Slideshow July/August 2009

Currency Exchange

Michael Bierut analyzes the world’s best and worst banknote designs

Switzerland / 10 Franc, 1995

The birthplace of the ubiquitous typeface Helvetica, Switzerland has a special place in the hearts of graphic designers, and its banknotes do not disappoint. The series introduced in 1995 by Jorg Zintzmeyer features not statements but artists, including Alberto Giacometti, Arthur Honegger, and, on the 10 Franc note, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as the modernist architect Le Corbusier. Each bill is as beautifully resolved as a little poster. A design competition for the 2010 series just concluded.

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