Designer Travis Purrington moved to Switzerland in 2009 to study design. He noticed how Switzerland and other European countries hold competitions to update currency designs and how this allows the participation of citizens of each country to participate in the branding of the country. So this got him thinking about U.S. paper money. He asked himself various questions such as what would happen if the United States held similar competition, and whether or not the themes in U.S. paper money had room for expansion if not replacement.
He went to work on his Master’s thesis as he sought to answer those questions. His research showed that the design of U.S. paper money had mostly stagnated in the last 80 years. The result is nothing short of legendary. He replaces imagery of presidents past and a traditional (dare I say neoclassical?) design sensibility with powerful yet graceful and totally contemporary/futuristic design sensibility and imagery that honors scientific achievement in the United States.
I don’t know about you, but I think this should really be the actual paper money used in the US. And it makes me want to carry cash with me. If only he had re-done de one dollar bill….