The Central Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) has unveiled a series of new kroner bills that will be phased in beginning in summer 2017. The designs are a departure from the current Norwegian banknotes in several aspects. This will be the first Norwegian money that does not feature a human face. All of the motifs pay tribute to the sea, which has played a pivotal role in shaping Norwegian culture.

Norges Bank held a design contest, proposing the following themes:

50-kroner:      The sea that binds us together

100-kroner:    The sea that takes us out into the world

200-kroner:    The sea that feeds us

500-kroner:    The sea that gives us prosperity

1000-kroner:  The sea that carries us forward

The same color palette was upheld from Norway’s existing kroner, to help avoid confusion. A gallery of submissions may be viewed here.

The selected designs for the front of the bills were created by Metric Design Studio’s Terje Tønnessen. The images include a lighthouse, a Viking ship, cod and herring with a fishing net, a rescue boat, and a dramatic wave. The reverse sides are a hyper-modern departure from tradition, designed by architecture firm Snøhetta. Rather than using an identifiable image as the focal point, there is a colorfully pixelated background with subtle white etchings over top. The etchings refer to the Beaufort scale, which measures wind effects on sea and land.

The new banknotes not only use innovative imagery, they also feature security marks that make them difficult to copy. Among the maritime-themed marks are a moving anchor chain, an Atlantic puffin watermark and a floating ring.

Learn more about the new banknote series and see the final designs on the Norges Bank site. You can also watch a series of short films on the whole process, here.

Image Credit: Norges Bank