Functional Design: Flags & Money

This week is about FUNCTIONAL design.

If you design (and produce) a spoon or a table or a shirt, your finished product has a FUNCTION. Also, you must consider how the raw materials FUNCTION. (Raw Materials examples: spoon = metal; chair = wood; shirt = fabric)

You will hand in folder called 2lastnameflagmoney, include all the files listed below: 1 GIF for flag; 2 JPGs for money (one front side, one back side).

FIRST: YOUR OWN COUNTRY (Has seceded from the United States)

Maybe California has seceded from the United States? Or maybe just San Francisco? Or the Bay Area? Or the entire Pacific Coast? Pick a name for your new country. Do NOT use the flag or other symbols of the current State of California or City of San Francisco. CREATE YOUR OWN.

Have fun with this. 😉

2machtayflagFLAG (300px ht x 600px w, saved as a GIF)

Flags are most often made from fabric. Therefore, plan a design that is simple geometric shapes (that could be cut out and sewn together in fabric). Choose colors and shapes that represent your country.

Make sure your design could be produced in fabric! No pictures. No gradients. No drop shadows. Just SOLID GEOMETRIC SHAPES!

Your flag could be very simple — look at the flags of Japan, or Norway, or Ireland. But, if you’re going to make a design that’s a simple “X” make sure the X is perfectly centered and the spacing is even in all four corners. If you’re going to design a flag that has three horizontal lines, make sure the lines are exactly the same size.

You can make the flag simple, but make it carefully so it’s precise and neat.


The #1 priority for paper money printed by countries today is STOPPING COUNTERFEITERS. This means using intricate patterns that overlap. When you look closely at the background you can often see layers of images.

Choose colors that represent your country. Repeat colors and shapes that you used on your flag.

3machtaymoneyFRONT OF MONEY (300px ht x 600px w, saved as a JPG)

Use a face on the front of your money — photograph or painting (do not use a cartoon or drawing). Apply a filter to the picture.

Place the value of the money in at least 2 corners of the money (preferably in all 4). Make sure the value is easy to read.

In a smaller typeface write the name of your country (full legal name).

For the background, use multiple layers (lower opacity on the upper layers so they’re see-through). Mr. Machtay will demonstrate how to use Dingbats effectively and how to change Opacity on layers. Make the background intricate and difficult to counterfeit. Also use symbols as ornaments (behind a picture, behind the amount of the money).

BACK OF MONEY (300px ht x 600px w, saved as a JPG)

Use a picture of a building or a landscape — once again, not a cartoon or a drawing. Once again apply a filter.

Place the value of the money the same as you did on the front.

Make a different background for the back of the money. But make sure you’re using the same/similar imagery and shapes, and keeping with your country’s colors.

Due Block Day Next Week