“Despite some recent successful progressive ideas resonating in this country, there are still some significant conservative elements to our nation’s identity. A good example of how this conservative element effects our daily lives is this very project; we have seen only very small changes in our currency over the years. With this idea in mind, I decided to take a pragmatic approach to the redesign. I tweaked the relationship between all of the graphic elements on the current notes but kept the president’s as they are currently featured. There are obviously many great American figures that would work on our currency, but I feel that both sides of the ideological spectrum could at least tentatively agree that the current Presidents still represent symbolically the ideas and concepts of this country. Also, the engravings are fairly spectacular and shouldn’t be dismissed quite yet. The copy is in a clean, san-serif face to allow for greater usability but also serves as a reminder of the challenges of an ever evolving global economy and suggests that a new modernism does exist in American culture.
The new notes would be printed on Yupo paper, a synthetic and highly durable paper substitute, or a substrate of similar quality and texture. Ideally this substrate would use a high content of recycled material. Obviously a major limitation to the current federal note system is the inability for the visually impaired to identity between denominations. As a means to negate this short coming, this design would feature embossed copy and graphics. A visually impaired user could easily feel any of the elements on the note and identify that note correctly. In addition to being embossed, the notes would increase in size, thickness, and color gradient as the denomination progressed. So these changes would make it very easy to distinguish between a one dollar note and a one-hundred dollar note. Security elements are built into the graphics and the paper.”
Reid Collier and Evan Cotter are art directors at Flashpoint, Richmond, Virginia.
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