Dollar Symbol / Sign ... 2 vertical strokes or 1?

5star's picture

Most of the fonts I own have the dollar symbol with only one vertical stroke, and sometime of those the stroke doesn't go all the way through the S shape instead simply projects from top of the S shape and from the bottom of the S shape.

But almost all old school typewriting machines have a double vertical stroke.

Most advertizements featuring price in dollars use a single vertical stroke. But, throughout the Hip Hop culture the double vertical stroke is most common.

So what gives? Which one is 'proper'?

FYI, from Wiki...

The best documented explanation reveals that the sign evolved out of the Spanish and Spanish American scribal abbreviation "ps" for pesos. A study of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century manuscripts shows that the s gradually came to be written over the p developing a close equivalent to the "$" mark

There is a theory that the dollar sign goes back to the most important Roman coin, the sestertius, which had the letters 'HS' as its currency sign. When superimposed these letters form a dollar sign with two vertical strokes (the horizontal line of the 'H' merging into the 'S').


5star's picture

Thanks Nick!

I got a commish to design a huge backdrop for a Hip Hop artist's photo shoot, a major element of which is a ten foot tall hand drawn dollar sign. I designed the dollar sign with double vertical strokes because because compositionally speaking I think the double vertical stroke has more tension reacting with the S shape of the dollar sign ...and bonus as it turns out that that form of dollar sign is by far the most common throughout the Hip Hop and Rap community.

So that would be nu skool youts using old school representation as a means of modern communication evolution.


cerulean's picture

The hip hop fantasy of wealth is very rococo; more is more. It stands to reason that it would reject the form of the symbol with fewer lines as not fancy enough.

Advertisements may be the flip side of that. They'll use every trick possible to make something seem like a better deal; they may have hit upon the idea that a simpler dollar sign psychologically looks cheaper.

5star's picture

more is more.

For sure!


oldnick's picture

You nailed it…

At least, more money for those who already have too much is cool, right?

5star's picture

, right?



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