debbie millman

Friday, September 21, 2007

According to Kottke, a "typographic train wreck."

"typographic train wreck"

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Honest Abe will become Colorful Abe with splashes of purple and gray livening up the $5 bill. The government showed off the new bill Thursday in an Internet news conference - a high-tech unveiling that officials say is entirely appropriate for a 21st century redesign of the bill featuring the Civil War president, Abraham Lincoln.

The changes are similar to those already made, starting in 2003, to the $10, $20 and $50 bills. In those redesigns, pastel colors were added as part of an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters and their ever-more-sophisticated copying machines. Originally, the five wasn't going to be redesigned. But that decision was reversed once counterfeiters began bleaching $5 notes and printing fake $100 bills with the bleached paper to take advantage of the fact that some of the security features were in the same locations on both notes. To thwart this particular scam, the government is changing the $5 watermark from one of Lincoln to two separate watermarks featuring the numeral 5. The $100 bill has a watermark with the image of Benjamin Franklin.

The security thread embedded in the $5 bill also has been moved to a different location than the one embedded in the $100 bill. "We wanted this redesigned bill to scream, 'I am a five. I am a five,"' Larry Felix, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We wanted to eliminate any similarity or confusion on the part of the public between the $5 bill and the $100 bill."

Circulation is planned for the spring so operators of millions of vending machines have plenty of time to make the changes necessary so their devices will accept the new $5 - a denomination used heavily in the machines. The bureau will start printing the new notes next week at its facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The goal is to have 1.5 billion $5 bills ready to be put into circulation, at a date still to be determined. The new $5 design also incorporates a number of other state-of-the-art security features. Perhaps the most striking change is a new large-size 5 printed in the lower right-hand corner of the backside of the bill in high-contrast purple ink. That feature was added to help the visually impaired.

Lincoln remains on the front of the bill and the Lincoln Memorial is still on the back, but both images have been enhanced and the oval borders around them have been removed. In place of a border around Lincoln's portrait, the new bill will feature an arc of purple stars. Small yellow "05" numerals will be printed on both the front and the back.

1 Comments:

Blogger Tselentis said...

Jesus christ. What a frickin' mess.

9/24/2007 11:28:00 AM  

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Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at FastCompany.com and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on DesignObserver.com. In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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