Money Worth Its Weight in Ink
The heller came into wide use as a name for currency of small value throughout many of the German states up to 1873 when, after German unification, Bismarck’s administration introduced the mark and the pfennig throughout the German empire. The heller was originally a German coin valued at half a pfennig.
Notgeld is emergency money that began in 1914, a form of quasi-currency that is issued by a body other than a central bank and, therefore, is not legal tender. The term is used to describe such emergency money that was printed in Germany during the period of hyperinflation after World War I by cities and states as a means to barter among residents of those locales—36,000 different types of notes issued by over 3,500 entities, including businesses. With an estimated total face value of over 500 trillion marks printed in Germany, most notgelds had very little intrinsic monetary value, but in representing historical events, figures and comic symbolism, they are beautiful, witty and sometimes sardonic. Here is a holiday selection. They won’t buy anything, but being broke never looked as good.
The experts who write for PRINT magazine cover the why of design—why the world of design looks the way it does, how it has evolved, and why the way it looks matters. Subscribe to PRINT today, and get in on the conversation of what the brightest minds in the field are talking about right now—essential insight that every designer should know to get ahead.
Treat yourself and your team to a year of PRINT for $40—which includes the massive Regional Design Awards issue ($30 on newsstands).