Depictions of 20th century cultural icons in Sweden will be the
focus of new designs for notes to be introduced most likely in 2015.
Sweden’s Riksbank recently selected a group of designs called
“Cultural Journey” as the winner of the bank’s design competition.
Göran Österlund, a graphic designer and engraver, submitted the
winning entry that will be the artistic basis for the six
denominations of new bank notes.
The design focus for each denomination includes a large portrait
of a Swedish icon on the face while the back design depicts nature and
environment motifs with a known link to the people depicted on the
A portrait of children’s author Astrid Lindgren will be depicted
on the face of the 20-krona notes. A small vignette of her most famous
character, Pippi Longstocking, is also depicted. Lindgren died in 2002
at the age of 94.
The back design will depict familiar scenes from Smaland.
A portrait of Sweden’s celebrated troubadour Evert Taube will be
depicted on the face of the 50-krona denomination. A small depiction
of a sailboat is in the background on the face as the themes of many
of his songs were based on his sailing trips around the world.
Taube, who died in 1976 at the age of 85, was also an artist.
Scenes from Bohuslan, on the western coast of Sweden, will be depicted
on the back.
Greta Garbo, legendary star of silent films and early talking
movies in the 1920s and 1930s, will be depicted on the face of the
100-krona notes. Several small strips of motion picture film from her
movies are part of the face design.
Garbo, who died in 1990 at the age of 84, retired from the movie
making business in 1941 and lived out her life in New York City. The
back design will explore familiar Stockholm scenes.
Ingmar Bergman, a director, writer and producer of film, stage and
television productions, will be featured on the face of the 200-krona
notes. A small vignette depicting a scene during the filming of one of
his best known movies, The Seventh Seal, also appears on the face.
Bergman, who died in 2007 at the age of 89, lived on the tiny
island of Faro on the northern edge of Gotland so that region will be
the focus of the back design of this new denomination.
According to the Riksbank, this new denomination will close the
gap between the 100- and the 500-krona notes and eliminate the need to
print as many 100-krona notes in the future.
Opera soprano Birgit Nilsson’s portrait will be on the face of
these notes. A vignette from one of her roles in Richard Wagner’s The
Ring of the Nibelung operas is also on the face. Nilsson died in 2005
at the age of 87.
Scenes from the farms of Skane will be used on the back.
Dag Hammarskjold, diplomat, author and economist, will be depicted
on the face of the 1,000-krona notes. A small vignette of the United
Nations building also appears with his portrait.
Hammarskjold served as the second UN secretary general from 1953
until his death in a plane crash at the age of 56 in 1961.
Scenes from Lappland will be the focus of the back design.
The current note designs have been in circulation for 25 years.
Bank officials say the new designs will allow the inclusion of new
All of the notes will have watermarks featuring the same portrait
of the individual depicted on the face of the notes. The watermark
will be visible on the face and back of the notes.
The new notes will also have a new security feature known as
“Spark.” This color-shifting method of printing will give the
impression that certain parts of the note change color when the note
Special pigments in the ink give a three-dimensional visual image.
The higher denominations, the 100-, 200-, 500- and 1,000-krona
notes, will also have the security device known as “Motion.” The
windowed thread has micro-lenses embedded into the note paper.
When the note is tilted, an image in the thread appears to move.
This feature is already used on the most recent version of the
The new notes will continue to be made of paper made from cotton
fibers but will be thicker than the current notes so as to improve the
quality of the notes, according to the bank.
Each of the new notes will also be equipped with special features
in intaglio print for the visually impaired.
In addition to the design changes, the notes will also be smaller
in width but will remain 66 millimeters in depth, according to the Riksbank.
Each denomination will descend in width from the highest to the
lowest, meeting the Riksbank’s goal of making each denomination
readily identifiable to the public:
➤ 1,000-krona note will be 154 millimeters wide.
➤ 500-krona notes will be 147 millimeters wide.
➤ 200-krona notes will be 140 millimeters wide.
➤ 100-krona notes will be 133 millimeters wide.
➤ 50-krona notes will be 126 millimeters wide.
➤ 20-krona notes will be 120 millimeters wide.
Riksbank officials say they have not yet decided what to do with
older issues currently in circulation. ■