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Using Pictures of UK Paper Money

Legally Using Illustrations of Paper Currency in the United Kingdom


In addition to concerns over counterfeiting or deceptive use of currency, the Bank of England wants to insure that images of the Queen of England (used on their paper currency) is not distorted or used in some offensive manner. Permission is required to reproduce images of paper currency.

Reproduction of banknotes on items for sales such as t-shirts or mugs is prohibited. For other advertising purposes, designers must consult with the Bank. Reproductions must meet certain criteria. They can be half the size or double the size whether it's the whole note or a portion of it. Notes must be shown at an angle and incorporated into a larger pictorial design (with some exceptions for educational use which still require permission).

 EXTRACT FROM "Guidelines for Reproducing Bank of England Notes in Advertisements and Illustrations"

Advertisers, publishers, and others wishing to reproduce Bank of England notes should, before taking steps to reproduce such notes, get in touch with the Issue Office of the Bank...

The Bank does not allow reproductions of its notes on articles for sale (e.g. mugs, ashtrays, tea-towels, etc.)

For ADVERTISEMENTS, etc. incorporating reproductions of notes, the Bank's permission is necessary and designs are normally expected tot meet the following criteria:-

Reproductions of notes, whether in black and white or colour, must not be the same size as actual notes. If they are smaller, they can be up to half as long and half as wide. If they are to be larger, they must be at least twice as long and twice as wide. Reproductions of parts of notes must be in the same proportions. As an additional protection against misuse, notes should be shown on the slant and not flat to camera. they should also form part of a larger pictorial design Designs incorporating reproductions of notes for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES (eg in educational books and training manuals), which must also be approved by the bank, should satisfy the same size criteria as those for advertisements, but may be shown flat to camera provided that they have the word "specimen" in solid black capitals across them.

These criteria do not apply to reproductions of notes for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ON FILM OR TELEVISION; such reproductions may be made without specific application being made to the Bank. If it is proposed to include reproductions in a FILM OR TELEVISION ADVERTISEMENT, the Bank must be consulted, as its permission is required.

See the Web site reference, below, for phone numbers and addresses for obtaining permission and other information on reproduction of banknotes.

Reference: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/reproducing_banknotes.htm

The information on this page is based on information presented on the government Web site referenced above at the time this article was placed online. Check the site (http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/) for updates and changes to the law prior to relying on the information presented here.

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