Design competition for the first series of euro banknotes 
The design brief, comprising various parts, initially set forth two general preconditions of a political nature:
• “All designs must ensure gender equality and avoid any national bias”.
• “The banknotes must be clearly identifiable as European and should embody a cultural and political message that is ready acceptable to all European citizens”.
To have consistent criteria for judging the drafts, it was stipulated for both themes (i.e., both ages and styles of Europe and abstract/modern) that the banknote design should successfully combine security features with artistic creativity. The banknotes should be easy to recognize, secure against counterfeiting and be visually attractive. The technical features required for the banknotes were the following. 
Ages and styles of Europe: Each banknote had to depict a particular historical period (“age”) and architectural feature (“style”) from the period, to illustrate the theme. The denominations and their respective “ages” are as follows: 
• € 5 Classical
• € 10 Romanesque
• € 20 Gothic
• € 50 Renaissance
• € 100 Baroque and Rococo
• € 200 Age of iron and glass
• € 500 Modern 20th century architecture
The proposal of Zimmermann Associates and Isidre Barnils, member of the team who worked actively in the the creation of anonymous portraits and buildings for all the banknotes, was based on Ages and Styles of Europe.
Creation of anonymous portraits for the side A of the banknotes
Typography unit for every age
Creation of anonymous buildings for the side B of the banknotes
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