Imagine designing something that everybody desires. What is it? How does it look? What does it do? A shiny car? Not for those that can’t drive. A mobile phone? Not if you can’t use one. What is the most universally desired product in the world?
One argument would be money.
Money makes the world go round, and in today’s global environment money is just numbers being fired across boardrooms and international undersea cables to and from servers and financial institutions, but the down and dirty amount us still deal In cold hard cash. Cash is king, and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. There’s nothing that wets a sellers chops more than the sight and smell of a big wad of twenties ready to blow on their next impulse.
But who designs the money? Money, like all the things its used to barter against, needs to be designed for the people who use it. But how do you distil 350,000,000 peoples needs into a coin or note? How do you set about making that what is desirable desirable?
When the new euro currency was being planned in 1996, the powers that be were faced with a problem: identity. How do you represent the identity of millions, many of whom have been at war as recently as the forties. How do we say ‘this represents me’ without alienating others? The answer was in plurality, having each country or sub group with their own national side, and a common side to represent the denominations.
Luc Luycx designed the common side. He’s a computer engineer from Belgium working with the Royal Belgian Mint. His signature is visible on the coins, beneath the O on the 2 euro coin as ‘LL’. Go ahead, check. I’ll wait.
For those too impatient or too broke!
Why these coins? Surely there must have been a selection process, with competing designs? What did the other possibilities look like?
And the notes are even better. Just look at some of the crazy designs for euro notes,
This series by Roger Pfund (Switzerland) is based on symbols
Winning design by Robert Kalina (Austria)
How crazy would it be to have dance steps on the back of a fiver?
(Klaus Michel & Sanne Jünger, Germany)
Source:euro information website