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November 8, 2011

Though the sprawling Occupy movement may not be able to agree to a central compact, or even list of demands, its message that wealth inequality in America is untenable is a pressing, and salient, one. And a pair of San Francisco graphic designers are putting their shoulders to the wheel with a series of deft infographics highlighting precisely that point. What's more, they're printing their manifesto and distributing it on just what they're most critical of: money. Occupy George is the work of Andy Dao and Ivan Cash, and by printing a handful of simple charts and graphs on dollar bills, they're literally stamping the medium with the message. Check out their designs and hear what Dao and Cash have to say.

Not only do Cash and Dao stamp their designs on dollar bills, but they also offer a template you can download to print on your own money. Cash told me that according to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving "the dollars are still fit to be used as leg
Not only do Cash and Dao stamp their designs on dollar bills, but they also offer a template you can download to print on your own money. Cash told me that according to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving "the dollars are still fit to be used as legal tender."
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"We print in the lowest denomination to increase accessibility," says Cash. "We fear that people might have trepidation with the design on larger bills. We did print 'Future Property of the 1%' on a one-hundred dollar bill though. It's out there."
"We print in the lowest denomination to increase accessibility," says Cash. "We fear that people might have trepidation with the design on larger bills. We did print 'Future Property of the 1%' on a one-hundred dollar bill though. It's out there."
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"The design and advertising fields really equip people with a skill set that is quite powerful," says Cash. "But that comes with the responsibility to use those skills critically. You really can persuade people of something and I hope to to try to harness
"The design and advertising fields really equip people with a skill set that is quite powerful," says Cash. "But that comes with the responsibility to use those skills critically. You really can persuade people of something and I hope to to try to harness that power for good."
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"I generally support the Occupy movement. I was watching TV and saw people get kicked out of their homes because they couldn't pay their mortgages. I feel a general frustration with the American economy," says Cash. "We approached this project like you wo
"I generally support the Occupy movement. I was watching TV and saw people get kicked out of their homes because they couldn't pay their mortgages. I feel a general frustration with the American economy," says Cash. "We approached this project like you would an ad campaign. We gave ourselves a brief."
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"I think you tend to see creatives reflecting a lot of their values in their work not because it's the responsible thing to do but because creating is such an innate behavior for humans," says Dao. "Where you start to see the separation between values and
"I think you tend to see creatives reflecting a lot of their values in their work not because it's the responsible thing to do but because creating is such an innate behavior for humans," says Dao. "Where you start to see the separation between values and the work is when you add a commercial aspect. There's a reason why you don't really see an artist's values within ads. And sadly, we only see a handful of filmmakers and musicians who have the luxury of true creative license. Everything else is just focused-grouped or nitpicked to a sucky death. At the moment, we're just focusing on Occupy George, but the project has introduced us to some really smart and ambitious people who want to contribute something to this movement. So hopefully, we'll be able to create something fun together."
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"[The General Strike in Oakland, California on November 2nd] was amazing," Dao reports. He and Cash set up a table printing on bills. "About seven thousand people showed up to support the strike in Oakland. It was literally one of the most diverse crowds
"[The General Strike in Oakland, California on November 2nd] was amazing," Dao reports. He and Cash set up a table printing on bills. "About seven thousand people showed up to support the strike in Oakland. It was literally one of the most diverse crowds I've ever seen, I know it sounds silly to say, but the last time I saw a crowd that diverse was at a Prince concert. It was just a very positive atmosphere. Ivan was working the table the whole day and we had some friends help out. The crowd was very receptive and enthusiastic about the project. The action was non-stop, people would literally reach deep into their pockets and we stamped all of their money. We saw every domination stamped. Ones, twos, fives, tens, twenties, fifties, and hundreds. We came there with two fresh ink beds and [by the end] they were both dry. We actually had to break down a little earlier than expected because of that. The highlights for us were meeting people who actually went out and had some of our stamps made, pretty exciting stuff. And during the march, Ivan spotted a guy who made a sign referencing one of our dollar designs. Ivan ran over to him and taped the dollar to his sign. So in a sense the project came full circle. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we had a tip jar for Occupy Oakland at our table and we raised over a hundred dollars for them. That money will help the organizers buy food and supplies for occupiers."
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"I definitely see a contradiction in values [between working in advertising and the Occupy movement] and I left my job [with ad firm Wieden Kennedy] for a reason," says Cash. "I want to work on projects that resonate with me as opposed to helping corporat
"I definitely see a contradiction in values [between working in advertising and the Occupy movement] and I left my job [with ad firm Wieden Kennedy] for a reason," says Cash. "I want to work on projects that resonate with me as opposed to helping corporations get richer. I think a lot of creative professionals have a vivid sense of that contradiction but don't feel empowered to change it."

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Not only do Cash and Dao stamp their designs on dollar bills, but they also offer a template you can download to print on your own money. Cash told me that according to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving "the dollars are still fit to be used as leg
Not only do Cash and Dao stamp their designs on dollar bills, but they also offer a template you can download to print on your own money. Cash told me that according to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving "the dollars are still fit to be used as legal tender."

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