The Exeter Pound is a local currency created by the people of Exeter, for the people of Exeter, and which embraces Exeter’s unique identity. The Exeter Pound is for the benefit of all those who work, shop and play here, so it only seems right that those same people create the artwork for the paper notes.
Every three years the Exeter Pound CIC will hold a design competition, inviting people who live, work or study in Exeter to submit their own designs of what they would like to see on the currency.
April 2015 saw the launch of our first design competition for the £E1, £E5, £E10 and £E20 notes. Professional designers, photographers, amateur artists and an array of primary school children all met the challenge and by the competition’s close our mixed panel had a tough job of selecting the final few. A shortlist of designs for the £1E note was put to a public vote both at the Guild Hall and through the local paper.
The winners were announced over the following months, one note at a time, in the local newspaper up to June 2015. Meanwhile, local graphic designer Si Paull of Sound in Theory molded the public’s artwork, embellishing it with security features - including the unique holograms, some of which depict local landmarks - into the final designs shown above. These final designs were printed in August 2015 by specialist security printer Orion.
The £1E Note
Seven year old Eden Valentine’s colourful drawings feature on the £E1 note, after winning the hearts of the public. One side shows ‘Rainbow Hands’ representing the diversity of the city. The other side shows ‘Castle Story’: I would share this story with you but each time Eden tells the story it is different…. The hologram design shows Gerald the Giraffe, long-time resident of the RAMM.
The £E5 Note
The late Exeter City Football Club striker Adam Stansfield, photographed by Phil Mingo, is the star of the £E5. The reverse shows the prestigious 1914 football match between Brazil and ECFC - the first time the Brazilian team played an international match. The hologram design is a football.
The £E10 Note
Spike Myers’ artwork brings the magic back to Gandy Street on the £E10 note, with Daniel Hillier’s photograph of Concrete Donkey’s drummer Dave Parsons on stage at Exeter Cavern printed on the reverse. Both these locations have been central to the character of the city: its live music scene and its inspiration for a certain much loved novelist. The hologram design is of the iconic mechanical phoenix perched atop the entrance to the Phoenix Arts Centre. And perhaps old friend to one magical headmaster…?
The £E20 Note
Illustrator Gareth Williams takes the highest note denomination with his drawing of Exeter’s iconic Cathedral alongside Cathedral Green’s Richard Hooker statue. Turn it over and Gareth’s depiction of Exeter athletics star Jo Pavey completes a trio of features of local pride and fame. The hologram design is of the horse chestnut tree on the north side of the Cathedral.
Exeter Pound have also created a limited edition £E15 note to celebrate the Rugby World Cup coming to our city. Exeter Chiefs’ and England star Jack Nowell, photographed by Clive Chilvers, is featured to commemorate the pride of Exeter being selected as a host city for the 2015 competition, on which the eyes of the sporting world will be fixed. The hologram design is a rugby ball. Find out more about the limited edition £E15 note here.