A difficult delivery

1 January 2002

We all have witnessed it: the birth of a new letter. It took quite some time to be delivered. First, it made its appearance in newspapers and trade journals, then on from the banks. Then finally, its first live appearances in ads, in department store displays, at street markets and in the shop around the corner. Now, it has found its place on the computer keyboard and children are taught how to write it. The euro sign €.

When history is in the making, details often get blurred. Most of us will be more concerned with the introduction of the new ‘almost-pan-EU’ currency, than with the design of the symbol accompanying this monetary reform. Typophiles, however, will pay close attention to the weaving of the spirit of semiotics. The euro should be spared the fate of the dollar, whose $ mark is surrounded by legends, while the truth behind its definitive form has fallen into oblivion. As the euro’s parents, from the very beginning, have been covering its development with a propaganda smoke screen, the time is ripe for committing to history the five-year gestation of the euro sign.

© Photos and illustrations: EU, hitext, DPA, Karstadt

Read the rest of this article:

How to get your computer fit for the euro 01/01/2002
From January 2002 we in the Eurozone will pay our bills with euro notes and coins, high time to let your computer know how to represent the new currency sign.

Typeface publishers and their euro sign solutions 01/01/2002
Many type users will remember 2001 as the year of the euro sign chaos…

Apple and Microsoft take different paths 01/01/2002
Apart from the euro sign’s shape, another question emerges within the context of writing and typography on the computer: where should the new character be placed in the character table and where on the keyboard?

Typeface designers don’t play along 01/01/2002
Following the launch typeface designers dedicate themselves to the task of improving the model provided by the EU…

The euro sign’s creator speaks up 01/01/2002
The hype the EU cooks up in praise of its euro sign specification does not render it any more useful…

First occurrence and presentation 01/01/2002
We owe the euro sign’s birth to the coincidence of a number of rather accidental circumstances…


Jürgen Siebert e:info@hitext.de w:http://www.hitext.de

Klaus Rupprecht

Related sites

European Union w:http://europa.eu.int

European Parliament w:http://www.europarl.eu.int

European Central Bank w:http://www.ecb.int

German Ministry of Finance w:http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de

Austrian Ministry of Finance w:http://www.bmf.gv.at

Association for European Politics w:http://www.euro-info.net

Eurochambres w:http://www.eurochambres.be

Euro information w:http://www.euroscanner.com

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