Apr 28, 2010
News last week of a new US $100 dollar bill design found its way onto my RSS feeds, and my initial reactions before seeing it were “This can’t be good” to “Wow, this looks horrible” after actually seeing it. But don’t take it from me, see it for yourself. Pessimist as it may seem, I’ve never really cared for the look of US currency compared to other countries. To quote a more relevant news source about the new look, from The Atlantic:
“Boy, the money just keeps getting uglier, doesn’t it? Our new $100 bill is now the official ugly stepchild of our currency family. And yet, that’s a good thing. Ugly money — busy, jarringly colored, divided by grimly utilitarian security strips — is hard to copy.”
There’s no telling when this new look will appear on smaller denominations. For me, in the grand scheme of things I could really care less how my money looks; as long as it still pays the bills it will work for me. But sometime last year, I remember a beautiful new currency “redesign” by designer Michael Tyznik that actually got me excited about how the US currency could look.
Easy to look at, difficult to replicate
What excites me about this look is not only in its modernist design, but the small nuances that catch the eye. The obvious colored strip based on denomination stands out on its own, but also the width of the strips corresponds to the dollar amount as well. There’s also embossed dots for the sight impaired on each bill and the Guilloché patterns look fantastic. The pattern detail in the corners of each bill look alien to me and probably would to any counterfeiter as well. Lastly, I applaud the route to remove the religious wording and imagery on the back of the existing designs, replaced with something more relevant for every US citizen, quotes from the Bill of Rights.
Link: US Currency Redesign →