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Failed entries from the UK's design series competition

Started by <k>, June 07, 2012, 12:23:25 AM

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<k>

UK Sketches-.jpg


This image recently appeared on the web site of the Royal Mint Museum. It has no accompanying text, but I am certain that it shows entries for the re-design of the UK circulation coin series. The competition began in 2005 and was won by Matthew Dent. The new designs were released in 2008.

I have enlarged the image and sharpened it. It provides a tantalising glimpse of what might have been. An exhibition on the new design series, which was held in the British Museum not many years ago, showed only two or three of the unsuccessful designs. Apart from this image, the Royal Mint has never revealed any of these designs in any publication, either in print on or on the internet.
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FosseWay

Interesting glimpse into what might have been, and into the mindsets of artists who contribute to such competitions, if that's a representative sample of what the RM received.

If representative, it also perhaps helps to explain the final choice (Dent). There's a heck of a lot of heraldry represented in those drawings, to the extent that some of them more or less recycle the 1968-2008 reverses on different denominations. If the RM felt that heraldry was therefore the way forward, I can see why they went for something that added a new element to the mix, such as the jigsaw puzzle idea.

I like the bumble bee in the background, and I think I spied a building (though I couldn't work out what building specifically). But sport? Quite apart from the appalling solecism (ONE PENCE? fy sjutton!), sport isn't a suitable subject for a standard circulating set of coins that will represent the entire coinage for several years. Nor are music, literature, theatre, cinema and so on. All of these pastimes have their passionate adherents but they are probably outnumbered in each case by the people who couldn't give a stuff. Personally I couldn't care less if England never competed in a world sporting contest again. It wouldn't affect my life one jot. I therefore would not choose to showcase the country through its coinage using a peripheral aspect of its society when there are more inclusive topics available.

If you wanted to go down the Isle of Man route and change designs every year or two, then sport, music etc. series would be fine as part of a wider expression of the whole of the country's culture. Equally you could have a 'culture' series (including sport, music etc.) across the denominations.

Figleaf

Great fun, k. There's an interesting tuppence design at 12 o'clock and I also like the bee, but much of the rest leaves me cold or worse (the shuttle).

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

<k>

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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

eurocoin

The British designer David Gentleman was the runner-up in this competition with a series of designs featuring the development of an oak tree.

As Matthew Dent put it:

QuoteHis sequence was determined by the development of an oak tree, beginning as an acorn on the penny, maturing to a majestic tree by the fifty pence. Each design was supported by the elegant typography of the coin's denomination and framed by the border of the coin. The crisp lines of the design, together with the simplicity in the arrangement of the typography gave the set a clean, bold approach. A lovely series.




Alan71

Interesting designs.  Well, anything is interesting when compared to the Matthew Dent jigsaw that, in only its ninth year, is already looking dull and boring.  Makes me want to hasten the withdrawal of 1p and 2p coins just to see the back of this design (well, with two pieces missing they'd surely have to replace it then?)

The oak tree designs are interesting but aren't they a bit too English?  Oak trees and leaves have long been used on coins to represent England.  I'm therefore surprised this series was runner-up.  Then again, Welshman Matthew Dent did his best to justify the fact that Wales isn't really represented on his series, due to the Royal Arms not including it.  I know it is supposed to represent the whole of the UK but when you look at it, it doesn't!

<k>

Quote from: Alan71 on April 27, 2016, 06:29:47 PM
the Matthew Dent jigsaw...is already looking dull and boring.Welshman Matthew Dent did his best to justify the fact that Wales isn't really represented on his series, due to the Royal Arms not including it.  I know it is supposed to represent the whole of the UK but when you look at it, it doesn't!

England and Scotland are kingdoms, but Wales is a mere principality. England and Wales get lumped together - English law applies to England and Wales, whereas Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own separate laws. I'd be in favour of upgrading Wales to a kingdom, to end this anomaly.
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<k>

Conservative logo now.jpg



Conservative logo 2006.jpg



David Cameron-Tree.jpg

The cartoon is courtesy of The Guardian newspaper.


According to Matthew Dent, the Royal Mint initially preferred David Gentleman's designs in the competition to produce a new UK design series. Then, in 2006, David Cameron introduced a new logo for the Conservative Party. He had been elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, but he did not become prime minister of the UK until 2010. His logo showed a green and blue scribble. Actually, it was supposed to represent an oak tree.

Instantly, David Gentleman's proposed designs became political, and the Royal Mint dropped them like a hot potato. The Mint started making excuses - "An oak tree - well, it's too German, isn't it? Rather unBritish". Poor Mr Gentleman. He must have been dismayed.

Since then, the Conservative Party has modified its logo. It's still an oak tree, but it now appears in the colours of the Union flag.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

augsburger

I entered that competition, I'm glad to see my designs aren't on that picture, I didn't even like what I had done.

I like the idea of the oak trees. Perhaps if he had done different trees at different stages it would have been more palatable.

Trying to come up with something that represents the UK, or different parts, into something that isn't heraldry isn't easy. Bridges, flowers, trees etc have been done. So what else?


SquareEarth

I see nothing un-British about the oak, as they sung: "As the loud blast that tears the skies, Serves but to root thy native oak."
Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao