Allison Arieff Begins with Michael Bierut’s ‘Currency,’ Ends with U.S. National Design Policy Initiative


Our writerly crush on Allison Arieff, former editor of Dwell and current editor of Sunset continues, as we read her terrific follow up to Michael Bierut‘s recent pictorial piece in The Atlantic, “Currency Exchange,” wherein he looked at different forms of money from the 1860s to present day, giving little bits of history, insight, and design commentary therein. Arieff’s piece takes the idea of being confounding by money and branches out from there, from the physical stuff you’re holding in your wallet or purse, to the more ethereal concept of money, like on bank websites and those weird little information sheets they include in the junk mail you get all the time trying to get you a new credit card. From there, she jumps into the real meat and potatoes: discussing the proposed U.S. National Design Policy Initiative, which aims to get groups like the AIGA and AIA to create something of a uniformity in design to help people understand their world a little more effectively (or, for a better, quicker example: something like Web Standards for the real world). There are both pros and cons for the initiative, for sure, which Arieff sums up very well in her post (the verdict: she sounds like she’s for it). For more on the initiative, might we recommend hitting up former UnBeige co-editor Alissa Walker‘s piece about it over at Fast Company?