Little Italy Favors

Made by Russ Maschmeyer

Little Italy has shrunk over the past 50 years from a rich, wide area of Italian-American heritage and family life to a three block row of tourist-trap restaurants. So my goal in designing a local currency for the all-but-gone neighborhood was to establish a link between using the currency and reversing the trend of encroachment from the surrounding neighborhoods. To create that link I not only designed bills that reflect periods in Italian design and typography, but also turned the bills themselves into a real map of Little Italy, which grows in size as the denomination grows with it. When visitors spend the higher denominations within the community, its directly suggested that they’re acting to tangibly re-grow the boundaries of the neighborhood to the size suggested on the denomination. It’s an economic and cultural battle cry of sorts.

When visitors spend the higher denominations within the community

When visitors spend the higher denominations within the community

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