Designing New Currency

Project Published 11/29/17 Last updated on 2/28/20

This project is a two week assignment that seeks to push students design and layout skills using Adobe PhotoShop. Students need to design currency that reflects the diversity of ideas, and people of the United States or the world. Students can also design money for any other country, fictitious or real to allow for greater creativity and cultural interchange. Part of this project is in analyzing how money acts as cultural currency for countries.

Students will need to research and look at bills from other countries i.e. Dutch, South African, or other countries money to get an understanding of of how other countries use color, layout, and historical elements to create their bills. (Students should know how to use layer masks to cut out photographs. If not add it in at the beginning of the project.)

Day 1: Showing Student Examples- Setting up expectations

Day 2: Researching Bills. Setting up layout of Bills. HW : Draw out the bill Prototype on paper.

Day 3: Sharing designs with each other. Show examples from other countries. Analyze as a class the Dutch Money in the pdf handout.

Day 4: Working on bill designs

Day 5: Working on bill design

Day 6: Teaching about Blending Modes and overlapping images to create textures (Show 1 example of Dutch Money prior to the Euro.

Day 7: Working on Bill Design

Day 8 : Critique in process with post it notes. Have 3-5 rotations where students critique each others bills for authenticity & Craft

Day 9: Working on Bill Design

Day 10: Turn in prototype

Student Skills:

Researching countries, people, places, species, objects for their bill.

Design thinking- challenging students initial ideas about currency as just money, but learning to see it as design with functionality.

Adobe Skills: Blending Modes, Layer Masks, Layer Styles, Typography

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  • Photoshop

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Age Levels
1+ Week
ISTE Standards
Students: Innovative Designer, Students: Knowledge Constructor

Projector- Showing of student Examples

Adobe Photoshop


CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
4 / 5 • 2 Ratings

Resources (6)

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Comments (5)

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siobhan o'keefe

Posted on 1/24/18 6:58:10 PM Permalink

I cannot open the powerpoint; help?​

gabriel berent

Posted on 1/24/18 7:04:48 PM Permalink

It seems to work, it was done on Mac which might be the problem. you can email me at and I will send another copy.​

Adobe Education

Posted on 1/22/18 2:54:40 PM Permalink

This seems like a fun project! Have you ever worked with a social studies or humanities teacher to integrate this with core-subject content? Seems like it could be a great co-created project! Thanks for sharing!

gabriel berent

Posted on 1/24/18 7:06:53 PM Permalink

I haven't yet. Good idea.​

Adobe Education

Posted on 1/25/18 12:12:48 AM Permalink

Let us know if you do how it goes!!​