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Vivian Wu / Thesis Proposal / Nov 26

Interests Cultural Identity National Identity Multiculturalism Globalization Heritage Tradition Diversity History Time Political social change Capitalism Everyday object Collection

Initial Ideas / Inspirations Immigration / Cultural Identity Facial Analysis Feng Shui Personal Belongings

Final Idea The Art Of Paper Money What’s on paper money says a lot about the country it comes from. Beyond the basic aesthetics, countries project their self-image through their money. What they decide to put on the bills reveals what’s important to them -- what they think is special and wonderful about themselves -- and shows how they want to be seen by the world. After looking at bills from practically every country producing them today, I found that certain visual themes emerge. Most commonly represented are Fearless Leaders, past and present. Since money is produced by governments, it’s no surprise that politicians are up there at the top. I also noticed a run on imagery relating to economics. For example, the Jamaican bauxite bill is an anomaly on come-hither Caribbean money, true. But many bills celebrate the Romance of Industry in its myriad forms. Paper money is also a history lesson. Historical figures, real and mythological, crowd the bills; Significant structures, Egyptian pyramid, Eiffel Towers, etc.

Mission There are a lot to be learned from the paper bills we hardly notice while using them. Yet these quirky, individualized currencies seem to be becoming something of a vanishing species, when more and more people use credit cards to buy things these days. Paper money is not only about a canvas with graphic art forms but also about political, social and cultural history of one country. This project will use paper money as a lens to observe the history and stoires of countries starts from the beginning when it was created to the up to date paper money. It will also bring out the differences of the countries in the world in terms of the paper money.

Possible Deliverables Books Inforgraphics Motion graphics Series of big poster

Initial Mind Maps

Final Mind Map Identity

Pychology Recognition Emotion



Trade Diversity



Everyday object





System Information


Communication Interaction Language Writing


Personality Impression Pictogram Entity

Cash / Card


Paper Money Value

Market Economy Currency Capitalism


Art History



Nation Progress Political Heritage


Inspiration / Reference

PROTOTYPES - Book Table of contents: 1. People • Women • Men • Figures - political / social / heros 2. Economy • Agriculture • Industralization • Trains, Planes & Ships

3. Animals • Birds • Safari • worldwise 4. Odds • Interntional Folks • Topless Money • Artful Tender • Strange matierlas 5. Ends / Index

PROTOTYPES - Book Table of contents vol.2 1. Africa 2. America 3. Asia 4. Oceania 5. Europe

Table of contents vol.3 Divided by time period.

Vivian Wu  

Thesis Proposal

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