Way Off Topic: Ten Countries with Awesome Currency Design

Money designs from around the world.

Maybe a year ago, Smashing Magazine had a contest to contribute an article. In retro Smashing fashion, I submitted a top ten list. Well, I didn’t win. But a lot of time went in to looking at every nation’s paper currency design. Rather than waste my awesome top ten, I thought I would share it here on the blog. I promise I won’t make it a habit. Money from around the world, after the jump.

If you came by to read about laser-cutting, check out this post on laser-cut dollar bill art.

A distinct aesthetic to the design of modern, paper currency has evolved due to security efforts to make currency note designs difficult to replicate. Paper money is one of the most universal and ubiquitous forms of vernacular graphic design. Here’s a top ten list of nations with unique and interesting paper note designs.

Aruba 5 1990

Aruba 10 2003

Aruba 25 2003

Florins from 1990(5) and 2003(10)(25).

Faeroe 100 2002

Faeroe 200 2003

Faeroe 500 2004

Faeroe Islands
Kronurs from 2002(100), 2003(200) and 2004(500).




Great Britain: vouchers for the British Armed Forces
Pence from 1972.

Lebanon 10k 1998

Lebanon 50k 1999

Lebanon 20k 2001

Lebanon 50k 2001

Livres from 1998(10k), 1999(50k) and 2001(20k)(50k).

Nether 25 1943

Nether 10 1944

Nether 25 1971

Nether 50 1982

Nether 100 1992

Nether 10 1997

Guilder from 1943(25), 1944(10), 1971(25), 1982(50), 1992(100) and 1997(10).

Russia 50 1898

Russia 3 1905

Russia 10 1909

Russia 3 1918

Rubles from 1898(50), 1905(3), 1909(10) and 1913(3).

Somolia 10

Somolia 50

Somolia 100

Shilins from 1980(10), 1987(50) and 1990(100).

SriLanka 20 1979

Srilanka 100 1979

Srilanka 500 2004

Srilanka 1k 2004

Sri Lanka
Rupees from 1979(20)(100) and 2004(500)(1k).

Suriname 5

Suriname 10k

Suriname 25k

Gulden from 2000.

Switz 10

Switz 20

Switz 50

Francs from 2000.

Images are from banknotes.com. Some images have been minimally cropped or retouched to remove visual distractions from the design. These images are for design inspiration only. Visit the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group for information on the reproduction of bank note imagery.

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