US Currency Redesign, 2016

This design challenge was compelted whilst employed full time in the banknote industry. I wanted a personal project that showcased 1) a complete series redesign 2) my current abilities as a banknote designer, and 3) incorporated some form of freehand drawing.

Original freehand drawings on paper

I also wanted to make something that related to the pivotal 2016 US election, that could be referred back to in time. This was made in the months leading up to the election of of the 45th president.

My other inspirations for this work were George Washington’s vision at Valley Forge, and the timetraveller John Titor. Naturally, I wanted to make a banknote series from the future, based on a prophesy and the stories of popular timetraveller.

George Washington at Valley Forge
John Titor's Time Machine

The original accompanying article was published on this site, and on Medium, readable here:

“These fictional designs are from the year 2028. In that future, America has experienced the final revolution of its lifecycle. After the American Civil War 2.0, the country is renamed the Union of American Republics, and is made up of 5 main administrative regions. The money is issued by the treasury, which has moved to the building of the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. The Joslyn building was chosen as an appropriate location for the UAR Treasury for Omaha’s relative safety from environmental impacts. The museum makes a suitable setting, with its imposing Art Deco structure combined with Native American styling.”

Joslyn Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
Edgar Cayce Future Map of USA

“The new US Dollar features Salish and Native American eagle designs, and the US flag, subtly in the background. The font is without gender, yet bold. The designs reflect ‘the revival’ – the revival of tradition, ritual, what is essential; spirituality, nature, and community… The design reflects a society that, through conflict, has found re-birth through Return – what Terrance McKenna called ‘The Archaic Revival’. There is no more ‘cult of personality’ – in a single US president, past or future. There is no more reliance on government – the only rule is self-responsibility. The tables turn – the Far East is the new embodiment of mercantilism and materialism as the old United States once was; The Union of North American Republics is the new world’s spiritual axis; a land of clean energy, alternative medicine, personal spirituality, healing, introspection and sincerity.”

“Due to societal and geological changes, the Salish and Native American cultures emerged as locus points for America’s new identity. Thus, they are honoured in these designs.”

“The notes feature text in 3-color intaglio, with the Union Treasury logo in green. The notes are all printed in 5 offset plates. The $100 features silk-screened magnetic ink. Other features pictured here include micro-texts, anti-scan patterns, numbering, thread and watermark.”

Intaglio & letterpress
Offset 1
Offset 2
Offset 3
Offset 4