The euro sign (€) is the currency sign used for the euro, the official currency of the European Union (EU) and other non-EU countries (Kosovo, Montenegro). The design was presented to the public by the European Commission on 12 December 1996. The international three-letter code (according to ISO standard ISO 4217) for the euro is EUR. In Unicode it is encoded at U+20AC€EURO SIGN (HTML €·€). In English, the sign precedes the value (for instance, €10, not 10 €, unlike most other European languages). In some style guides, but not others, the euro sign is unspaced. The first letter of the word Europe is crossed by two parallel lines.
The euro design featured in the Windows font Comic Sans originally had a cartoon eye inside a serif. This was later removed after fears of legal action from the EU.
Euro sign - minimalism art
The euro currency sign was designed to be similar in structure to the old sign for the European Currency Unit (Encoded as U+20A0₠ ). There were originally 32 proposals; these were reduced to ten candidates. These ten were put to a public survey. After the survey had narrowed the original ten proposals down to two, it was up to the European Commission to choose the final design. The other designs that were considered are not available for the public to view, nor is any information regarding the designers available for public query. The European Commission considers the process of designing to have been internal and keeps these records secret. The eventual winner was a design created by a team of four experts whose identities have not been revealed. It is assumed that the Belgiangraphic designer Alain Billiet was the winner and thus the designer of the euro sign.
Inspiration for the € symbol itself came from the Greek epsilon (ϵ) – a reference to the cradle of European civilization – and the first letter of the word Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to ‘certify’ the stability of the euro.
The European Commission specified a euro logo with exact proportions and colours (PMS Yellow foreground, PMS Reflex Blue background), for use in public-relations material related to the euro introduction. While the Commission intended the logo to be a prescribed glyph shape, type designers made it clear that they intended to design their own variants instead.