Reproducing currency legally
September 14, 2009 § Leave a comment
Using representations of U.S. currency in an infographic makes me nervous. But some times you just have to do it. For instance, you may want to show the security features on the new U.S. bills, analyze the symbols on our currency — or just make an illustration that includes a dollar. (I’m assuming the McClatchy graphic above used an actual $100 bill and not a counterfeit one. But the laws of reproduction would apply even if it were an actual counterfeit bill being represented.)
Before doing so, carefully read the rules provided by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on their Web site http://www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney/main.cfm/currency/regulations.
The key point is that you need to reproduce the image at more than 1.5 times actual size or less than 0.75 times actual size for ANY PORTION of the bill you show. So even if you are cropping in on Lincoln’s ear, the lobe can’t be actual size.