At its simplest, currency design should accomplish three things: allow the currency to serve it’s intended function, represent the country it’s legal tender in, and also protect against counterfeiting. Combining all three to make aesthetically appealing currency, specifically of the paper variety, seems like no easy feat, which is what makes these 10 U.S. currency concepts on Behance so impressive. Each designer has taken a crack at redesigning our banknotes with new colors, images, and overall theme while still employing some of the standard counterfeiting measures like colors-shifting ink, embossed printing, watermarks and microprinting. Each designer attempts to not only redesign the currency, but in many ways rebrand America by choosing new symbols to represent the country on the various denominations.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing announced in 1996 that U.S. currency would go through redesigns about every decade. Our current banknotes have come a long way since the first unofficial paper currency was issued in 1609 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However, we can’t help but hope that when the next redesign comes around, our bills look more like those represented by these designers’ concepts, than the greenbacks of the 1800s.