Post-Brexit passports: Designers have created nine new versions and they are utterly charming

Emma Haslett
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Goodbye to the pink passport. Hello to the iridescent one...? (Source: Getty)

While the majority of the metropolitan liberal elite is still sobbing into its espresso martinis over the EU referendum result, one group of designers has chosen to view Brexit as a window of golden opportunity: by designing the new passport.

Yes, design magazine Dezeen has launched a competition (albeit an unofficial one) for designers to create the British passport of the future - the document clutched by generations to come as they wait their turn in lengthy "Non EU passport" queues.

The shortlist, unveiled by the magazine this week, includes an iridescent passport designed to be one worn around the neck, one which adopts a creative solution to the pink/blue argument, and one inspired by our famously balmy weather.

Without further ado, here's the shortlist:

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1. The suitcase

The cover of this passport, by architectural assistants Eric Wong and Elliot Jefferies, features a simple black and gold design inspired by luggage tags. Inside, transparent pages are printed with x-ray images of items a "quintessential traveller might pack", including a camera with a tartan strap and a shirt with a William Morris lining.

2. The dots

Architect Hannah Perry has created a perforated map of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with each page inside based on a section of coastline overlaid with travel-related from famous Britons. Although it may be a risky choice, given Scotland's current umming and ahhing over whether to stay in the UK...

3. The international one

The philosophy behind this design, by graphic designers Billy Kiosoglou and Frank Philippin, is that "you only need a passport if you accept the existence of other countries as well". Thus, it contains the name of every country in the world, listed in order of their immigrant population on the front and their emigrant population on the back, with the UK picked out in red.

4. The minimalist version

This passport, designed by Steph Roden and Sarah Bethan Jones to look like a school exercise book, strips out "notions of Britishness they believe no longer represent our multicultural society".

5. The dark'n'stormy

Inspired by the UK's "infamous weather", the pages of graphic designer Silje Bergum's passport feature a "graphic interpretation of different weather phenomena", from blue dots representing hail to yellow and blue stripes suggesting a "sunshower".

6. The AAA pass

This iridescent version, by Adrian Westaway of London design studio Special Projects, comes with a string so it can be worn around the neck like a "nightclub VIP lanyard". Its pages feature translations of foreign phrases "to help linguistically challenged Brits make friends abroad".

7. The best of both worlds

The great blue/pink debate reared its ugly head this weekend. This passport, by designer Ian Macfarlane, is the ultimate compromise, with a gradient between blue and pink; an "honest reflection of the pre- and post-referendum spirit of the country".

8. The local passport for local people

What with all the devolution going on at the moment, designers Tim Gambell and Alfons Hooikaas decided to do away with the notion of nationality altogether, and replace the British passport with a "hyper-local approach", including "heraldic-looking symbols generated by an algorithm". Inside, the pages go even further, generating personalised pages using images pulled from their social media accounts.

9. The F-word

Brexiteers, look away now: designer Mark Noad created a series of three passports emblazoned with an acronym for Full United Kingdom, accompanied by the letters "U", "R" and "D", which depend on whether the holder is a "true Brit", merely a resident, or a diplomat. They also include a crest with the legends "cave quid volunt" and "adieu a mon amies", which we'll leave you to discuss with Google Translate...

Read more: Get your passport: London City Airport is expanding in a £344m deal

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