Saturday, March 06, 2010

Review: State quarters - Tennessee

I'm not quite sure what to think about this one.

There is no doubt that Tennessee has contributed greatly to the musical landscape of America (Nashville for country music, Memphis for the blues, for example), so it's not surprising to see musical instruments featured on this design. In fact, I kind of like the idea. But I wish the coin designers would have picked just one instrument to focus on.

I know, I know, the guitar symbolizes country music, the fiddle is folk music, and the trumpet stands for the blues, and by including all three nobody gets offended because their favorite genre got left off. But it's a bit much. The back of a quarter does not leave a lot of space to play with, and to get all your elements in you have to shrink down their sizes. When you do that, the details get lost, and your main ideas get very difficult to see without magnification. I mean, just look at that trumpet. Now go find an actual Tennessee quarter and take a good look at that.

Go ahead. I'll wait.


See what I mean? You can't even see the details on the trumpet. And look at what a disaster that music book is. It's not good design. Again, I like the idea of using musical instruments, but I think Tennessee blew it by trying to put it all in there and by trying to get too detailed with it. A simple, steel-string acoustic guitar would have looked beautiful, and it would have been more than adequate for a quarter design.

Oh, and another minus for an otherwise promising design is this: That stupid, insulting, stating-the-obvious banner that assumes we're all too dense to catch the reference.

Yes. We know you're proud of your musical heritage. We got it. The musical instruments clued us in.

Didn't need the banner.

Overall rating - 2 - Mediocre

Next in line: Ohio

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