Alan Fletcher, Rodney Fitch or Barney Bubbles could appear on next £20 note

The Bank of England says 592 people from the design and visual arts world have been shortlisted to appear on the next £20, following a public nominations process.

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A host of UK designers including Alan Fletcher, Rodney Fitch, Robin and Lucienne Day and Barney Bubbles are all in the running to appear on the next £20 note, the Bank of England says.

The Bank says it wants the next £20 note to celebrate Britain’s achievement in visual arts and design and it ran a two-month process asking the public to nominate designers or artists to feature on the note.

The Bank said it was looking for people “whose work shaped British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society” – but that they could not be living people, as the only living person represented on banknotes is the reigning monarch.

Alan Fletcher
Alan Fletcher

Nominees cannot be living people

A total of 29,701 nominations were made, the Bank says, of which 592 were eligible.

Among the designers being considered by the Bank of England’s Banknote Advisory Committee are Fletcher Forbes Gill and Pentagram co-founder Alan Fletcher, who died in 2006, and Fitch founder Rodney Fitch, who died last year.

Rodney Fitch
Rodney Fitch

Also in the running are furniture designer Robin Day and his wife textile designer Lucienne, as well as graphic designer Barney Bubbles (born Colin Fulcher), who died in 1983.

Tube design pioneers Pick, Beck and Johnston also in the running

Other nominees include Jock Kinneir, who designed the UK’s road-signage system alongside Margaret Calvert, industrial designer David Mellor, who was famous for his cutlery creations, and London Underground design pioneers Frank Pick, Harry Beck and Edward Johnston.

The Bank’s advisor committee will now consider all eligible nominations and, together with input from public focus groups, produce a shortlist of three-to-five names. These will then go to the Governor for a final decision.

Robin and Lucienne Day
Robin and Lucienne Day

The decision will be announced in spring next year, alongside a concept image showing the character’s portrait as it will appear on the note. The new £20 note is expected to enter circulation by 2020.

All banknotes will get a new design

Bank of England chief cashier, Victoria Cleland says: “The Bank is delighted with the number and breadth of the nominations we have received… The fact that so many visual artists have been put forward by the public underlines the extent of British achievement in the visual arts and reinforces why this field deserves to be recognised on the next £20 note.”

The Bank of England also says that all future banknotes, starting with the £5 polymer note in 2016, will include symbols representing all four of the home nations.

The imagery will be taken from the Royal Coat of Arms and the Royal Badge of Wales. The new design will be released at the unveiling of the new £5 note next year.


The full list of people nominated to appear on the new £20 note can be seen at www.bankofengland.co.uk.


Discover more:

• New £20 notes to feature artist or designer – who would you choose?

• Retail design guru Rodney Fitch dies

• A look inside Alan Fletcher’s studio, life and ‘seamless’ design approach

• Paula Day on key pieces by her parents Robin and Lucienne Day

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