Images and reproduction rules
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Using images of euro banknotes
You are welcome to use images of euro banknotes without prior authorisation as long as you comply with the ECB’s rules on the reproduction of banknotes (see in particular Article 2 of Decision ECB/2013/10).
These rules ensure that the general public does not mistake reproductions for genuine banknotes. This way, we can make sure euro banknotes remain a trusted and safe means of payment.
Conditions of use
If you wish to use images of euro banknotes, you must adhere to the reproduction rules laid down in Decision ECB/2013/10. By reproduction we mean any physical or digital representation that uses all or parts of a euro banknote or parts of its individual design elements. Reproductions complying with the criteria set out in Article 2 of Decision ECB/2013/10 are considered lawful, since there is no risk that the general public might mistake them for genuine euro banknotes.
Please refer to Decision ECB/2013/10 for a full description of the relevant criteria. A short explanation of the criteria is provided below.
Explanation of the criteria for physical reproductions
- If you wish to reproduce both sides of a euro banknote, the reproduction must not be the same size as the actual banknote. Instead, its size must be at least 200% of both the length and width or at the most 50% of both the length and width of the banknote in question.
- Similarly, if you wish to reproduce one side of a euro banknote, the reproduction must not be the same size as the actual banknote. Instead, its size must be at least 125% of both the length and width or at the most 75% of both the length and the width of the banknote in question.
- If you wish to reproduce part of the front or reverse side of a euro banknote, the reproduction must be smaller than 33% of the front or reverse side of the actual banknote.
- You may physically reproduce individual design elements as long as they are not depicted on a background resembling a banknote.
- You may physically reproduce euro banknotes as long as they are made of a material clearly different from that used for actual banknotes.
Explanation of the criteria for digital reproductions
- The word “specimen” must be incorporated diagonally across the reproduction in clear and bold letters (in Arial font), contrasting with the dominant colour of the euro banknote in question.
- The length of the word “specimen” must be at least 75% of the length of the reproduction, while its height must be at least 15% of the width of the reproduction.
- The resolution of the electronic reproduction must not exceed 72 dots per inch (dpi) at 100% of the original size.
- You may digitally reproduce individual design elements as long as they are not depicted on a background resembling a banknote.
Reproductions that do not comply with the relevant rules are considered to be unlawful. Whoever reproduces a banknote is personally responsible for ensuring that the reproduction meets the criteria set out in Decision ECB/2013/10.
For more information, see the documents listed below.
- Decision of the European Central Bank of 19 April 2013 on the denominations, specifications, reproduction, exchange and withdrawal of euro banknotes (ECB/2013/10), OJ L 118, 30.4.2013, p. 37.
- Guideline of the European Central Bank of 20 March 2003 on the enforcement of measures to counter non-compliant reproductions of euro banknotes and on the exchange and withdrawal of euro banknotes (ECB/2003/5), OJ L 78, 25.3.2003, p. 20.
- Guideline of the European Central Bank of 19 April 2013 amending Guideline ECB/2003/5 on the enforcement of measures to counter non-compliant reproductions of euro banknotes and on the exchange and withdrawal of euro banknotes (ECB/2013/11), OJ L 118, 30.4.2013, p. 43.
Preventing the illegal use of digital banknote images
The Eurosystem has a duty to safeguard the integrity of euro banknotes and to continue improving banknote technology. Euro banknotes are produced using sophisticated printing techniques and have a range of prominent security features, making them easy to distinguish from counterfeits.
The Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG) – an international group of more than 30 central banks – has developed a counterfeit deterrence system to prevent personal computers, digital imaging equipment and software from being used to make counterfeit banknotes.
This technology has been voluntarily adopted by hardware and software manufacturers. It stops personal computers and digital imaging tools from capturing or reproducing the image of a protected banknote. In other words, a printing or scanning device or digital imaging tool incorporating this system will automatically prevent images of banknotes from being copied or printed.
The technology cannot track the use of a personal computer or digital imaging tools. Please visit the CBCDG's website for more information about the CBCDG and how other countries regulate the use of banknote images.
Download banknote images
You are free to download low-resolution (72 dpi) images of euro banknotes.Images of euro banknotes
If you would like to request high-resolution images, please email us at Euro-Banknotes-Images@ecb.europa.eu, explaining your professional and legitimate interest in using the images.Please also provide the following:
- Name and contact details
- Details of business activities
- Company website address
- Further information on the planned use of the image(s)
We will then ask you to complete and submit a confidentiality declaration, which must be signed by an authorised representative of your company. Unless you specifically indicate otherwise, we will provide a set of images of all available denominations of the Europa series (in 300 dpi resolution and Tag Image File Format (TIFF), marked “specimen”).
Reproduction rules for euro coins
Only medals and tokens that cannot be mistaken for genuine euro coins may be produced. This is simply because metallic objects bearing the words “euro” or “euro cent”, or those showing a design similar to the design of euro coins, could easily be confused for legal tender coins.
For information regarding euro coin reproduction rules, please visit the European Commission’s website or contact one of the competent national authorities of the individual euro area countries.
For details, see the regulations listed below.
- Council Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004 of 6 December 2004 concerning medals and tokens similar to euro coins,
- Council Regulation (EC) No 2183/2004 of 6 December 2004 extending to the non-participating Member States the application of Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004 concerning medals and tokens similar to euro coins.
Would you like to know more?
You will find the answers to common questions in the