Others feel it is time they feature a woman on both bills. A number of distinguished American women have been suggested for the role, such as first lady and diplomat, Eleanor Roosevelt; civil rights activist, Rosa Parks; and abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. Any of these women would easily fit the bill.
With all the demands and conditions placed upon designers of paper currency, it should come as no surprise that the entire process of banknote design can often take years from beginning to end. In a sense, this time does equal money, but to the designer, it does not necessarily equal notoriety— unless—you happen to already be a notable designer.
Twentieth century history records a number of noteworthy designers who worked on paper money during their careers. Shortly after Czechoslovakia achieved statehood in 1919, artist Alfons Mucha (1860–1939) designed some of their first banknotes. These stylised notes each recall vague traces of his art nouveau roots, and were engraved by the American Bank Note Company. The accomplished British illustrator and lettering artist, Reynolds Stone (1909–1979) designed the £5 and £10 banknotes in 1963 and 64 respectively. In 1923, the young Austrian designer, Herbert Bayer (1900–1985), was attending the Bauhaus school in Germany when he was called upon to design a series of million mark notes. Because of Germany’s spiraling inflation at that time, the ink was scarcely dry before these notes became worthless.
Other banknote designs are notable simply for being mythical, such as the one designed for the fictitious nation of Antipodes by American designer, W.A. Dwiggins (1880–1956). In his contemptuous 1932 manifesto Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency, particularly in point of its design (just reprinted for The Typophiles, New York by The Kat Ran Press in 2015; David R. Godine, publisher), Dwiggins writes with wit and disdain for the abysmal state of US banknote design, or as he phrased it, “the mongrel style of the federal currency.” In another 1944 preface for George L. McKay's Early American Currency (The Typophiles), Dwiggins contributed this acerbic critique of “the federal paper”:
“You can mark delete against all the ornamental spinach—the acanthus leaves and the little border wiggles—all of it. Delete. It doesn't stop counterfeiters, and as ornament it is foul... You can improve the style of lettering—throw water in its face—slap its jaws—rouse it up out of its 1850 stupor—make it perform the way lettering ought to perform... But the vital, basic trouble that makes it impossible for us to have good designs for our paper currency cannot be cured until the numbering-machine wears out and is scrapped.”
“With all the demands and conditions placed upon designers of paper currency, it should come as no surprise that the entire process of banknote design can often take years from beginning to end.”