U.S. currency does change from time to time, but the basic design — green/black background, a portrait on one side, and a pretty picture on the other — has stayed boring for decades. These concept designs for currency, though, are anything but boring.
Designer Barbara Bernát designed these notes for the Hungarian Euro as part of her MA project. The designs have a native animal on one side, and a local plant on the other, with the animal's position in the food chain increasing with the denomination — five bucks gets you a lowly lizard, while the hundred bags you a deer.
The designs are completely clear of clutter, which makes them far more visually appealing, but probably less secure — Bernát says that she left the 'unnecessary' security graphic behind in a quest for simplicity. But one thing that has stayed is a UV ink, and rather than go for a gratuitous watermark, holding these notes under blacklight reveals the skeleton of the animal.
Bernát has the full details of her design project, from concept sketch to copper etchings, on her Behance page. After poring over the details, I can't help but think that the dollar is due an upgrade. [Behance]