Sunday, January 10, 2010
US currency isn’t doing well these days, and I attribute that to an image problem. Our bills are stuffy, formidable, the same grayish-green, same creepy Dali pyramid with the eye on top, twelve references to the denomination. 1!1!1!1! 1!1!1!1!ONE!ONE!ONE!ONE!
I take that last as an insult. The pound note only gives you four chances to get it right.
But then, British currency has problems as well. It’s hard to respect cold hard cash when it comes in shades of tequila sunrise, pink, and blueberry. Maybe that’s why the Brits never made a decent gangster film. “Hey Cedric, let’s go score some lilac.”
But pound notes have a few things in their favor. The Queen, for instance; she’s alive, and far more attractive than any of our dead presidents. Plus, each bill has a little trivia lesson on the back. My favorite is Charles Dickens on the 10 pound note. Oh sure, he looks like he went buggy riding with the top down and just lost his favorite tooth, but still – how classy that a country should so honor its authors.
Perhaps the US dollar would regain some respect if we leveraged the popularity of more current personalities. Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp.
I’ve been playing around with some design concepts. A few discreet changes might reinvigorate trading. Especially if we include bubble gum.