Meet the artists: Phil West

It’s time for people to get to know the artists responsible for the beautifully designed Bristol Pound notes. First up is Phil West, who designed the £B1 printed pound.

Phil West is the Bristol-based designer, illustrator and occassional actor, from Cambridge. Laura and Katie met with him last week at Chickpea Café, a Bristol Pound business on Cotham Hill, to discuss his work, Bristol and his now famous Bristol Pound design.

Phil heard about the city-wide design competition to design the Bristol Pound notes through his friend Martin Booth, of the famed Bristol Culture, who suggested he should enter. Without knowing too much about the Bristol Pound, he made a submission and you know the rest. His design showcases many of the most notable structures in Bristol, as well as common symbols and fauna that one comes across when walking around. Additionally, the design includes more personal objects like his brother’s dog, Immie.

Phil’s design for the Bristol Pound was based on the competition’s theme, architecture and the environment, and it drew inspiration from two of his previous projects. The first was a photo of the London Southbank, where the buildings and landmarks spelled out ‘LONDON’. This Project was the original inspiration for the Bristol Pound design. However, a trip to the harbourside failed to provide all the right shapes to spell-out ‘BRISTOL’ in the same way. Instead, Phil appealed to work he’d done for Brothers Pear Cider, using bold silhouettes. Composition was the main priority for the design, which meant that it was important to find buildings and other objects that ‘fit nicely’ into the picture. Also, the spelling of  ‘BRISTOL’ across the centre meant that Phil needed to find objects that he could use as the letters. The greatest challenge was posed by the ‘B’, which ultimately was made by a shop entrance on Park Street (bet you can’t guess which one). The ‘T’ was originally the red arrows, but since the theme was ‘architecture and the environment’ that hardly seemed appropriate. Instead, he used a picture of a tree whose trees can be found scattered around the rest of the design. Under the tree, is a cheeky picture of Phil himself when on holiday in Tunisia – see if you can spot him below!

Since winning the Bristol Pound design competition Phil has been approached by a prestigious illustration agency ‘folio’, where the Bristol Pound design is part of his portfolio. Phil is pursuing a full time career as illustrator.

You can find out more about Phil’s work at:

Written by Laura Márquez Perez

Special auction – open for bids!

We have generously been donated the following sought after items and services from some of our great supporters. Their support is making a huge difference to the Bristol Pound.

Post a comment below to bid for any of the following items. Bidding will end 18th January so get your bid in quick!




  • Atomic Smash Ltd – a photo session for up to 5 people to have profile shots taken that can be used as internet avatars


  • Collecteco 100 recycling sacks, one month’s commercial food waste composting collection (1 x 240 litre bin or smaller) and 10 general waste sacks. Market price for this would usually be £165+VAT.


  • The Chrysalis – a small business starter pack of a desk, filing cabinet, shelving unit and swivel chair, plus lever arch files, suspension files, letter trays and other preloved stationery items. Delivery would be included and market price for this would usually be around £100-150+VAT. The lucky winner would be able to choose their own items from the high quality, preloved stock at The Chrysalis.


  • Cooperantics – ‘Co-operative Skills Audit‘. This is worth £350 involving a questionnaire and report identifying how your business could become more sustainable


  • Urban Eden Designs a two hour garden design consultation, specialising in productive gardens and how to get fruit, veg and herbs out of even a small town garden.


Going once, going twice…

Set of notes and happy bidders

At a recent auction event local businesses supported the Bristol Pound by generously donating some of Bristol’s finest goods and services to be put up for bidding.

The Milk Thistle was full of business owners who we owed a great thank you for their support so far, who were busy getting to know each other and being entertained by a three-piece band.

Special items won by highest bidders showed the broad range of what Bristol Pound businesses have to offer.

A framed set of paper Bristol Pound notes, the fifth to be printed, were auctioned off for £350. Other significant sets (printed first and second) are owned by the Queen and the Bristol museum M-Shed.

We owe huge thanks to those who donated items and to those who attended for helping to keep the Bristol Pound initiative alive and supporting local businesses.

Donated items were as follows, with many thanks to the following supporters:

The Practice Rooms in Clifton donated 1hr deep tissue massage
Eleanor Breen Acupuncture donated 1 free session
Ani Stafford Townsend donated one piece of millinery inspired by the Bristol Pound logo
King of Paint gallery donated ‘bonjour montpelier’ By Silent Hobo
Bristol Pound donated framed set of early first edition print of 0005 Paper £B
Folk House Café donated a box of delicious locally renowned handmade brownies
Stream Farm donated one case of tasty organic apple juice