The Swiss government has released a new passport designed by Geneva-based creative agency Retinaa SA, which is inspired by rural Swiss scenes.
According to a spokeswoman from Switzerland’s Federal Office of Police (Fedpol), the designs “invite you on a virtual journey through Switzerland’s 26 cantons, from the Alpine peaks down to the valleys.”
A canton is a political or administrative region of a country. Across each of Switzerland’s cantons, water is recognised as an element that “shapes and forms the landscape”, says that spokeswoman. It features as one of the passport’s two main design themes, the other being mountains.
The Pizzo Rotondo Mountain, which is the highest in the Gotthard Massif (a mountain range in the Swiss Alps), is depicted on the first page of the document. The sources of some of Switzerland’s largest rivers lie within the mountain, “thus combining the two main themes”, Fedpol’s spokeswoman explains.
Unlike its predecessors, the spokeswoman says this passport will include “a page dedicated to The Fifth Switzerland”. This refers to the community of Swiss nationals living abroad.
Seeking to combine aesthetics with security and functionality, the new passport has been designed with the latest technology for identity security in mind. Fedpol’s spokeswoman says these features are “visible to the naked eye and under UV light.”
She adds that some security elements are “inserted in the materials, like paper and inks”, while others “appear during the printing of the materials and during the personalization of the passport”. In the video above, security elements such as UV light symbols (0:15), an element printed with Optically Variable Ink (OVI) (0:25) and a watermark representing a quartz crystal (0:55) can be seen.
As with the previous Swiss passport, the biometric data is stored in the electronic chip located in the cover and can only be read with a device that supports encrypted transmission. Switzerland only authorizes access to countries which apply data protection equivalent to its own.
Fedpol’s spokeswoman says the new Swiss passport “is a reflection of Switzerland: traditional but cosmopolitan at the same time”. The new designs were introduced on 31 October 2022.