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These Dollar Bill Concepts Are Better Than The Real Thing

Illustration for article titled These Dollar Bill Concepts Are Better Than The Real Thing

While U.S. currency does change a little on occasional, the basic design of the notes has stayed fairly constant: green/black background, a portrait on one side, and a pretty picture on the other. These concepts take that classic design, and turn it on its head.

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They're the work of designer Travis Purrington, and his philosophy was to create a currency that was forwards-looking, rather than reminiscent of the past. Rather than railroads and 19th-century landscape portraits, you get molecules, astronauts and silicon circuits. As Purrington explains:

This particular series plays on themes of human discovery and endeavors to connect achievement, theory and the fundamental properties of life.

This is of course not a conspiracy to trivialize or shun the great deeds of the past, but to communicate principle rather than effigy permeating through the spirit of industrial, organic and elemental systems.

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Aesthetically, I also think he's nailed it. There's something strangely appealing about a portrait-oriented banknote. As far as I'm aware (although I'm sure a currency expert will be along to correct me post-haste), every country uses landscape-oriented money, so to see a portrait design is decidedly refreshing. The pastel colors and monochrome contrast definitely gives a modern look, which chimes well with his overall design philosophy.

Illustration for article titled These Dollar Bill Concepts Are Better Than The Real Thing

Purrington says that he was inspired by Switzerland, which holds a contest every 20 years or so to redesign the franc. If there were a competition to replace our bills tomorrow, these would definitely get my vote. [Travis Purrington]

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DISCUSSION

eastboundstumptown
EastboundStumptown

Also...he varied the size by denomination! Other countries do this for their visually-impaired citizens so they can differentiate without having to rely on someone else to ensure they aren't being swindled. Whether we ever change the art or orientation, the size changes should happen.