Monday, February 16
Apropos of Nothing
I was recently sent a link to a gallery of beautifully-designed provisional local currency notes used in Germany during the financially unstable era of the Weimar Republic, that wobbly, uncertain period of democratic experiment between the Hohenzollern collapse in 1918 and the rise of Nazi tyranny in the early '30s. During this period, it appears, different towns and even companies hired artists to design currency to provide a certain stability to their workers and residents in the midst of, at various points, deflation and inflation. While I doubt they were worth much, they do show the startlingly good and bold quality of graphic design during the first part of the previous century, and that, in contrast to the hallucigenic-looking new bills being put out by the Treasury Department, adding color doesn't mean making something look like play-money. I mean, honestly, some of the new-ish watermarks look like Schoolhouse Rock cartoons.