Canadian bank notes uses the same Braille cell configuration to denote denominations.

The difference between the two series is that the Braille cells on the polymer series do not get as readily worn down and rendered difficult to feel with circulation (which was very much the case on the previous paper-based Journey series) owing to the more durable nature of the polymer bills.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:05 PM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also, our new $100 bills smell like maple syrup. Although this hasn't been officially acknowledged, my nose sure as hell confirmed it.
posted by davebush at 4:14 PM on March 16, 2017


I'm always a little dismayed by money that looks like it came out of a Monopoly box. Still, they're probably stronger than the US dollar.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:47 PM on March 16, 2017


I like the little puffin up in the corner.

As to American money, almost any other currency is more interesting. The only saving grace with our greenbacks is the occasional defacing with rubber stamps or pens.
posted by njohnson23 at 4:57 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


These are gorgeous! I particularly like the 200 kroner for the fact that it's a straight up cod as the obverse, which is a refreshing change from monuments, portraits of dead people, grandiose architecture, etc.

As a Canadian speaking to Americans - damn, you guys have the ugliest money ever.

Not only is the design of the US dollar fusty and the denominations all the same size, US coins must have some of the most indirect (and visitor-unfriendly) indications of denomination of any major world currency, not to mention the random, non-intuitive sizing. The complete set of indicators of value on US coins is as follows:

1¢: ONE CENT
5¢: FIVE CENTS
10¢: ONE DIME
25¢: QUARTER DOLLAR

That's it -- no numerals anywhere and a completely inconsistent system of nomenclature. The dime is particularly egregious -- if you don't already know what a "dime" is there's literally no way to tell that how many cents it is worth, whereas at least "quarter dollar" is logical.

FWIW I am American.
posted by andrewesque at 7:13 PM on March 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


It was probably a little clearer when the 5¢ was called a half dime, and we still had eagles - everything was decimally referenced:

10 cents in a dime
10 dimes in a dollar
10 dollars in an eagle
posted by Chrysostom at 8:24 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, our new $100 bills smell like maple syrup. Although this hasn't been officially acknowledged, my nose sure as hell confirmed it.--davebush

I've been told that Canadians say this so that they can watch and laugh at Americans trying to scratch and sniff their money. I refuse to fall for it (until no one is watching).
posted by eye of newt at 9:00 PM on March 16, 2017


I'm always a little dismayed by money that looks like it came out of a Monopoly box.

I've heard this from Americans about every. single. foreign. currency. That might be the answer to the question posed upthread on why the US currency never changes. If the notes are not green, excactly the same size in all denominations and feature dead white guys they don't register as real.
posted by Harald74 at 12:44 AM on March 17, 2017 [6 favorites]


These are gorgeous. I love the theme, it seems very relevant in light of climate change and Norwegian history and ahh so pretty. How did they choose the theme?

I actually had an earlier FPP about the design competition. The links still work.
posted by Harald74 at 12:47 AM on March 17, 2017


Pixel patterns? This is good for Bitcoin. Mass adoption any day now.

Seriously, though, these are really beautiful designs.
posted by wwwwolf at 2:33 AM on March 17, 2017


I've heard this from Americans about every. single. foreign. currency. That might be the answer to the question posed upthread on why the US currency never changes. If the notes are not green, excactly the same size in all denominations and feature dead white guys they don't register as real.

I once read an article which posited that the American obsession with stern political figures on their money is very in keeping with the nature of America, and more in line with countries with military dictatorships than happy and friendly "what can we do for you, citizens?" governments like you find in most other post WWII democracies. The relative "seriousness" of our money, the fact that it seldom changes enough to really notice, etc. all contribute to that.

I don't know that I necessarily agree with it, but it's an interesting theory.
posted by Automocar at 7:57 AM on March 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


The interesting thing is that US money changed quite frequently in the 19th century. I'm not sure why that changed in roughly the second quarter of the 20th century.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:03 PM on March 17, 2017


The interesting thing is that US money changed quite frequently in the 19th century. I'm not sure why that changed in roughly the second quarter of the 20th century.

Although the modern vending machine was invented in the 1880s, it wasn't until the 1930s that "the first slug rejectors facilitated large-scale application of retailing through vending machines" (source). The vending machine industry is strongly opposed to changes in US currency design: "As long as the $1 bill is around, NAMA will work to preserve the current design of the bill, the same design we’ve had since 1929."

I think other countries have been able to modernize their currency partly because of cultural differences (American exceptionalism is a helluva drug), partly because of differences in their political systems (less susceptible to lobbying and regulatory capture), and partly because they've had natural opportunities for currency redesign (e.g. the switch to the Euro; revolution or other form of regime change; independence from a colonial power).
posted by jedicus at 12:29 PM on March 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


Thanks, jedicus. I also think that putting old political figures on coins/currency was a mistake, because it tends to set up the dynamic that removing that person from the currency isn't "good enough", etc.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:45 PM on March 17, 2017


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