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Michael Tyznik, and many others, believe so.
As we all know, America is the land of the free and home of the brave, but it is also the birthplace of the form of capitalism that has prospered so massively in the modern Western world. So why is their cash so badly designed?
American notes start from the tiny denomination of $1. At the time of writing, that’s 65 British pennies, one Australian dollar and 7 cents, 74 euro cents, or 99 Canadian cents. None of these currencies start their notes at such low denominations (imagine a 65 pence note?), yet America continues to. There probably was a time when $1 dollar bought you a whole world of goods, but inflation stopped that pretty quickly and currency needs to evolve alongside its real value.
American notes are also all the same size and colour, meaning you have to rustle through every one to find the one you need. In any of the countries listed above, notes are distinguishable by size and colour, making them immediately recognisable, even when only a tiny a corner pokes out of your wallet. Heck, in Australia they’re even made out of an indestructible plastic-paper that survives a spin in the washing machine!
But back to Michael Tyznik. As part of the Dollar ReDe$ign Project he has redesigned every American note from $5 up, believing amounts below that denomination should be in coin form. Americans en masse can be a nationalistic bunch, which can result in a resistance to change. With this in mind, Michael has maintained the green of the notes, instead introducing a coloured holographic strip. In his words:
Money and the color green are inextricably intertwined in American culture. I think it’d be a mistake to remove green as the primary color. Instead, each bill has a brightly-colored holographic strip embedded into it which contains the denomination. The width of this strip also changes with the denomination. This introduces an element which makes each bill extremely easy to identify. There is also braille denoting the bills’ denomination on the holographic strip
So what do you think? Is Michael’s design, or any of the other designs featured on the Dollar ReDe$ign Project, enough to get America to catch up with the rest of the world and change their dollar bills?