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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 32, August 9, 2009, Article 17

MICHAEL TYZNIK'S U.S. CURRENCY DESIGNS

In last week's issue I discussed the Dollar ReDe$ign project, where artists were asked to render prototypes for revised U.S. coin and currency designs. Predictably, images from the project have floated around the web with and without attribution, causing some people to wonder if these are official designs, which of course they are not.

This week a reader wrote to the Snopes.com rumor-busting web site:

They said that these were the new American dollars — is this true? .

Attached were images of four notes, including:

The Dollar ReDe$ign Project: $5

The notes were all Michael Tyznik's U.S. currency designs created for the Dollar ReDe$ign project. Snopes quickly (and correctly) pronounced the rumor FALSE. They wrote:

They're not real in the primary sense that they aren't designs that were commissioned by the U.S. government or are being considered or planned as a replacement for our current forms of currency. They're purely the invention of graphic designer Michael Tyznik, who created them as his entry in the Dollar ReDe$ign Project, basing his vision of currency redesign on the premise that U.S. bills are "aesthetically lacking".

Viewing the full range of Michael Tyznik's currency designs reveals that his set of Federal Reserve Notes omits the $1 bill but includes a $200 bill. This is because, as Mr. Tyznik notes in his explanation, he advocates replacing $1 bills with one- and two-dollar coins (as well as eliminating the penny entirely). The reverse sides of his designs also incorporate a feature not currently found on U.S. currency: the text of the ten Constitutional amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.

I really like Tyznik's currency designs. They're clean and balanced, classical in style yet with a modern flavor. I like the focus on architectural monuments - these are beautiful, timeless and symbolic of U.S. history and ideals.

His notes remind me of the highly collected 1896 Educational Series notes. Tyznik put a lot of thought into these, including anticounterfeiting features and assistance for the blind. I think his concepts would be a fine starting point for any future redesign of actual U.S. currency.

To read the complete Snopes article, see: Currency Exchange (www.snopes.com/politics/business/newcurrency.asp)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: THE DOLLAR REDE$IGN PROJECT, 2009 (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v12n31a29.html)

THE BOOK BAZARRE

DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE offers rare and out of print material on numismatics from around the world. For our ANA book catalogue, from which much remains available, see our Web site at www.fanningbooks.com .


Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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