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Design with Currency
October 14, 2009 6:21 PM   Subscribe

"If the Swiss can do it on a regular basis, why can't we North Americans too." The Dollar ReDe$ign Project believes its time for the United States to switch from the old to something new in the field of American currency. As a result, a contest was developed and submissions accepted. They range from the cultural to the cynical, and a salute to American space achievements to update designs to the present content.
posted by Atreides (126 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Maybe they could make it collectible, like trading cards? It could be marketed as a new kind of reserve currency, only supported by prepubescent boys and not foreign central banks.
posted by Sova at 6:29 PM on October 14, 2009


The Dean Potter one was on the right track with the American artists and writers.
I've never liked American money- why should it only sport angry-looking politicians with oversized heads?
posted by dunkadunc at 6:31 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Strange dunkadunc, that is precisely why I love American money. Stern and serious, just as it should be.
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:33 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wait, this guy is putting Washington on the $5 bill. Dollar coins? No thanks. Don't need my wallet to be any heavier.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:39 PM on October 14, 2009


Probably about time that the US updated its currency - to the rest of the world, it looks & feels like Monopoly money, seriously.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:41 PM on October 14, 2009


It would be cool to have each of the amendments in the US Bill of Rights on a dollar denomination. They're pretty concise.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:47 PM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


My suggestion.
posted by odinsdream at 6:48 PM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


"Why can't [Americans] do it too?"

The answer is of course that seemingly nothing in America, no matter how minor, can get done these days without it becoming a hyper-partisan issue.

I can picture it now:

"The new bill proposal has red in it?? Damn liberals and their socialist agenda!"

"The new bill proposal features a tribute to rockets and spaceflight? Damn conservatives and and their militaristic phallo-centrism!"

It'll never happen. Should it? Of course. Your currency is confusing and bland.
posted by modernnomad at 6:49 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Maybe they could make it collectible, like trading cards?

I am currently collecting American dollars. Can you help?
posted by cccorlew at 6:49 PM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


to the rest of the world, it looks & feels like Monopoly money, seriously.

It's still one of the most trusted currencies in the world.
posted by phrontist at 6:49 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Probably about time that the US updated its currency - to the rest of the world, it looks & feels like Monopoly money, seriously.

That's what everyone says about all other money, and I don't know any currency that's tiny and all one color.

I think we ought to have things like maps, the constitution, multiplication tables, the scientific method, etc. on money. If the same number of people knew the Bill of Rights as could find the spider on the old ten (or whichever it was) we might be a step closer to joining The Planet.
posted by cmoj at 6:51 PM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think a mixture of the Potter and Tyznik designs would be perfect, more cultural icons but retaining the green scheme. I'd much rather have Mark Twain in my pocket than Andrew Jackson.
posted by Roman Graves at 6:54 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


My only suggestion would be to follow other nations and make a currency that you can tell the difference in denomination of by THE SIZE OF THE BILL.
posted by strixus at 6:56 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Probably about time that the US updated its currency

But then they couldn't print loads of off-the-record c-bills and blame them on Syria Iran North Korea the boogeyman of the day.
posted by pompomtom at 6:57 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think we ought to have things like maps, the constitution, multiplication tables, the scientific method, etc. on money.

That's the coolest idea ever.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:57 PM on October 14, 2009


You know, I have mixed emotions about this. I have no attachment to our "traditional" currency at all; the recent redesigns that gave so many people apoplexy didn't bother me a bit.

But there is an advantage to having bills all of the same size. They fit nicely in your wallet and you can easily flip through them.

The opposite argument is that making the bills of different denominations different sizes (and maybe even different stiffnesses and textures) helps the sight-impaired in particular to sort them out. That might be true, but every time I've visited one of those other countries (which is basically all of them now) which do this I've been startled at what a pain in the ass it is to deal with my money. Bills don't line up, and you can easily lose the smaller ones that get trapped between larger ones. And of course they don't fit in my wallet, which is sized for US currency, but I don't blame the currency designers for this since they didn't design my wallet.

Also, repudiating the old currency really sucks if you're going to spring yourself from jail 40 years from now by crawling through a sewer and retrieve the box you buried under a fencepost with a really unusual rock embedded in it.
posted by localroger at 6:59 PM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think we ought to have things like maps, the constitution, multiplication tables, the scientific method, etc. on money.

Crosswords would be nice.
posted by Tashtego at 7:02 PM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


My only suggestion would be to follow other nations and make a currency that you can tell the difference in denomination of by THE SIZE OF THE BILL.

Sweet merciful heavens, please no. Localroger beat me to it above, but variable sizing makes it an enormous pain to flip through stacks of bills.
posted by Garak at 7:06 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think braille or braille-esque dots on the bills would be nice -- I definitely prefer having them all one size but I think it's unconscionable that we have bills that can't be differentiated by those who can't see.

I have also become a very strong supporter of abolishing the penny.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:07 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe they could make it collectible, like trading cards?

Benjamin Franklin: 100$
⤸: Throws a lightning bolt at target creature
posted by qvantamon at 7:09 PM on October 14, 2009 [10 favorites]


How about designing some U.S. Currency that's not plummeting in value?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:10 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


LOLMERICANS.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:11 PM on October 14, 2009


The only currency improvement I like is Australia's plastic bills. Perfect for swim trunks.
posted by smackfu at 7:22 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think currency should be made out of cellophane.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:23 PM on October 14, 2009


I've told it before, but the story about the Australian Secretary-General of the United Nations H.V. Evatt is the best story I've ever heard about Americans' conservatism with their currency design. In the dark, he can't tell the difference between denominations in his wallet to pay a taxi driver, and he says: "In Australia we have different coloured notes so people can tell them apart".

The cabbie replies: "Pal, in America we expect people to count".
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:25 PM on October 14, 2009


The culture one is a really cool idea, especially if it could somehow work like the state quarters.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:28 PM on October 14, 2009


It's still one of the most trusted currencies in the world.

Haven't traveled lately, huh?
posted by rokusan at 7:34 PM on October 14, 2009


Cut to the chase: this one is one of the better ones. Distinctive, new, bold, original, beautiful and unmistakably American.
posted by gimonca at 7:36 PM on October 14, 2009


Too bad the state quarters felt cheap and nasty- no relief, overly complex yet ugly designs.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:36 PM on October 14, 2009


The only currency improvement I like is Australia's plastic bills. Perfect for swim trunks.

Yeah, the new Mexican 50-peso is like that. It's fun to crumple it up into a tiny ball, then open your hand and watch it slowly un-wrinkle like some kind of self-healing origami swan.

Count my vote toward finally killing the filthy, stupid US single. All it does is waste pocket space and slow me down whenever I need to fish out actual money. The fact they seem like they've been used as hamster nests doesn't help. I've often got nice clean and recent-looking $20s, $10s and $5s.... and then a munched up mess of $1s that looks like used kleenex. What's with that?

Mexico, Canada and Japan have nice $1ish coins. Heck, Mexico and Japan have $5 coins already. They're lovely.
posted by rokusan at 7:40 PM on October 14, 2009


Fiat money is evil. Eeeeeeeeeevil!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:43 PM on October 14, 2009


Argh, not the dollar coin thing again. Why do you hate my pockets?
posted by octothorpe at 7:45 PM on October 14, 2009


Oh hell yes, I want Duke Ellington on the $20. We could call that "the Duke" rather than the "double saw." Mark Twain should really be on the $2 bill, which we should have more of.
posted by adamrice at 7:49 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Previously. And this one, and...this one.
posted by gimonca at 7:50 PM on October 14, 2009


Wait, you guys still have ones?! I had no idea.

Ditch the one. Make a three. Put Harvey Milk on it.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:51 PM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm thrilled about this. I'd be so excited to see moon-landing bills, Jackie Robinson, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King, giant redwoods, the Grand Canyon, and all sorts of other American awesomeness on our money.
posted by Jon-o at 7:54 PM on October 14, 2009


every time I've visited one of those other countries I've been startled at what a pain in the ass it is to deal with my money. Bills don't line up, and you can easily lose the smaller ones that get trapped between larger ones.

I'm sorry to sound like an asshole, but are you mentally challenged? You're telling me that you lost your, what, 5 Euro bills when they were swallowed by a wad of 20s?
posted by mannequito at 7:57 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I am totally on board for a redesign, but it will have to wait for a Republican president. No way a Democrat gets away with changing the money without flat-Earthers freaking out. Probably even a GOP-dominated government couldn't pull it off, now that I think about it. Who wants to expend political capital on that?
posted by SkinnerSan at 8:00 PM on October 14, 2009


There are some beautiful designs here; too beautiful to ever become real US currency, it seems. The "we're a culture not a government" ones with Mark Twain are beautiful looking. The ones with the amendments on them are elegant yet modern, and the idea of putting the amendments on money would be a great way to raise awareness of the Constitution.

Still, there's no reason to fix what ain't broke: all denominations being the same size, and paper dollars are two aspects of US money that are fine the way they are. Have you ever actually used money with different sizes? Egyptian money is like that; the 25 piaster note is like an inch shorter than the 20 pound note, and it's a pain in the ass. They don't fold right in your pocket, you lose the smaller notes easily, etc. One of the designs on the website had the idea of rounding a certain corner for each denomination. There it is, the elegant solution. Differently sized denominations not needed.

Also, I don't understand all the hate on the dollar bill (and the fiver now, too?)... the system makes sense to me: whole dollar amounts are paper, and when you break a dollar, you get coins. I guess I'm not high-roller enough; I'm not quite to the point where a dollar is an annoyance like, say, a penny is. Hell, I'm not quite there either; I save my pennies and drop them off for cash later.
posted by malapropist at 8:14 PM on October 14, 2009


You keep the fronts with the pictures of the presidents and the backs show their rear ends.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:16 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your currency is confusing and bland.

Bland, I'll grant you. But confusing? They're pieces of paper with their value printed on literally every corner, front and back, with at least one number being freaking huge to draw attention to itself so that even sighted people with bad vision can read them.

I'm very much in favor of regular currency re-designs, and I'm very much in favor of bold designs (some of these are wonderful), but count me in with those who say it won't happen. The proposed designs and most foreign bills "don't look like money" to most American eyes. But yeah, I'd love to see Twain and Louis Armstrong and Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman on my money. Hell, in honor of today, let's have a Lou Albano wooden nickel.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:17 PM on October 14, 2009


What a great idea... I wish they would do variants on each, like a series of politicians on the $1, artists and writers on the $5, cultural and civic leaders on the $10, great achievements on the $20, constructed landmarks on the $50, natural landmarks on the $100, something like that.
And ditch the penny, seriously. Paying more than they're worth to make the damn things just so a store can charge me $19.99 instead of $20 before tax is pointless.
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:18 PM on October 14, 2009


Every single time I go to the States I end up with a useless wad of dollar bills. The smallest bill here in Canada is $5. The smallest bill in the UK is 5 pounds. The smallest bill in Japan is 1000 yen (about $10) and they have 500 yen coins. America should follow suit and ditch the dollar bill because $1 is change and ought to be represented as such.

To summarize, if a bill can't pay for the cheapest McDonalds combo (in whatever country it happens to be in) then it is too small and should be replaced by a coin.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2009


How about a unique Sudoku puzzle on every bill the mint prints?

The denomination would indicate the puzzle difficulty level.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I care less about any particular design* than I do about picking one damn design and sticking to it. Right now it's easier to pass counterfeit because untrained cashiers have zero idea what they're looking for on each bill: on this series, is this number supposed to be shiny, or that one? Did that redesign have the guy's head reflected upside-down there? Does it matter whether the margins are equal? Oh shit next customer I guess I'll just accept this $50.

Please, let's settle on a standard that's good for more than a few years, so we can get an idea of what a bill should actually look like.

*except the Bill of Rights idea -- new to me, and awesome
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:21 PM on October 14, 2009


It's amazing how popular it is to refuse dollar coins in favor of four quarters because the former is heavier and bulkier in one's pocket.
posted by oaf at 8:48 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Have you ever actually used money with different sizes?
Why, yes, every day. It's great: you can tell what you've got in your hand by feel and by glance, no reading required. I know you're all thinking "what, it takes you that long to read a frickin number?" and adding some exclamation marks and ones, but having spent much too long using US dollars, the answer is "yes, it takes too long to read the numbers, especially if you have to riffle through your damn wallet looking for a ten instead of just opening it and immediately reaching for a brown note".

That said, I wish I had this as a problem:
variable sizing makes it an enormous pain to flip through stacks of bills
because the amount of times I've had "stacks" of bills to flip through I can count on one hand. Unless you mean flipping through your wallet or the like, which problem goes away with money that doesn't look all the same.

It's a weird little fetish this, especially from a design-savvy crew who'd be quick to mock a device with a row of identical buttons that did dramatically different things, or something like that. Would a compromise on just making them all seriously different colours be too much?
posted by fightorflight at 8:56 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Not only the blind would benefit from bills of differing sizes, but it might help the elderly as well. And different sizes coupled with different colors for each denomination would definitely help the elderly and people with bad eyesight. Also, what fightorflight said just above, about instantly grabbing a note out of your wallet without having to flip through bills that all look exactly the same at first glance. That's a good point.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:08 PM on October 14, 2009


the dollar bill should come in two varieties: peanut butter and chocolate.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:16 PM on October 14, 2009


You fold your euros in order by size, you can pull them out of your pocket by feel, individually, without having to flash the whole wad at people. Very, very convenient.

Color on the euro bills is great. The designs themselves, though: disappointing.
posted by gimonca at 9:19 PM on October 14, 2009


"Disappointing" doesn't really come close. Hell, this is Europe we're talking about, but somehow they couldn't find any sufficiently attractive landmarks or buildings to put on them, so they invented bland generic bridges and shit? Pah.

Of course, the real reason was to avoid snippiness over who got what denomination, which sums up the whole damn EU project to me: bland down what makes us great, in order that the what makes us awful can be appeased.
posted by fightorflight at 9:26 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Pterodactyl: "I think braille or braille-esque dots on the bills would be nice"

I knew a guy who had a neat little device that took a bill and embossed its value on it, in Braille. I saw the bills that it produced, but never saw the device itself; I'm not sure if it was portable or something you'd use at home, but it struck me as a neat idea.

After seeing (via Where's George) how bills tend to recirculate within a community, I've always thought it'd be neat if a few people got these machines and just started running all the bills they encountered through them. If the Treasury won't put the features onto the bills officially, a relatively small number of people with the right machines could probably get a fair percentage of the bills in a community (say in a small town or city) Braille-imprinted.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:40 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Once a year or so I have special permission to channel Andy Rooney. It's getting on the end of the year so I think it's about time to take advantage of my privilege.

"quick to mock a device with a row of identical buttons that did dramatically different things"

The row of ascending numbers across the top of my keyboard? Identically sized and shaped. Placed in a usefully ordinal fashion. Labelled correctly. A good row of numbers. Useful for the purpose. I wouldn't mock that design at all. Consistency is not a bad thing just because a handful of visiting tourists can't tell Washington's head from Lincoln's or distinguish the wildly different background designs on American bills. I mean, yeah, it's not clown money like other nations print, but clown money is more whimsy than I want in my money to tell you the truth. I want Franklin's round head surrounded by gravitas.

On dollar coins: You people from places with no singles? How do you lug around the local equivalent of the seven or eight bucks in singles I tend to have for small transactions? Coins? Seriously? Eight United States Dollar coins weighs as much as my wallet, and that's pretty typical pocket change. ATMs only dispense twenties; you buy a cup of coffee or a sandwich, you need somewhere for the change to go. Couple fives, figure, a handful of ones and some negligible tip jar fodder. I'm going to what, tip three bucks on a four dollar sandwich and a water? Hell no. I'm gonna keep the change and there's no reason it should weigh enough to pull my pants off. Now I run around the corner, buy a pack of smokes, my pair of fives gets me another three bucks in change. Six bucks in dollar coins dragging my pants south, and I haven't even made it back to my desk with lunch. Sure, I might shovel those into the ticket machine at the train station, but do I seriously want to be trotting down the stairs to the subway sounding like a bellydance troupe every day just because of some lunch?

I like a dollar coin as much as the next guy. I give 'em to my kid when her tooth falls out. Plays a decent game of improvised kitchen table air hokey. The old Susans look almost as classy as a Kennedy half-dollar if you're doing coin tricks. But you know what? Flat money is real money. Coins are for kids to play with.
posted by majick at 9:44 PM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


European currency was so much cooler pre-euro. You should spend drachma in Greece and thousands of lira in Italy.
posted by smackfu at 9:44 PM on October 14, 2009


Every single time I go to the States I end up with a useless wad of dollar bills.

Isn't it weird how you go to a foreign country and they have habits and customs that are different from yours? How stupid they must be to not do things just like they do at home!

I live here, and am used to dollar bills, so I rarely have more than two or three on me. I have habits and customs that, unsurprisingly, are built around the money we actually have here. When I go to Canada, I tend to accumulate vast numbers of loonies and toonies in my pockets because the habits and customs that serve me well in a land of dollar bills serve me badly in a land of loonies and toonies. You live in Toronto, so your habits serve you poorly in a land with dollar bills.

Neither of our habits is superior. Only well-suited to home. When either of us travels and finds this sort of consternation, it is not because the way the natives do it is stupid; it's just that we aren't used to the way they do things there.

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:46 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've got to say, I, unlike apparently many of the above of my countryfolk, have never had a problem dealing with the Euro bills. In fact, I found the system easy, simple, and elegant, and it took me weeks to get used to the nasty uniform green THINGS I had in my wallet at home once I got back every time. They fit in my wallet, they were easy to sort, and by gods, if I needed a 20 I could tell it from a 10 or a 50 in a heartbeat, in the dark, dead drunk.
posted by strixus at 9:53 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Majick, you missed the "dramatically different" part. Imagine you had wired up the keyboard so that pressing one key makes you poorer by a dollar, and pressing its neighbour makes you poorer by a hundred dollars. See the unnecessary extra effort and care that such a ridiculous keyboard would involve? Bingo.
posted by fightorflight at 9:59 PM on October 14, 2009


How do you lug around the local equivalent of the seven or eight bucks in singles I tend to have for small transactions? Coins? Seriously?

I try to keep €10 worth of €1 and €2 coins in my wallet in case I run out of cigarettes and need to use a cigarette vending machine, and they really don't add much weight. Now, those damn 1 cent coins, I hate those because other than paying with exact change at the store, there's no where to get rid of them.
posted by cmonkey at 10:01 PM on October 14, 2009


ROU_Xenophobe: except for all the Americans coming back and going "hey, the way we do it is stupid!".

I'm exactly the same with flush toilets, fwiw: come back from the US and realise that our useless top-flush is much worse than the US standard. I don't just put it down to some weird neither-is-better relativism: our toilets are objectively rubbish, and so are yer banknotes.
posted by fightorflight at 10:05 PM on October 14, 2009


What? A buck is not dramatically different from a deuce, it's just 2:1. A deuce isn't a tremendously different denomination from the fin, although a bit past the 2:1 ratio. The fin's a damn fine denomination in and of itself, and it's half a sawbuck. The sawbuck's half a double sawbuck by definition. Okay, a Grant isn't made out of two twenties, but nobody asked me about where to put the base 2 / base 10 transitions in the currency. A Franklin's made out of two Grants, and if there's a bigger bill I never see it in circulation.

That's a pretty linear progression if you ask me, not a row of things that are dramatically different.

Lisen, I get the argument that "good design" ought to apply to the currency, but "good design" needs to take reality into account in absolute primacy over cleverness. In the real world, if you're walking around with more than a Grant a Benjamin on hand, you're in a situation where you can afford 0.02 seconds to distinguish a worn-ass sawbuck from enough money for a basket of groceries.

If you're trying to get me to condemn the new bighead designs as too similar? Well, no shit, Sherlock. People who actually like American currency loathe the bighead design.
posted by majick at 10:08 PM on October 14, 2009


There are $500 and $1000 bills, but they haven't been made in quite some time. You can still spend them if you get them, but they're worth more than face value nowadays (if in decent condition) as a collectible rarity. I've seen a few, but never in circulation.

I like the idea of putting important educational information on the backs, but I say leave the current presidents on their respective denominations. Although if someone wants to put Obama on the $50, I could live without Grant.
posted by jamstigator at 10:27 PM on October 14, 2009


If you keep your bills in order, there is no greater delay in locating a ten than in locating your mythical "brown note."

I'm all for helping the blind (fuck the elderly, though*), but I prefer my currency to be uniform in size and shape. Also, I hate all coins.

* Again, former bank teller.
posted by Eideteker at 10:34 PM on October 14, 2009


Even if the currency is in order you still have to search it until you reach the section where your desired note is. You also have the overhead of having to keep your notes sorted, making you slower at both ends of the transaction.

There's nothing to be said against a preference; some people like scratchy sweaters too. It just seems like clinging to the suboptimal merely because it's familiar - it seems to have so little else to recommend it, other than "it's neat and tidy".
posted by fightorflight at 10:49 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm all for helping the blind, but I prefer my currency to be uniform in size and shape.

So you'd be against switching to different sized notes then? I'd say you're not quite *all* for helping the blind.

(fuck the elderly, though*)

Charming.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:50 PM on October 14, 2009


Why isn't there a dollar bill circulating with my picture on it ? or your picture? why don't we recycle old drivers license images by putting them on the dollar bill?
posted by hortense at 11:01 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The OP says:

"If the Swiss can do it on a regular basis, why can't we North Americans too."

There are three countries in North America, and two of us redesign our money on a regular basis. It's the Yanks in the middle who cling to identical pieces of paper. The OP means 'Americans', and the post should be edited.

And whinging about the hideous weight of a dollar coin is foolish: both the loonie and the twonie are nice, substantial coins that don't weigh a ton, fit comfortably in the coin compartment of my wallet and are easy to tell from smaller coins in the dark, or while standing at the door of a bus, fumbling to find 2.00.

Different colours are nice too.
posted by jrochest at 11:16 PM on October 14, 2009


fightorflight, you underappreciate the subtle cunning of the Euro project (and I say that as a supporter of European integration). Sure, the first versions of the Euro notes had generic architecture on them, but the second, or third, or whenever people are ready for it, will have European people and cultural achievements. Why sacrifice the big thing (the currency) for a row about something that can be fudged now and implemented anyway in ten years (the designs).

This is one area where bureaucracy scores over politics.

My most hated currency at the moment is the new UK coinage, which replaced a range of absolutely fine coins with nice heraldic designs that had been around for thirty years with a stupid "split-up-royal-shield" design which (a) brings out the republican in me and (b) removes any numerical indication of value from the coin. As the father of a five-year-old who is getting to grips with the currency the fact that a coin says "five pence" in microscopic words doesn't help at all. The old version had a nice big "5". It's a vignette of the UK's screwed up politics that we replace perfectly functional coins with ones that imply "we love the monarchy and if you're a foreigner who don't speak English you can just get stuffed".
posted by athenian at 11:38 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


seemingly nothing in America, no matter how minor, can get done these days without it becoming a hyper-partisan issue

If you're looking for a bill design with potential bipartisan appeal, look no further than the Liberty Bill (I was all psyched to talk about this, but then saw that the blog already covered it - I'm going to talk about it anyway) - it's not the prettiest of the bunch, but it's educational and it was designed by adorable Virginia schoolchildren for a class project about civic participation. Since it was first introduced in the 108th Congress, it has never received more than smattering of supporters, and most have been Republican, but the occasional Democrat has signed on in the past, and as the school website notes, Ralph Nader is a fan too.

Eric Cantor (whom I normally loathe, but I can't hate on a grassroots effort by adorable schoolchildren) has reintroduced the Liberty Bill Act in the 111th Congress but it has zero cosponsors - awww. Call your Congressman if you are moved to do so.
posted by naoko at 11:44 PM on October 14, 2009


Until we finally get a B and R on either side of the ONE one a $1 then I could care less what this meaningless paper that (isn't) in my wallet looks like.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 11:46 PM on October 14, 2009


[on not one!!!!!!!!1111]
posted by Juicy Avenger at 11:47 PM on October 14, 2009


Metafilter: immediately reaching for a brown note.
posted by rifflesby at 11:55 PM on October 14, 2009


Someday, Alice... someday I'm gonna hit that low note!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:05 AM on October 15, 2009


Finnish marks were different colours, but all the same size. The above conversation was had in pretty much every country that was going to adopt the euro (and in America they are not even considering changing the currency; just the way the current currency looks). Tradition, difficulty of transition and the loss of national identity were all brought up. It really didn't take long for people to adjust. Most people use money on a pretty regular basis so the transition becomes easier and quicker through constant repetition.

Most of the defensiveness here is not based on fact, just personal preference and being used to something being the way it is. Objectively speaking, money of different colours and sizes makes it easier to recognise. The choice of images, colour and size used is debateable however.

Personally, I think American dollars are very iconic in their look thanks to television and films. The same goes for the colour. I prefer their look over the euro and I wouldn't have trouble using them on a daily basis (aside from the horrible exchange rate at the moment), but I'd rather have a currency that is easier to use by the elderly and blind, being the socialist that I am.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:21 AM on October 15, 2009


For some time now I have felt that America's outdated currency, and its retention of the ludicrous $1 bill are clear examples of how inward-looking and fundamentally out of touch the culture is with the rest of the world. So I find the fact that Americans are suggesting a change in currency very heartening!

^^jrochest, I'm totally with you! But be careful. People on this board really hate the word whinging.
posted by molecicco at 12:35 AM on October 15, 2009


Redesigning the dollar right now wouldn't be a wise idea.

I mean, why make it appear to be more like Monopoly money than it already is?
posted by markkraft at 1:30 AM on October 15, 2009


Hell, this is Europe we're talking about, but somehow they couldn't find any sufficiently attractive landmarks or buildings to put on them, so they invented bland generic bridges and shit?
It was political: with 12 original euro countries, who gets to be the important country with their landmark on the '500', and who gets to be the cheap country on the '5'... It was much easier to be 'bland'...

The coins had to have a redesign in 2007 to remove the map of the 15 member states with a more generic map of Europe... and they will need another on if/when Iceland and Turkey join..
posted by nielm at 1:47 AM on October 15, 2009


Are dollar coins really that huge? I regularly have around £7 in my pocket (I just checked and found £5), and according to wikipedia the Pound coin is about a gram and a half heavier than the Dollar coin.
posted by lucidium at 2:28 AM on October 15, 2009


I regularly have around £7 in my pocket

No, they're not, although they're quite big (but thin) which may give that appearance.

but variable sizing makes it an enormous pain to flip through stacks of bills

But if you have coins and no smaller denomination bills, you rarely have a stack of bills in your wallet, you just have a few. And if they're different sizes/colours you can instantly see how much you have and which one you want.

Looking into your wallet and not knowing whether you have $10 or $200 is definitely not something I miss about using American money.
posted by cillit bang at 3:30 AM on October 15, 2009


The best thing about the pound coin, apart from not having notes that pass through thousands of pairs of hands quickly and rapidly deteriorate, is that when you give one to your nephews and nieces it feels like a sovereign to them and they think it's treasure.

You should definitely have dollar coins just for that.
posted by vbfg at 4:15 AM on October 15, 2009


We're not going to get rid of the $1 Bill for a long time. We're just irrational.

My solution is that we simply devalue the dollar by a factor of ten. This makes pennies useful, makes a PBR cost a quarter, and makes the dollar bill worth printing, without anyone having to change anything.

And, as a bonus, I think it's more likely to happen than getting rid of the $1 Bill.

(ha ha, only serious)
posted by eriko at 4:34 AM on October 15, 2009


There are three countries in North America, and two of us redesign our money on a regular basis.

Well, given that Mexico actually introduced a new currency just over 15 years ago, that one's kind of inevitable.

It's the Yanks in the middle who cling to identical pieces of paper.

The last time the U.S. $20 was redesigned was in late 2003, the $10 in 2006, and the $5 in 2007. The newest Canadian $20's design is from 2004, the $5 from 2002, and the $10 from 2001. The only change to Canadian banknotes since 2004 was in 2006, to add the same security features to the $5 that were already present in the other denominations. The previous Canadian issue was from 1991, and the bills are all the same size. Don't look across the border for "identical pieces of paper"—just look in your own wallet. (I have a president, not a prime minister.)

The OP means 'Americans', and the post should be edited.

Really?
posted by oaf at 4:44 AM on October 15, 2009


"Even if the currency is in order you still have to search it until you reach the section where your desired note is."

Only if you carry an enormous wad.

"So you'd be against switching to different sized notes then? I'd say you're not quite *all* for helping the blind."

I'm for a Braille system. There's nothing wrong with a little relief.

"'(fuck the elderly, though*)'

Charming."


Please refer to my footnote.
posted by Eideteker at 4:58 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of changing your money frequently, have the Euro notes ever been redesigned? If they did, would it require agreement from all the member countries?
posted by smackfu at 5:18 AM on October 15, 2009


The Tyznik design is superb.

Different-sized notes are, for the U.S., objectively stupid. Yes, objectively. I positively assert that there is no concern, practical or aesthetic, that is so overwhelmingly important as to require the entire country to buy new wallets, new teller drawers, new automatic feeders in vending machines and coin changers and U-Scans, new dispensers in ATMs. None.

I like the rounded-corner idea of the Castiglione design. That, plus braille texture stamps, is plenty enough to help blind people. Also, the denominations in the Tyznik design have different-width denomination-strips. The strips could be textured. A slim raised strip = $1. A wide raised strip = $100.

The Potter design is fresh, clean and elegant. But Duke Ellington? WTF.
posted by jock@law at 5:20 AM on October 15, 2009


My solution is that we simply devalue the dollar by a factor of ten.

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

That said, the devaluation of the dollar is well underway...
posted by pompomtom at 5:25 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


My most hated currency at the moment is the new UK coinage, which replaced a range of absolutely fine coins with nice heraldic designs that had been around for thirty years with a stupid "split-up-royal-shield" design.

I thought that the new British coins were quite cleverly designed; they have a consistent overall theme, which ties in with the UK, its constitution and history, whilst being modern in form, and saying that, while Britain may not be a global superpower any more, it can still produce some pretty spiffy design.

It's a vignette of the UK's screwed up politics that we replace perfectly functional coins with ones that imply "we love the monarchy and if you're a foreigner who don't speak English you can just get stuffed".

I don't see it as an in-your-face monarchist statement any more than the previous coins; the shield is, after all, a symbol of the United Kingdom which fits nicely in a circle. If they had the lyrics of God Save The Queen boldly struck over the image, that would be different.

If anything, I found the recent replacements of figures on banknotes (Charles Darwin with the Queen and someone whom I forget with Adam Smith) more problematic; that seems to say that (a) we're a neo-Thatcherite society whose founding principle is the market, and (b) while we did give the world one of the great scientific advancements of the modern age, we don't want to offend our religious friends across the pond.
posted by acb at 5:27 AM on October 15, 2009


Looking into your wallet and not knowing whether you have $10 or $200 is definitely not something I miss about using American money.

Your being mistaken about your on-person balance by several orders of magnitude is not a problem for American currency to fix.
posted by jock@law at 5:30 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The reverse of the two dollar bill is the finest money ever printed in the U.S.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:33 AM on October 15, 2009


"You should definitely have dollar coins just for that."

Please do be aware there are in fact dollar coins in the US and there have been for decades. They're rare -- mostly given as change by postage machines at the Post Office, or dispensed as coins for unadapted subway fare gates -- but they do exist and circulate. There was a period during which they were not minted, and became even more rare, but are being minted again in current times.

I could probably be convinced, on good evidence, that elimination of the $1 bill is worthwhile. I don't think it is, but I'm amenable to argument. But I draw the line at the deuce. You'll pry America's fucking awesome modern $2 bill from my cold, dead hands. I don't much care for Jefferson on the obverse, but the reverse is an etching of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

It's one of the few slips of paper money we have that still looks like money, too. The conversion to the bighead dollar has really undermined my argument that the US Dollar should look good. They've been steadily uglifying the currency for a decade and the real-looking $20 is almost totally out of circulation now. Pretty soon American bills will lack character entirely and then you people can turn them into Monopoly money without it really mattering much.
posted by majick at 5:33 AM on October 15, 2009


Crosswords would be nice.

CASH MONEY
posted by The Whelk at 5:41 AM on October 15, 2009


How about we just standardize on a single worldwide currency and have a worldwide design competition for the new bills?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:50 AM on October 15, 2009


I positively assert that there is no concern, practical or aesthetic, that is so overwhelmingly important as to require the entire country to buy new wallets, new teller drawers, new automatic feeders in vending machines and coin changers and U-Scans, new dispensers in ATMs. None.

Happily, most of your stuff is already equipped for this, since most of the manufacturers concerned like to sell overseas.

I like the rounded-corner idea of the Castiglione design.
Which is a horrible solution. Now blind people need to feel all four corners of every note they want to use? Not only that, but that'll take two hands with notes as long as the US ones. Compared to the solution in the rest of the world, where pretty much everybody can work out the notes by feel alone, keyed corners is an absolutely rotten idea and certainly not "plenty enough".

(Also I love that you favourited your own comment. Coo, a self-satisified lawyer, what a turn-up for the books)

As for $1 bills: don't let them go, people, they're great! I'm much happier when I can find a pound note than with a ton of pound coins. I've tried that both ways, and the single note is definitely superior.
posted by fightorflight at 5:50 AM on October 15, 2009


The OP means 'Americans', and the post should be edited.

Quotation marks. Hmmm.



Or is it really a subtle suggestion of one currency for one continent!?
posted by Atreides at 5:53 AM on October 15, 2009


I've always loved that Bill of Rights one. Let's combine it with the cultural icons-- a black, a woman, and a Jew, forsooth! I can hear Rush Limbaugh screaming from here. Brilliant.
posted by nax at 6:04 AM on October 15, 2009


Happily, most of your stuff is already equipped for this, since most of the manufacturers concerned like to sell overseas.

Incorrect. Just because the manufacturers have the capacity to make more stuff doesn't mean the stuff magically exists. The fact that Diebold's manufacturing arm already makes stuff for different-sized notes in Europe doesn't somehow magically mean that Diebold ATMs in the U.S. can handle any sized note we might design. Are you really that incompetent?

Now blind people need to feel all four corners of every note...

Objectively false. I'm sorry you're illiterate. I said I liked the feature. I didn't say I thought it should be the only difference you could feel. In fact, I specifically said I'd additionally like to see braille texture stamps and textured different-width strips.

(Also I love that you favourited your own comment. Coo, a self-satisified lawyer, what a turn-up for the books)

I liked the comment I made. When I flip through my favorites in the future, I want it to show up. If this is somehow against Metafilter etiquette, I am unaware. I will not apologize for offending your pathetically thin-skinned sensibilities. Perhaps you are so insecure as to use the favorites mechanism as a popularity vote, in which case I can see how that might seem a little gauche. I, however, do not share your high-school mindset.
posted by jock@law at 6:04 AM on October 15, 2009


American paper lost it with the 1923 revamp. And don't get me started on coinage. I mean, we had St Gauden's designing our coins, fercrissake.

This one is cool.

I actually like the uniform size of American money - fits more neatly in the wallet (however did the British manage with the old pre-war five pound note? That sucker was huge), but I have to imagine that there's some way of doing a texture shift that will help the blind while still detering amateurs from doing their own improvisastions. Scalloped ends? Braille, as mentioned? Perhaps shaped plastic embedded in the paper? Something for the creative types to work on.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:06 AM on October 15, 2009


In the lobby of the IMF in DC, there is (or was a decade ago) a display of money from around the world, and I remember looking at that and thinking how boring US money looked.
But looking at these designs makes me realize how bad our money could look, and I don't want Michael Jackson, Barbie or Jack Nicholson on my money. I'd be OK with the Tyznik, but most of these are crap (and some intentionally so, it appears).

Happy to learn about the owl, though.
posted by MtDewd at 6:22 AM on October 15, 2009


The fact that Diebold's manufacturing arm already makes stuff for different-sized notes in Europe doesn't somehow magically mean that Diebold ATMs in the U.S. can handle any sized note we might design.
It does, actually, so long as you don't go absolutely nuts with the sizing. The ATM units you use are exactly the same as the ones we have here, they take universal currency packs on the rear-end which can be adjusted to suit. Similarly with bill scanners, which are easy to reprogram -- which will be necessary anyway, if the money is getting redesigned.

It reminds me of the gun-control argument, this. "America already has guns out there, what's the point of trying to ban them now, even if we wanted to?". To which there's really no answer except "yes, trying to make things better is hard. Poor you."

Objectively false.
The rounded corner system uses all four corners to differentiate the notes. You cannot tell which note you have until you have touched all four corners of it. It's pointless, because if you have the braille or any other differentiating feature, then the blind will be much better off just using that. The rounded-corner plan has absolutely nothing to recommend it, particularly against differing sizes of notes.

I liked the comment I made.
I know. Weren't you just darling? Quite the smarty.
posted by fightorflight at 6:23 AM on October 15, 2009


You're objectively wrong. The American banknote is 66mm. A €200 note is 82mm. There is not 5/8" clearance in every component of every Diebold ATM. And even if there were, that's still not including other ATMs, or U-Scans, or vending machines, or... or... or... The cost of switching over, even if all the equipment existed, would still be millions of dollars in labor costs. And for what? What benefit is worth that millions -- probably tens of millions in reality -- of cost?

I'm confident that the blind are immensely grateful to have you to tell them what will make them much better off. You are, by the way, clearly wrong, as would be obvious to anyone with any experience designing sorting and searching systems. An occasional slow read of the braille would allow sorting by the faster system of corners. The corners could - and if the designers were competent, would - be designed so that alternating denominations had alternating top-left or top-right corners.

I didn't say you had to favorite my comment. I said I wanted to. You don't have to agree, but whether you agree with me is utterly irrelevant on matters of personal taste. Your hissy fit about me actually liking what I wrote is a derail and is a smear of utter shit on this thread.
posted by jock@law at 6:46 AM on October 15, 2009


All this arguing about bills and coins leaves me wondering if I'm the only person who uses my debit card 99% of the time.

I generally have less than $20 in cash in my wallet, often times no cash at all.

However, on topic, I have no problem with US currency because I take the extra 2 seconds to make sure my bills are all facing the same direction and are in order of value in my wallet. It's just not that hard to do.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:49 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


The problem with changing the money in the US is that the numbers must be something like 95% complete apathy, 4% opposition, and 1% support. That's the kind of thing that leads to little-c conservative policies.
posted by smackfu at 6:51 AM on October 15, 2009


[fightorflight, jock@law: tone it down or take it elsewhere.]
posted by cortex at 6:53 AM on October 15, 2009


> I've always loved that Bill of Rights one. Let's combine it with the cultural icons-- a black, a woman, and a Jew, forsooth! I can hear Rush Limbaugh screaming from here. Brilliant.

Need to remove "In God We Trust" as well. Just imagine the shrill email forwards.
posted by cj_ at 6:55 AM on October 15, 2009


Vis-a-vis affordances for the blind: Japanese banknotes all have raised braille-like bumps on them, which strikes me as a clearer way of indicating the denomination by touch than size. They're different sizes too—each denomination is about 5 mm longer than the next lower—which would obviously be difficult to distinguish by touch. I'm not sure what function it serves—I always imagined it was to make them easier for vending machines to distinguish.
posted by adamrice at 7:08 AM on October 15, 2009


to the rest of the world, it looks & feels like Monopoly money, seriously.

...Isn't that because Monopoly money is based on the US dollar? Am I missing something here?
posted by specialagentwebb at 7:12 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where I go in Indonesia, coins are not circulated; it's all paper money (different sizes, different colors). The smallest note is worth about ten cents. I tell you, I love carrying just bills, no scrabbling around in the coin section of my wallet. Actually I don't use a wallet. I use a zip nylon pencil case.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:23 AM on October 15, 2009


The rounded corners idea is simply stupid for the following two reasons:

a) Waste: bills are printed on large rectangular sheets of paper. To obtain the rounded corners, many, many corners will have to be punched out of those sheets, which would be both costly (it would require specific cutting equipment) and wasteful (what do you do with all those paper corners).
b) Uselessness: how many bills have you seen with intact corners? Rounded corners would help blind people identify intact bills, but after a couple of months in circulation most bills get rather dog-eared. It isn't very clever to use as identifying feature just the one which is most easily altered.
posted by Skeptic at 7:29 AM on October 15, 2009


to the rest of the world, it looks & feels like Monopoly money, seriously.

The American bills are some of the least colorful ones in the world. Other nations' currency is more colorful and looks like play money. Therefore, everyone else should change their bills to look more like America's.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:33 AM on October 15, 2009


Oops, I should have used "ergo" instead of "therefore" to indicate that I was being jocose. Please accept my apologies.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:34 AM on October 15, 2009


I look forward to purchasing a frappucino with the Satanic Freemason Owl three dollar bill.
posted by nanojath at 7:37 AM on October 15, 2009


ZOMG. If you look at the dollar pictured on the newspaper in this post - it REALLY IS THE YEAR OF THE WHOPPER, GUYS.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:51 AM on October 15, 2009


jock@law: "You're objectively wrong. The American banknote is 66mm. A €200 note is 82mm. There is not 5/8" clearance in every component "

200 euro notes aren't dispensed by ATMs, they can be only gotten in banks. Additionally, who in their right mind would use a 200 euro note in a vending machine?
posted by minifigs at 8:18 AM on October 15, 2009


There should be a dollar coin, and it should be about the same size as the English pound coin. That's a nicely designed piece of change -- even a visitor can quickly and easily fish one out of his pocket by touch. The mistake the US keeps making is to make the dollar coin so damned big. It should be smaller but slightly thicker than a quarter, and everyone would happily use it.
posted by rusty at 8:22 AM on October 15, 2009


There should be a dollar coin, and it should be about the same size as the English pound coin.

Or, indeed, the €1 coin. And both the pound and the euro have the nice feature of the £2/€2 coin being distinctively larger.

In any case, the US shouldn't follow Australia's example as far as coin sizes go. The largest coin is 50c, followed by 20c. $1 is the same diameter as 10c but thicker and gold-plated, and $2 is about half the diameter of that. I have yet to see a sensible justification for this.
posted by acb at 8:59 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


> ...but I have to imagine that there's some way of doing a texture shift that will help the blind while still detering amateurs from doing their own improvisastions. Scalloped ends? Braille, as mentioned? Perhaps shaped plastic embedded in the paper? Something for the creative types to work on.

Braille will get worn down, and edges are problematic. Punch holes instead. It would be simply another unit on the press, with minimal additional cost.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:08 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


...There is not 5/8" clearance in every component of every Diebold ATM. And even if there were, that's still not including other ATMs, or U-Scans, or vending machines, or... or... or... The cost of switching over, even if all the equipment existed, would still be millions of dollars in labor costs. And for what? What benefit is worth that millions -- probably tens of millions in reality -- of cost?...
This is part of what killed the dollar coin. (I know, I know, they still make them. And unless you buy stamps or train tickets with cash from vending machines, you never see 'em.) The dollar coin isn't distinct enough from the quarter, but they can't appreciably change the size, width or weight without requiring a lot of commercial vending machines to be revamped. As noted, the dollar coin should follow the sort of size progression that the English pound or Australian dollar coins have. Good luck with that. The vending machine industry just spent all that money on bill scanners - think they want to retool for a new dollar coin?

There are other factors, including that when they first tried the new dollar coin design, there hadn't been any dollar coins minted in a while and they marketed it as collectible. This caused (some) folks to collect them rather than spend them, and the immediate market research said "welp, nobody's using them, better scale back production." In fact, I do the same thing - whenever I get a dollar coin, I hesitate to spend it, because when will I see another one?

One of the things I liked about the dollar coin, is that it meant my pockets got less clogged with quarters, so the total bulk per value actually dropped.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:58 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I said: The only currency improvement I like is Australia's plastic bills.

Oh, I thought of other one. The currency with windows is neat, like Mexico. They even do it on a 20 peso note, which is roughly their dollar bill.
posted by smackfu at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2009


Yes, please, let's redesign our money in the states. I go back and forth between Australia and the US every few months, and coming back to the US it's always a shock about how shitty our money really is compared to other countries. Poorly-designed, ugly, bad for people with vision problems and the elderly (and plummeting in value).

Of course, it'll never change (adequately). Never never never never never. We can't even get people to use the metric system; you think they'll tolerate better money? Once you start down that road, you're flirting with socialism. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN
posted by barnacles at 10:34 AM on October 15, 2009


I always liked the Seychelles Islands currency; colorful and they have lovely images of turtles and birds. Also, their coins are sized and weighted based on their value (i.e. 1 cent is made of a light metal).

My changes for US banknotes include much of what has already been mentioned, like the Bill of Rights, better colors, dollar coins, braille, and coins with numbers on them.

Also, what ever happened to the Amero? or was that just an anti-NAFTA thing?
posted by robot at 11:18 AM on October 15, 2009


Some of the new designs I've seen are beautiful, clever, iconic, and useful. Let's get rid of the idea that "US money is boring and ugly" though. It's just a lazy way of saying that US money is monochrome. So are Rembrandt etchings. There is nothing wrong with monochrome money. If you can't read and need color cues, you're out of luck, but maybe you could learn to recognize the numbers 1, 5, 10, and 20?

I wouldn't hate to see a redesign, not because our money is "ugly," but rather because the icongraphy is archaic, irrelevant, non-inclusive, and obscure.
posted by nax at 11:35 AM on October 15, 2009


For you dollar coin fans out there, get thee to the Circulating $1 Coin Direct Ship Program and pick up $250 worth, shipped to your door, at face value. Spread them around!
posted by alexei at 1:52 PM on October 15, 2009


Let's get rid of "In God We Trust" and go back to "Mind Your Business."
posted by Eideteker at 2:49 PM on October 15, 2009


I wouldn't hate to see a redesign, not because our money is "ugly," but rather because the icongraphy is archaic, irrelevant, non-inclusive, and obscure.

Ditto.

Elvis on the $5 would be awesome. Buddy, can you spare a king?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:18 PM on October 15, 2009


Lest everyone take me for some kind of permanently scowling curmudgeon: If you put Mark Twain on the currency I'll let you do whatever the hell you want with it without a damned complaint. Cover it in glitter and corporate co-branding, I'll STFU as long as I can spend a stack of Clemens.
posted by majick at 3:46 PM on October 15, 2009


The vending machine lobbyists will keep extreme paper or coin changes at bay. Have you ever considered having to refit an entire nation of machines engineered to take only one size of paper and specific sizes of coins? I seriously love these designs since I saw them earlier this year but anything that causes too much turmoil in industry won't be taken seriously.
posted by msbutah at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2009


Braille will get worn down, and edges are problematic. Punch holes instead. It would be simply another unit on the press, with minimal additional cost.

I had considered your objections, which is why I left it in the air. I suppose punch holes would work if the higher the denomination, the fewer the holes. Otherwise, bad people with hole punches might work mischief.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:57 AM on October 16, 2009


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