This question may be quite confusing so I've attached an image with it.

Below is a snap from Yelp site, there you can see $$$ which is for price level. So what I want to ask is, is there any alternative anyone has used?

Actually I'm designing a page for similar site so I'm thinking is there anything else we could use or has anyone used?

Yelp Site Dollar rating image

  • I think you could practically use anything. Even something so simple as a green bar.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 2:41
  • @Scott but how would you tell the user that was a cost bar, and not for example average review, or food hygiene rating? With a dollar sign?
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 15:48
  • Well, anything other than a financial symbol will suffer from unfamiliarity. Even things such as money bag would take the user a moment to decipher and may not be culturally universal.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 17:37

5 Answers 5


You have two choices: to use iconography or text.

The advantage of this particular iconography (the dollar signs) is that it is concise and it clearly conveys the necessary information.

Using text gets into the question of proper labeling (cheap as opposed to inexpensive; costly versus upscale). Properly done there isn't a reason to oppose using text - but you have to hit your market spot on.

"Cheap Eats" may not be what some people want associated with their product. "Upscale" may equate with expensive to some, unaffordable to others and, of course, not all expensive places are upscale.

TL/DR - The dollar icon works well. It's understood by all. Labels can be very, very tricky.

  • And if anyone is concerned about dollars in non-dollar countries, it wouldn't be hard to make that country specific. You already have the address for each restaurant anyway so you could store alternatives by country. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 22:21
  • IIRC, there is actually neutral currency symbol, but it has been used for "contrast/brightness" to the point where it would be worse than using dollar signs. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 23:57

I look at this and I have to ask myself several questions regarding the design and goals of the site. When I look at a dollar symbol under a review site that quickly translates in my head what the value is.

An issue you might face, to me, is in regards to what the focal points are and if you modify the common occurrence of the dollar sign. For instance the, the 1st point of view should be the images:

enter image description here

the second focal area would be the review ratings:

enter image description here

You could use a similar star rating base but the visitor could have a hard time discerning where the price point shifts too if you used something like a total of 5 stars but only three were defined:

enter image description here

If you're looking to do something around humor you could always do little pigs similar to a piggy bank:

enter image description here

you could also utilize stacking coins:

enter image description here

some might understand the bag of money reference:

enter image description here

To me it just depends how you intend to tie it in the design. You could use a symbol like I mentioned above as a settle note depending on if price is a big focus in your design. You could take the price to the next level and design something just for it like:

enter image description here


There's also color reference such as green for base value, yellow higher and something like red as in high dollar amount applied to coins but usage of this idea could clash with the theme of the site/design.

Site pricing could be designed with the form of payment involved. For instance Bitcoin is growing in usage but you could use their icon for price if the that is what the seller uses as currency:

enter image description here

or modify the PayPal symbols to use your site theme colors:

enter image description here

then there is your site logo as a scale.

Just mentioning my personal preference, visually I see no reason to alter anything from the dollar sign as it's possibly the go to for expressing currency. I think the design's focal point could use that country's currency with something like $_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE'];. From Get visitors language & country code with javascript (client-side). Since you didn't go into detail what the project's focus is on I think it's all up to the goal of the site.

  • 2
    Or you can use text cheap - affordable - expensive for example
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 20:01
  • Indeed but don't think the OP mentioned a preference
    – user9447
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 20:07
  • 3
    Using a Bitcoin symbol would be highly misleading in the case of establishments that do not accept Bitcoin--I would typically expect to only see such a symbol on a site that, for example, curates a list of restaurants that specifically accept cryptocurrency.
    – nanofarad
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 21:58
  • Similarly, using piggies might suggest that you're rating the bacon content, not the price. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 22:17
  • @curiousdannii Why the downvote?
    – user9447
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 22:18

As a non-US user, I like the idea of a currency-neutral design (like stacks of coins). I tend to use gold pieces as an indicative currency. But coins are just flat shiny cylinders with currency symbols on them; remove the currency symbols and you've got something that looks a lot like plates. What does that mean? How busy the restaurant is? How big?

Yelp here in the UK uses £...££££, and I've seen €...€€€ in mainland Europe. But the $...$$...$$$ pattern is intuitive in the UK, meaning it's so widespread you'd have a lot of familiarity to overcome, which to me says you need a really good reason to use something different


When looking for specific iconography I first see what others have done. A rich visual grammar has been developed for web use using symbology. Because there are well established symbols for "cost" or "value" you should start by searching for those icons or symbols. enter image description here

Then see which ones work the best and fit best in your design. Some of these symbols take only a square character amount of space, unlike 3 dollar signs. For instance a dollar sign with an up arrow or down arrow or big up arrow etc.

Just an arrow slanting up, down or middle can be an indicator of cost.

A stack or bar graph is common and the meaning is clear.

  • 1
    The fact that almost every icon there has a $ in it sort of defeats the purpose.
    – barbecue
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 0:38

A generic coin icon (gold, round, maybe a head or eagle on it) and using several filled or empty / greyed out based on price could work across many cultures.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.