Sunday, March 28, 2010
Review: State quarters - Illinois
The badness of Illinois's state quarter design is astounding. Its biggest sin: Way too many elements.
Let's start, shall we?
State outline - Actually not very bad. The outline of Illinois is recognizable, and by itself it would be fine. But, then, lo! What is that mysterious figure bursting forth out of that humble state? Why, it's no other person than ----
Lincolnman! - I know, Abraham Lincoln lived most of his life in Illinois (born in Kentucky, though), so a Lincoln-related reference is apropos. In fact, if the designers had done something with Lincoln and left it at that, they might have ended up with a superior design. But, no, they had to do something like pose the sixteenth president of the United States as some kind of dauntless superhero with a book of spells, or whatever. In fact, this likeness of Lincoln looks almost like parody rather than serious homage.
State nickname - "Land of Lincoln". Just in case you didn't realize who that superhero was.
Farm silhouette - To show that Lincoln was a farmer. Or to appease the farming communities of Illinois who worried that Chicago would get too much consideration on the quarter.
Chicago silhouette - To remind the farmers why anyone even remembers Illinois at all.
Strange and awkward motto coined just for this occasion - "21st State/Century". Because being the 21st state isn't exciting at all. And because making it into the 21st Century is nothing to brag about (all the other 49 states did, too). But the coincidental juxtaposition of the two concepts is something just too ripe for an uncreative quarter designer to pass up!
Overall rating - 1 - Bad
Coming up: Alabama