richard smith:dollar redesign project richard smith:dollar redesign project
may 18, 2009

richard smith:dollar redesign project

graphic designer richard smith thinks designers can help kick-start the US economy with ‘a thorough, in-depth, rebranding scheme – starting with the redesign of the iconic US dollar’. smith recently created the designs featured here and is asking the public to contribute their own dollar designs to his blog.

‘the american dollar has not truly been redesigned since about the 1930s. the dollar redesign project is your opportunity to theoretically ‘change’ that. yes, technically there are many limitations and complications when it comes to bank note design, but if the swiss can do it on a regular basis, why can’t we north americans too. besides our great ‘rival’, the euro, looks so spanky in comparison it seems the only clear way to revive this global recession is to rebrand and redesign. why not ? it seems to work for everyone else …’ RS

full details of the project can be found here.

via iso50

  • Love it, great idea! Turn off the light and we will glow again.

    Gianfranco Fagotto Berlinghieri. says:
  • dude! they all have to be green!

    gigi says:
  • These are great! Possibly bolder numbers and the same placement on each bill (not sure why the 5 and 50 should be different from the others)?

    James says:
  • Really? Do you think making money look like Mac screen savers will help the economy? Now THAT’s utopian design!

    Dimble says:
  • From a design point of view it’s a nice project BUT realistically investing in a re-design / re-brand any time soon would probably be the end of the US economy!

    Reality Bites says:
  • they look like vouchers, not bank notes….and the design is prone to dating very quickly so irrespective of what the swiss do it’s not a very pragmatic approach.

    Ghostieman.... says:
  • mediocrity is thy name.

    Joseph says:
  • i agree, it looks like gift vouchers – where can i see it’s the US bank notes? i think needs more iconic value..

    snailomorphesis says:
  • so weak, why is it even posted here? a friends work or sth?

    popz says:
  • great idea, great intent, but, mediocre design.

    alisabet says:
  • great party invitations!

    aldo says:
  • dont think the freemasons would be to happy with those……

    JOHNSON!!!!! says:
  • Excenlent work was made with the British Pound coins, why not do the same with the American Dollar and make it look Zimbabwean?

    Frade says:
  • whoa sweet lines! just kidding. What makes these look American? If you are going to “redesign” the bank notes you have to take into consideration at least some of their current design elements that make them unique.

    George says:
  • cool, but looks more like concert tickets…

    haro says:
  • OK – So these do look a bit like gift vouchers for Virgin Megastore but the idea of re-designing the US dollar is quite interesting when you consider that it is really quite awful: All the bills look so similar and dated etc.

    Franz says:
  • These don’t really say much about the culture of America. Instead, they make me think of gaming vouchers or department store coupons. I can imagine they would be printed on magazine stock too?

    jacobmaple says:
  • They look like gift vouchers…

    Kid says:
  • great concept and idea. but frankly, i dont think we have the money or budget to recreate money at this time due to our great economic failure!!!

    noods121 says:
  • the ‘$’ is a giant waste of space on each.

    design as shown is cute but looks like gift certificate to a scandinavian airport in the 90s.

    uglycomputer says:
  • Bank notes are vouchers – and it worked for Australia.

    pickletickle says:
  • LOL at designers: “it seems the only clear way to revive this
    global recession is to rebrand and redesign.”

    what, your 0/hour regular consultancy shriveled up and fell off?

    UC2 says:
  • good idea, but the design should be more gradual not a jarring shift to a euro-note, the greenback should still be green. The motto change/reversion is the best part of the design.

    jocularwelsh says:
  • these look like argos vouchers not much thought other than “let’s make a nice design”, no history, heritage represented. Style over substance…

    Jimmy Villain says:
  • Nice bills, but shouldn’t we be replacing bills with finger print recognition backed up by bailed out bank credit?

    karstencreative says:
  • the idea is great indeed. However, the outcome is a little bit vague and it’s just an insult to the whole idea!

    But, well, at least there is something that american designers can do to improve it!

    mancho says:
  • this design is epic failure. and am i the only one who has a problem with “one nation from many people”?
    are you serious? way to sound like a five year old.
    put back “e pluribus unum” please.

    no. just no says:
  • Like the bold look, but I want to see faces on the front and places on the back. At least the euro has bridges on ’em. How about Harry “The Buck Stops Here” Truman on the $1, for instance? (Better still, forget a paper $1. Have $1- and $2-coins, but have Harry on the $1-coin and Renaldus Magnus on the $2-coin.

    Oliver Osborne says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news