Lines and Colors art blog

The Art of Currency

The Art of Currency
As the US continues to re-issue its paper currency in new designs that are devoid of visual interest, removing most of what was good about the old engravings and making our dead presidents even deader, other nations around the world indulge in beautiful, colorful designs on their currency.

In addition, paper money from many countries features poets, artists, scientists, explorers and literary figures instead of just political figures; not to mention turtles, tikis, and tropical forests.

Psdtuts+, a tips and tutorials site aimed at Photoshop users, has collected a few interesting examples of colorful and artistically interesting paper money from around the world in an article titled The Art of Currency: Unique Notes from Around the World.

It’s art you can fold over and put in your pocket.


6 responses to “The Art of Currency”

  1. And here I never gave the art on currency a second thought. How right you are to bring this to our attention!

  2. I remember reading somewhere BTW (before the web) about a fellow who created money with pen and ink, which he used as barter. The currency was not to scale, and usually larger. I believe he made arrangements to purchase it back to use as proof of the purchase, and to be included as part of his exhibit. Regardless, I’ve always admired Canadian currency, and especially like the five, ten and twenty dollar notes for their color. You’ve struck a high ‘note’ with me!

  3. Dave, you may be thinking of J.S.G. Boggs who was profiled in the the New Yorker. His drawings of currency were done in colored pencil and sometimes included odd colors (orange for some U.S. currency, for instance) as well as numerous jokes. He was nonetheless prosecuted for forgery in Britain and Australia. U.S. Treasury agents raided his studio and confiscated his work but apparently stopped short of charging him with forgery, a charge he beat in the other above named countries.

  4. Never heard a good answer as to why US money is stunningly average.

  5. I like the complex swirling designs behind the images, known as guilloche.
    There is an article here:
    A Flash app here:
    And a full blown app for the Mac here:

  6. Love the Femti Kroner bill and the last two bills