Dead Presidents

I’m a big fan of an unified graphic look for an organization.

Business cards, letterhead, websites, ads, etc should use the same fonts, colors, and “feel”. Success is achieved when someone can look at a piece and know it came from you even without looking at the name/logo. Even though brand does not equal logo, the essence of the brand is carried through your logo and graphic look.

In a very large organization, when the graphic look changes, it take a little time to integrate it throughout the company. And there’s no larger organization that the US Government.

I don’t like the current redesign trend of US currency.

With the state quarter program, the Sacagawea dollar, the Lewis & Clark nickels, and now a permanent new nickel, it seems the Mint has gone gimmick happy. With all these gimmicks, coinage is losing its unified graphic look.

Paper currency redesign has been better. Most of the redesign in recent years has been driven by the need to thwart counterfeiters rather than gimmicks. And as I said, with such a large organization, the Government is doing it slowly with one denomination at a time.

But what about the one dollar bill?

While the 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 are on the second round of redesigns, dour George is still the same. Why has it not been redesigned with a large portrait/colors/etc to “match” the other currency?

Obviously, criminals who counterfeit dollar bills are doing just for the pleasure of the work since there not a lot of payoff. I’m sure that’s the reason the Treasury isn’t hot to redesign.

In addition….although I’m sure the government isn’t thinking in branding terms… in terms of graphic image, this traditional one dollar bill is used all over the world as the graphical representation of the entire US economy. Changing it would be like McDonalds dumping the golden arches.

BUT the change has begun…and needs to be finished. It’s where marketing policy and fiscal policy meet.