Bristol Pound Design Competition 2018

A blank Bristol Pound note with 'Your Artwork Here' across it

Design Bristol's Money

Download, print and display our design competition poster


Five years on from the launch of the Bristol pound, the UK’s first city-wide currency, we’re getting ready to redesign our paper Bristol Pounds once again. To do this we’re inviting anyone who lives, works or learns in Bristol to submit designs and images for the third edition of Bristol’s money, which will be released in June 2018.

There have been two editions of the Bristol Pound so far, and we are always amazed at the quality of entries and the designs that Bristol produces. The eight images from our four notes are now famous and are found all over the city in tills, pockets and purses – as there is over £B100,000 in circulation. They have also gone further afield; they are a much sought-after tourist souvenir and have been seen on TV and in the press (as well as various museums around the world including the M Shed and the British Museum). Two of our previous winners have kicked off professional careers on the back of winning. Even the Queen has been presented with our money!

So whether you’re at school, a student, a professional or an enthusiastic amateur, your design or illustration could be featured on a paper Bristol Pound and you could become a little bit of Bristol’s history.

Who can enter?

Entries are open to anyone who lives, learns or works within the BS postcode area. The competition will run for a month, starting from  22nd January 2018 and closing at 9am 26th February 2018. All entries should be sent to Bristol Pound office by email or post (details below).

Work with children?

Download our template and have them do their own designs and enter the compeition. Traditionally, we keep one side of one of the notes for a child's design. It's a great idea for an art lesson! You can tell them about local currencies, then let them design their own.

Download the note template here

Design Themes

Whether you live North or South of the river, support City or Rovers or work in Filton, Avonmouth or the city centre, you will know that Bristol has a heritage and a character all of its own. Four themes will feature on the Bristol Pound paper pounds:

Art and Culture - Renowned for its music, visual and performing arts, festivals and even its graffiti, Bristol has a well-earned reputation for homegrown talent and a welcoming and enthusiastic audience.

Rebellion and protest movements – Bristol has a fiercely independent spirit, and a long history of doing things its own way. We’ve pushed back and won; We even have our own money! Let’s celebrate this.

Wildlife & nature - Bristol has fantastic green spaces, abundant urban wildlife, interesting schemes to reduce pollution and waste and a real appreciation of our environment. What image would capture these qualities?

Maritime Heritage - Bristol is built around its docks and has always looked towards the sea for trade and friendship. From John Cabot discovering North America, to the horrors of the slave trade, to Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the sinews of the City are tied up with the sea. Help us find an image to reflect this.

Key dates:

Monday 22nd January - competition opens
Monday 26th February - competition closes
Friday 9th  March - winning designs announced

June - a new note launch party, where you can be among the first to get your hands on the undoubtedly uniquely inspiringly beautiful brand spanking new hot-off-the-press 3rd edition notes.


Download full info including: how to enter, rules and technical info here

A short note on Bristol Pound owning the designs

We have had some queries around the ownership clause in the rules. The rules state that 'All entries will become the sole property of the Bristol Pound'. While this is often not the case with design competitions, it is necessary in this case for design entries to be owned by the Bristol Pound CIC, for security reasons (we're not saying you'd go print Bristol Pounds, but we've got to be super secure about this whole printing money thing!). Once the winning designs have been confirmed, artists of the non-winning designs are very welcome to request ownership of their design be returned to them. We have in the past used non-winning entries for other purposes within the Bristol Pound (as they are invaluable assets to the community company), which we would not do if the design is returned.

Also, while Bristol Pound retains ownership of the winning artwork, we very much welcome artists to work with the Bristol Pound to promote their work including developing merchandise.


2015 Notes spread out on table