Global Currency Symbol

dudefellow's picture

When the European currencies were amalgamated into the euro, someone had to design a new currency symbol for it. When I first saw the euro symbol before that currency was introduced, I thought it looked quite impressive for being well-chosen. Imagine if there were to be a universal or global currency. What would its symbol look like? It would have to be different from the "sputnik" or generic currency symbol that already exists, and should resemble other currency symbols such as the euro, yen, dollar, pound sterling etc. Although I know that this should look terrifying (not terrific) to those who understand it, but why not have a look at one idea that I have had, and see whether you can think of a better concept. I could not fit the symbol for the pound into the design, as it is too asymmetrical.

Some previous nodes that contain some relevant discussion on the Euro currency symbol requirements:
http://typophile.com/node/18616
http://typophile.com/node/4148

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Té Rowan's picture

That looks like it comes from some old sorcery book. That said, there is such a beast already. It's called a 'generic currency symbol' or some twaddle like that and looks like a circle with spokes poking out at the ordinal points.

riccard0's picture

That looks like it comes from some old sorcery book.

Ditto. And is too high and narrow to sit comfortably next to figures.

there is such a beast already. It's called a 'generic currency symbol'

http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/a4/index.htm

hrant's picture

Interesting, if indeed frightening, idea. I don't think your symbol works. What about a circle (i.e. the world) with a vertical line (or two) going through it? Although the allusion to zero might be undesirable...

BTW, we could just wait for the Renminbi. ;-)

Reynir: That's the "sputnik" David mentioned.

Related:
http://typophile.com/node/64976
http://typophile.com/node/90604

hhp

dudefellow's picture

Great and apt comments.

>some old sorcery book

Is there something more similar than the Monas Hieroglyphica of John Dee, or a spoke of the "Helm of Awe"? Also, there is something similar in St. John's manuscript.

>And is too high and narrow to sit comfortably next to figures.

I agree from the outset.

>What about a circle (i.e. the world) with a vertical line (or two) going through it?

Something along those lines might do. Wouldn't the circle with horizontal strikethroughs look too much like theta though? What about a capital G (for globe) with either two horizontal or two vertical lines going through it?

hrant's picture

You shouldn't use a letter from a word from any specific language; although I guess you could get away with a Latin form - but maybe one rendered in strokes, Eastern style.

Or what about the Power symbol but with two lines? ;-)
http://www.quora.com/Whats-the-story-behind-the-design-of-the-power-symbol

hhp

cerulean's picture

A line or two parallel lines through something is the common element that says "this is a currency symbol." A new global currency would be best represented by something simple and easy to write quickly. (So, not a totem pole made of most other symbols, sorry.) I'd say a circle (for the globe) with two vertical lines through it. Allow for as much variance as the dollar sign has (just one line sometimes, break the lines to leave the inside uncrossed, make it a tiny superscript on a stick, whatever) or more (horizontal lines, why not). A closed phi ϕ could be used wherever encoding hasn't caught up — or indeed the generic ¤ since it's not far from the idea and isn't being used for much else. It would always be placed at the start of the number, like the dollar and pound, because then, if it happens to look too much like a stroked zero, it won't change the number.

Edit: I left the computer and Hrant got in before I hit Post — agreeing independent conclusions make it clear how self-evident this answer is.

Edit 2: Goodness, no, not the power symbol! In whatever future this is supposed to take place, you'd want a clear distinction between "on/off" (touching this starts the thingy) and "pay now" (touching this will cost you money).

dudefellow's picture

hrant: "Or what about the Power symbol but with two lines?"

That would look too much like a smiley face.

dudefellow's picture

cerulean: "A closed phi ϕ could be used wherever encoding hasn't caught up"

If you put that in italics, it would look like the mathematical symbol that stands for "null".

hrant: "we could just wait for the Renminbi"

Will there be a difference between the symbols for Renminbi and Yen?

dudefellow's picture

hrant: "You shouldn't use a letter from a word from any specific language"

I was also thinking of G for Gaia.

hrant's picture

> Will there be a difference between the symbols for Renminbi and Yen?

I hope so - the Yen is so 80s.

BTW, the Yen-like symbol in China's case stands for Yuan. Yes, it's confusing. The good news (as John H once pointed out) is that formally currencies are always indicated with 3-letter strings (and the Chinese one is RMB).

hhp

Té Rowan's picture

@hrant – Not even I can remember everything, especially after seeing that mindfragging rune attached to OP.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Not exactly on topic, but I find a lot of the currency design here inspiring.

http://richardsmith.posterous.com/

dudefellow's picture

How about a kind of Seal Script Dragon to keep the Chinese happy too! (See img:Emblem5studyWideJPEG)

hrant: "but maybe one rendered in strokes, Eastern style."

"> Will there be a difference between the symbols for Renminbi and Yen?

I hope so - the Yen is so 80s."

Maybe brush up on this for a character block. Is the End not yet? (see image: img:Emblem4study5JPEG)

quadibloc's picture

@Té Rowan:
That said, there is such a beast already.

Not quite. The symbol which you describe needs to be followed by the name of a currency to create a symbol for that currency.

So it isn't the same as a symbol which by itself is the symbol for one particular currency, the World Currency.

daverowland's picture

Where did I read that the currency symbol is supposed to represent a coin shining in the sun?

hrant's picture

Ah, the explains the British Pound.

hhp

Té Rowan's picture

I'd suggest an image of a scallop as a world-wide currency symbol.

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