Art and Graphic

The Most Beautiful Money in the World

Robert Deodaat Emile Oxenaar was a key figure in the modernization of Dutch society through innovation design. He worked for the Nederlandsche Bank from 1966 until 1985, where he designed what many consider to be the most beautiful money in the world.

Oxenaar produced portraits of figures from Dutch history, in a 1960s baknotes series and in the 1980s he produced three more baknotes based on images of the natural world of the Netherlands: a snipe, a sunflower, and a lighthouse.

Oxenaar enjoyed adding personal elements to his designs:

  • The five guilder note has a temple in the background for holy things where he added his name.
  • By the time the 1000 guilder note was designed, it became a tradition to add something personal to his banknote designs. He added his fingerprint in this note.
  • There are three names in the 250 guilder note, of his grand-daughter Hannah, a girlfriend called Ria and a secret friend.

    Oxenaar is considered a key public figure of the Dutch graphic design community. He strongly influenced the development of Dutch graphic design into a primary creative industry of significance since World War II.

    His design can be seen as a homage to the people from the Netherland, who continually struggles to keep their home safe from the ocean.

    It is impressive that his artworks have been seen and used by millions of people everyday. The 10 guilder note has been printed like newspapers every day and night for 30 years.

  • http://www.eyemagazine.com/review/article/he-put-his-stamp-on-dutch-culture
  • http://www.historygraphicdesign.com/the-age-of-information/national-visions-within-a-global-dialogue/519-r-d-e-oxenaar

  • Cleia Muggler

    California based graphic designer discovering new ways to balance functionality and aesthetics.

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