Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Review: State quarters - South Carolina

Aww, South Carolina, what were you thinking? Your quarter design is a disaster.

You start off good with your state outline, and it is nice because South Carolina has a distinctive and recognizable shape. But that's about as good as it gets. The rest of the design is cluttered with way too many elements.

Counting the state outline, there are six total features crowded onto the back of this quarter, and none of them stand out as the primary feature. Perhaps that was the intent of the designer (or the quarter-design committee that foisted its will upon the people of the state!), to show off as much of the state as possible while giving each component equal prominence so nobody gets their feelings hurt, but it just doesn't work. The overall design is dull.

And then, there is the lameness of each individual part. First off, the state nickname is just too creepy. "The Palmetto State." Weird. I can't believe a state would name itself after a nasty insect, but, hey, it's not my quarter, so ---- Oh. Oh, wait. Palmetto refers to a tree? The state tree? Ah, that would then explain the next weak element, that HAIRY TREE! (Which is, apparently, a sabal palmetto.) Well, I guess it makes sense to South Carolinians, but I've never seen such a tree around where I grew up, and it just looks like a fuzzy blob to me.

And then, there's the bird. I understand it's the state bird, but it's a wren.

A wren.

How cool is that? Not very. Unless your state bird is some kind of eagle, hawk, or falcon, putting it on your quarter does nothing for its goodness.

And what is that foliage the bird is perched on? Some kind of pretty, pretty flower? Oh, oh wait. Let me guess. State flower, right? Lame. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say it: State symbols on your quarter designs are always going to be lame. Their inclusion shows a lack of originality, and most people outside of your state won't recognize them. They will know the elements are birds, trees, and flowers, but they won't know which ones, and they won't care. (Yes, I know it's too late to influence the designs. But you never know, they may decide to do this program again someday with different artwork.)

OK, what's left? Oh yeah, that star. Do you think it might be some cool symbol of the state, something that means something profound? Nope. It just shows where the state capital is.

Put all that stuff together and you have an uninspiring, disorderly heap.

Overall rating - 1 - Bad

New Hampshire is coming up.

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