Making Money With Free Software

Nov 05, 2008

A competition to design the new 5 euro commemorative coin, set by the Dutch Ministry of Finance, has been won by Stani Michiels, the Belgian artist and free software developer. His winning design, developed entirely with free software, has now been realized and is a legal coin in Holland.

The theme of the competition was "Holland and Architecture" and a selected group of architectural offices and artists were invited to take part. Michiels says in his blog, "All the developing and processing was done on GNU/Linux machines which were running Ubuntu PCs," with some final touches being done on his Eee PC.

The free software used included Inkscape, Gimp and Michiels' brainchild Phatch, with most of the work done with Python. Besides his art, Michiels also provides his own Python IDE called SPE.

One side of the coin is covered with the names of important Dutch architects. The order and size of which was arranged according to the number of hits they received on the Internet. "Of course this order changes over time and as such this is another time stamp on the coin besides the number 2008." explains Michiels.
Together the names form a portrait of the Dutch Queen Beatrix. To achieve this effect, Michiels developed his own special font.

The back of the coin is decorated with the spines of books by famous Dutch architects and an array of birds to represent the capitols of the different Dutch provinces. The coin was released at all Dutch post offices on October 30, 2008. Solid gold and silver editions are also available for collectors worldwide.

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