UK Banknotes


Banknote design in the UK is fragmented and confusing. With new, plastic designs being introduced, how might we use graphic design to create a note that better represents our country?


We spent time researching what people are most proud of about their individual countries, then distilled this into a bold new look and feel for UK banknotes.


Our concept banknote designs are immediately familiar, yet radically different. All the countries are represented, with parity between the genders, united by the union flag.


Banknote design in the UK is fragmented and confusing. This is annoying, confusing and poses a real security risk. Against the backdrop of a tumultuous political atmosphere, we asked ourselves the question: can we design a banknote that everyone in the UK is proud to use?

The project began as an experiment, but quickly became a study in how to use graphic design to effectively carry meaning and have real impact. The new notes were released to widespread media acclaim, including from Mashable and Engadget.

20 pound note graphic design
The Concept

The front faces celebrate individuals from each country that have made an outstanding contribution to their nation. Each portrait is accompanied by an image and graphic relating to their work. When all the notes are placed together, the union flag is formed.

Long before the British Isles were even inhabited, the U.K. was defined by its landscape. The reverse shows an iconic scene, individual to the country represented. As an island nation, our security and prosperity has always been dependant on the relationship with, and knowledge of, the environment we inhabit. As such, a map of each feature is overlaid onto the photograph.

“It’s refreshing to see designs not only celebrating advances in science, politics and culture, but doing so with parity between the genders and the countries.”

indy100 from the Independent
Talk to us about your project
Get In touch

We are tone design consultants.
A creative consultancy delivering product design, digital design, brand design and insight from concept to market.

Registered company in England and Wales number 10531572

Get in Touch

020 8191 7379

Somerset House

Registered Company in England and Wales 10531572

Follow Us:
Stay Updated
Privacy Notice
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds.
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google