Royal Bank of Scotland Ten Pound Note

The next note

The next step in The People’s Money is the new Royal Bank of Scotland ten pound note.

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At initial engagement exercises run by Nile, people all around Scotland told us what mattered to them. What followed was a new series of polymer currency,  pulled together with our creative partners.

As the series progresses from sea to sky, the £10 moves closer to land. The content for the ten pound note features warmer colours,  land-and-sea faring  wildlife, and a landscape of Burntisland Beach. Artwork was contributed from our Scottish team Timorous Beasties, Stuco, Peter Dibdin and   Donna Wilson.

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Photo from specialty printers De La Rue

Photo from specialty printers De La Rue

Photo from specialty printers De La Rue

The £10 obverse features Mary Somerville, a prolific Scottish scientist and writer. She was among three shortlisted to appear on the note, and overwhelmingly won the honour in an online competition. On the reverse are a pair of Scottish otters, from one of Europe’s most prominent populations of the playful mammals.

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With layers  of patterns and details woven into the notes by specialty printers De La Rue , there’s plenty to see.  Shone under UV light, the underwater scene, Somerville’s equation and Scottish midges light up,  as does additional lines from Norman MacCaig’s poem ‘Moorings’.

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For us, the most exciting aspect wasn’t putting a tenner in our pockets—it was how we told the story. We designed a Note Explorer website, RoyalBankTen.com, allowing anyone to  immerse themselves in the amazing tales of science and nature entwined in the £10.

RBS also commissioned us to make a totally immersive experience. O Street worked with collaborators Playdead to design virtual reality experiences. Workshop participants could dive straight into the elements behind the new banknotes.