Ever looked at a tatty tenner in your wallet and thought, “While it’s really good that I’m able to transfer this piece of paper for either goods, services, or two pints of totally OK lager in a central London pub, our current banknotes are quite… boring?”
Yep? You’re not alone. Billed as the world’s first peer-to-peer lending company, UK-based finance platform Zopa has launched what it describes as “a new retail bank” built for “customers who have grown frustrated with traditional banking”.
To try and win over a nation, Zopa’s commissioned Matt Blease, Michael Driver, Joey Yu and Nadia Akingbule to spruce up our current raft of rather sad looking notes. Currently you’ve got Winston Churchill on the £5, Jane Austen on the £10, Adam Smith on the £20 and Matthew Boulton & James Watt sitting pretty on the £50. We mean, yeah, any of those faces will successfully buy you a bag of chips or a copy of Printed Pages but they could be a bit jazzier, perhaps.
It’s Nice That favourite Joey was asked to oversee the new £50 saying, “ For me, FeelGood money is about memories and experiences – I re-imagined the Queen, Watt and Boulton at an outdoor cinema, at the perfect golden hour when the sun begins to dip behind the trees.” The result is as idyllic as that sounds.
For their “FeelGood Money” assignments, Michael gave the classic ten-pound note a canine twist, Nadia used the £20 to “symbolise the sharing and community bond that money can facilitate,” and Matt’s fiver flips Winston’s famous V into a symbol for peace.
Jaidev Janardana, Zopa’s CEO says “We’re launching a new kind of bank, one that makes people feel good about money again. As we set about redesigning banking for our customers, the best place for us to start was with money itself. That’s why we’ve chosen four illustrators to add some much-needed fun into the designs of the banknotes we use daily. Money allows us to do everyday things, but also the bigger more exciting and memorable things in life so why shouldn’t the people on notes look happy?”
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