Dollar Redesign Project

Richard Smith is hosting the Dollar Redesign Project, which is starting to attract some interesting redesigns of American paper currency.  Including this set from Michael Tyznik.


Tyznik does a few things right, demonstrating a keen understanding of US currency that few people in the design competition do.  For starters he’s kept the bills green, the US Presidents are still front and center, along with specific US landmarks on the back, and he’s made one crucial change that makes 100% sense.

On each bill he’s included two passages from the Bill of Rights.  Despite what Christian Fundies would have you believe, it is not God that makes America what she is, it is our government and the government starts with the Bill of Rights.  When America is gone, the Bill of Rights will endure for other countries to study and improve upon.

In addition, I think one of the most important things about America is our Bill of Rights. I think it is probably the most important information any citizen can have, and for that reason, it is printed on the back of the bills. It is sometimes thought the amendments are listed in order of importance, so it makes sense to have the first ones on the most common bills and the last ones on the less common bills.

I don’t particularly agree with him changing the denominations — getting rid of the penny, changing the dollar bill to a coin, adding a $2 coin and swapping the $500 bill for a $200 denomination.  But, though I don’t necessarily agree with him, it’s clear that he’s thought about those changes and has clear reasons for them.

Lastly, I changed the denominations of the bills. I think we need to get rid of the penny, because they’ve gotten to the point that they’re more expensive to produce than they’re worth. Instead, the coins would be 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1, and $2. The coins can keep their current design, and the $2 would be slightly thicker and larger than the $1, with a shape similar to the UK 50p coin. I’ve added a $200 bill because the $500 is entirely impractical, but the 200 € banknote is in general circulation and I think a $200 could be useful.

Again, the site is worth perusing for the humorous suggestions, the bizarre suggestions and the quality ones like the one above.  One thing is clear though, is that it is time to give US currency a much needed face lift.

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