Lend us a Ziggy, mate?

The Brixton pound, which launched as the UK’s first urban local currency in 2009, has been redesigned featuring images of four notable cultural figures from the area

The Brixton pound, which launched as the UK’s first urban local currency in 2009, has been redesigned featuring images of four notable cultural figures from the area…

The currency (known as the B£) is designed to help support local businesses and encourage trade in the area. It is used largely by independent shops in the SW2 and SW9 postcodes in south London.

For the redesign, Brixton-based agency, This Ain’t Rock ‘n’ Roll, incorporated images of some of the areas most respected sons and daughters.

David Bowie (as Ziggy Stardust) features on the B£10 note; Chicago Bulls basketball player, Luol Deng, on the B£5; and WWII spy, Violette Szabo, on the B£20. Len Garrison, the co-founder of the Black Cultural Archives appears on the B£1 note.

The reverse of the B£1 note (shown here as running sheet) features details from the Aytoun Road graffiti wall, and the Stockwell Skatepark

The reverse of the B£5 note features details from the Brixton Recreation Centre and the Evelyn Grace Academy

TARAR also looked to Brixton’s architecture and public artworks to create various visual designs and patterns for the reverse of the notes. An element of the recent RIBA Stirling Prize winning building, Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy, features as a device on the back of the B£5 note, for example.

The new notes use a host of printing techniques such as fluorescent inks, foils, holograms and watermarked paper stock and were produced by Orion Secure Print Ltd of Derby.

The B£ was the UK’s first local currency to launch in an urban area and follows similar schemes in Totnes in Devon, Lewes in Sussex, and Stroud in Gloucestershire. The project was initiated by volunteers from the Transition Town Brixton community-led organisation. More on the Brixton pound at brixtonpound.org.

The reverse of the B£10 note features detail taken from Coldharbour Lane’s mural, Nuclear Dawn

The reverse of the B£20 note features details from public art on Electric Avenue

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