Nearly a year after Sweden’s central bank announced the country’s banknotes would be changing design, Sveriges Riksbank unveiled the first glimpse of the new notes.
The new notes will span all the denominations – 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 & 1,000 kronor – and the design will feature famous Swedes such as film director Ingmar Bergman, children’s author Astrid Lindgren, former United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld, opera singer Birgit Nilsson, film star Greta Garbo, and musician Evert Taube.
The new series was designed by Göran Österlund, whose colourful “Journey of Culture” (Kulturresan) design was selected from among eight finalists in a contest launched by Sweden’s national bank last year.
“It’s been a difficult but stimulating task to pick a winner. All the contestants submitted ambitious and well worked suggestions, but in the end we were captivated by ‘The Cultural Journey’,” said Peter Egardt, a member of the Riksbank board of directors and chair of the banknote design selection jury, in a statement. “The overall impression is a beautiful and user-friendly series of bills which are built on a well-weighed balance between something new and Swedish banknote tradition.”
Österlund said his winning design as was meant to “let the bills take us on a journey from the Öresund Bridge in the south to the Treriksröset in the north,” referencing the “Three Country Cairn” where the borders of Finland, Sweden, and Norway meet, reported The Local.
The new faces won’t be the only adjustment to the banknotes, however. All of the new notes will be equipped with a new security feature known as “Spark” – a device that allows the banknote’s colour to shift when tilted and includes magnetic pigments in the dye that creates an image in certain light.
Higher denominations (100, 200, 500 & 1,000) will have an addition feature called “Motion” which is a window thread embedded into the banknote paper, giving an impression of movement when the banknote is titled. This feature currently exists on the most recent version of the 1,000-krona banknote.
The new series of banknotes will be introduced into circulation in 2015.