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What do You think About Changing the Look of US Bills?

Updated on September 10, 2010

The Changing US Dollar

United States currency has been in place since the 1700s, when the US opened its first mint. The design and overall look of U.S. currency has changed many times over the years, and it's never really been that big of a deal, because the basic shape, color, and design of the bills have not really changed.

Well, a professor of mine posted a link to the Dollar Redesign Project and asked students to comment on the idea of changing the currency to the below look and design.

Personally, I think it's a joke.

But, when looking at the idea behind it all, there are plausible benefits behind the changes.

  • Make things visibly different and easier to differentiate.
  • Reduces mix-ups at the register.
  • Aids those who are blind or have seeing problems differentiate the bills better.
  • More overall convenience.
  • Harder to counterfeit.

Either way, I've included the basic changes and ideas that the website proposed, as well as the pictures. Check out the the changes, review the pictures, and then leave me a comment telling me what you think.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The New Design

You can't change the dollar completely without changing the design on the different bills. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with the current currency, which has been in place since 1792, when the U.S. Congress adopted the legislation, that allows the country to establish a mint and regulate the Coins of the United States.

But, as for the new change, the idea is to create a slightly more educational look, where the image directly relates to the value of the bill. The image will be black and white, and the background of the bill will be colored (a different color per denomination).

$1 – The first African American president- (image: Obama)

$5 – The five biggest native American tribes (image: tepee)

$10 – The bill of rights, the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution (image: capitol building and the 10 amendments)

$20 – 20th Century America (image: various icons from the 20th century)

$50 – The 50 States of America (image: a bald eagle and stars)

$100 – The first 100 days of President Franklin Roosevelt, of which are used as a basis of every new president during their first 100 days in office. (image: President Roosevelt and a timeline)

The Different Colors

The idea behind changing the colors of the US dollar is to make them more distinguishable from each other. In a way, this could definitely help benefit older people and those with bad eyesight.

The Different Sizes

The different sizes are to help further distinguishing the different denominations. Basically, the $1 is shorter than the $100, which makes it easier to stack the bills lowest denomination to highest. This sizes make a visual distinction between the bills (isn't this what changing the color was supposed to do?). This could benefit the blind.

The New Format

Since, they are suggesting changing everything else, why not change the format of the US bill from horizontal to vertical. In theory, the idea behind this one is to help make things easier when reaching for bills in your wallet or purse. And, because people tend to hand over bills vertically rather than horizontally, it makes it easier for cashiers and the recipient of the money to see what they're being given.

Potential Problems with such a Drastic Change

  1. Vending machines would need to be replaced, as they wouldn't be able to read the new dollars.
  2. ATM machines would need to be replaced, as they wouldn't be able to read the new dollars.
  3. It will be costly and time consuming to completely get rid of the current bills and get them out of circulation in order to replace with a new bill. (With most new designs, the  old bills are slowly phased out, but if the above design is real, there would need to be a complete overhaul)

So... What Do You Think?

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    • subbuteoz profile image


      8 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Seems like a sensible idea to me. Here in Oz we have different colours for notes and its easy to see in your wallet what you've got. I always find myself in the US having to read each note before I hand it over to the cashier and even then panicing that I've given them 5 $10 notes instead of 5 $1 notes.

      Our notes are also plastic which is great if you forget to take them out of your pocket when washing your jeans!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Interesting idea...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      You have raised a good question but I don't think the money should be spend on something not necessary at the momet.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image


      8 years ago from Michigan

      I believe that because Obama is the first African American President he is determined to get his face on something involving money. His coin didn't do well, now he is trying something different? He fails to realize that just because he was elected doesn't mean he gets special consideration, he needs to 'do' something.

      Very nice Hub - But I hope it doesn't go thru. I really hate using my debit card!

    • ns1209 profile image


      8 years ago from UK - England

      Unusual but it actually looks pretty cool and is a neat idea - although it does look like monopoly money as well and does Obama have too be on it?

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Can't they keep G. Washington on the 1? "First in war first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen" ...first president. Putting a living person (unless the Queen) seems odd.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I do not care what a US bill would look like, it's the value of the bill that matters most. If the value would go up like gold and silver than you could put Mickey Mouse on it and people still would want it.

      I think it is time to switch back into buying gold and silver and keep the paper bills just the way they are for whatever their worth. I think that last time I checked they were worth about $.03 cents. I'm just saying :)


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