The Home Office has unveiled a new passport design which celebrates figures who represent a “Creative United Kingdom” and the work they have produced.
Architect and designer Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, artists Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor and playwrite William Shakespeare are among the many creatives represented over the passport’s 34 pages.
DeLaRue has worked on graphic design
The Passport Office has worked with banknote and passport specialist DeLaRue on the graphic design of the pages.
Head of product design at the Passport Office Michael Borg says: “We will think which images work best from a security point of view and then work with DeLaRue to build those images together and then find ways to incorporate security measures.”
Creative figures chosen by Passport Office
The creative figures and their work were chosen by the Passport Office, which has come under some criticism for only selecting two women.
Passport office director general Mark Thompson says: “We feel like we have a good representation of icons. It is not just about celebrating UK creativity, it’s about making the most secure book that I can produce.”
A new passport is launched every five years in the interests of security to prevent counterfeiting.
New security measures
The new design features more intricate watermarks and images printed in inks, which react to UV and infrared light to reveal detailed patterns. A red, white and blue thread used to bind the passport also glows under UV light.
William Shakespeare appears on every page as a watermark and the personal details page contains a Gipsy Moth IV boat watermark.
The passport also has a new structure with a single sheet of paper for personal details and a page at the back adjoined to the back cover. A holographic laminate covers the personal details page.
Many of the security features will remain secret but some you can see, like perforated passport numbering at the bottom of each page, which become smaller as you flick through the passport.
First “passport” from 1378
Home office minister for immigration James Brokenshire says: “The new passport is the latest step in an evolutionary process that began before Shakespeare’s time when a roll of parchment was issued as the first passport in 1378; the design has certainly come a long way.”
Every five years the passport takes on a new theme and Brockenshire says: “Each iteration focuses on a different aspect of the people, history or environment of the people of the UK.”
The new passport will be rolled out in a phased approach beginning in December 2015.