Monday, 25 June 2007

Trust me, it's real money

I received an old style $2 note in change and shown in large copperplate writing was This note is legal tender. A quick check in the wallet and it's written on all of them, although modern ones use smaller letters with less prominence. This particular note is of the Ship series, issued between 1984 and 1999. [Checkout the $10,000 note (= ₤3,300).]

I appreciate the concept of legal tender, something which was tested by the guy ahead of me at the supermarket checkout who succeeded in buying $21.20 of goods with a $1,000 note. Technically, they could have refused under the rules of Legal Tender.

My point is that the bank note design struggles against our increasingly cynical attitude to product marketing such as Real Leather (leather is leather, a shoe maker of distinction just puts "leather"). From there, it's only a short step to "Unlimited offer (conditions apply)", "99% fat free", "New & Improved" and "Free Gift (with purchase)".

I predict the text will get smaller on successive bank note issues.