When Architects Discover what Stage Managers have Known All Along
May 3, 2016
Finally, Design that Soars!
May 9, 2016

Design Evolution of the $20.00 bill

Recently, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. 


I found an article in The Washington Post that looks how the bill has changed over the years, and how those changes have, at times, reflected what was happening in our society.

The article is worth taking a look at, here I’ll highlight a few of the images, based on what I think, from a design and typography point of view are interesting.

First up, the 1886 $20.00 Silver Certificate.

1886 silver certificate

The typography is wonderful and the intricacy of the ornament on the bill is extraordinary. Perhaps a more elegant way of thwarting potential counterfeiters.

Next is the 1875 greenback


This bill has great Typography and brilliant flourish, not to mention the man of all the hours on Broadway, and a Georgia O’Keeffe esque illustration on the back.

I know paper money is sort of a relic, but I am enamored of some of the designs from the past. Now…can we bring more color into our paper currency? The rest of the world has figured that out, we should be able to also.


Comments are closed.