[U. S. paper money] stands as the prime symbol of value in the infinite transactions of a great commercial nation. It is worth its face in gold . . . but, my God! what a face! —W.A. Dwiggins

Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency particularly in point of its design is a passionate and lively little rant with lots of good design ideas for the improvement of banknotes and stamps—and just about anything else. First published in 1932 by the Limited Editions Club in an edition of 452 copies, this new edition is also printed in an edition of 452 copies—potentially doubling the number of copies in the world. In truth, the original edition is now one of WAD’s less seen and more expensive books and is often selling for one hundred or more times its original publication price of $5.84. Our edition is more modestly priced—and produced with the tools and methods of our time in history (as Dwiggins would have wanted it)—and comes with a new introduction by Bruce Kennett, whose forthcoming biography of Dwiggins will be published by the Letterform Archive in 2015.

This new edition features reproductions of banknotes and stamps issued by the Treasury of Antipodes which Dwiggins found to be exceptional and a potential model for the redesign of U.S. currency. Also included are reproductions of the U.S. banknotes and stamps in circulation at the time of the original publication so that readers can see what Dwiggins found so offensive.

See some sample spreads from the book here. 

About William Addison Dwiggins (1880–1956) was an American illustrator, typographer, and type designer. His 1928 book, Layout in Advertising, was a standard text on the subject for decades. A prolific designer of books for Alfred A. Knopf, he also designed five faces for Linotype, and earned honorary memberships in the Society of Printers and the Double Crown Club, as well as the AIGA medal.


Deluxe Edition. 5.875 × 9 inches. 60 pages. With full-color illustrations. Smyth-sewn paperback. Jacket and cover with a pattern designed by Cyrus Highsmith. Forty-five copies will be hand-bound by Sarah Creighton in paste papers over boards.