Seal of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
 
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING
U.S. Department of the Treasury 


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U.S. Currency

 

How Money is Made - Designing 
BEP banknote designers develop the overall look, layout, and artistic details of U.S. paper currency.  The design of money starts with ideas and rough sketches.

BEP banknote designers develop the overall look, layout, and artistic details of U.S. paper currency.  The design of money starts with ideas and rough sketches.  Many concepts are drawn and considered before the Secretary of the Treasury approves the final design.

 

Currency is designed with a purpose.  When redesigning a note, designers strive to convey a dignified image that reflects the strength of the American economy; retain familiar characteristics that identify a note as American currency; incorporate the latest anti-counterfeiting features; and consider how details such as outlines, tone, and shading will "translate" when engraved and printed on an intaglio press.

 

Traditionally, banknote designers utilized classical tools like the pencil, pen and ink, or paint brush to take their visions from concept to the final model ready for the engravers.  Today, the modern designer has the command of a wide array of tools including cutting edge digital technology.  While the processes have evolved over time, one important tradition remains in the steadfast production of America's paper currency — a designer's and engraver's exquisite attention to craft and detail.