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.
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.
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’.
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.