Dezeen Magazine

Brexit passport design competition

Dezeen launches Brexit Passport Design Competition

Update: the results have been announced! See the winners of the competition here and find out about the nine shortlisted designs here.

What should the UK passport look like after Brexit? 

Dezeen has launched an unofficial competition to redesign the document that all UK citizens carry when travelling abroad. We are looking for designs that present a positive vision of the post-Brexit UK to the world, and that represent all its citizens.

There is a top prize of £1,000 for the winning design plus £500 for second place and £250 for third place. The competition is free to enter.

Winners will be selected by a jury consisting of:

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum in London;
Rohan Silva, founder of Second Home and former government policy adviser;
Margaret Calvert, graphic designer;
Oliver Wainwright, architecture and design critic for The Guardian;
Anita Taylor, dean of Bath School of Art and Design and chair of the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design;
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education;
Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen.

The winning designs will be published on Dezeen and exhibited at the Design Museum in London. A wider selection of entries will be shown at Clerkenwell Design Week in London in May 2017.

Design Museum in London
The winning passport designs will be published on Dezeen and exhibited at the Design Museum in London

The competition is open to everyone, with professional designers, non-designers and students in the UK and abroad welcome to enter.

Judges will be looking for a combination of a strong overall idea, good execution, practicality and a convincing justification for their design.

This is not an official competition and the winning designs are unlikely to be adopted by the government, but we will present them to the Home Office and invite a response.

Read on for full details of how to enter the competition...

Why does the UK need a new passport?

Citizens of the UK (which consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) currently carry a European Union passport with a burgundy soft cover. The royal coat of arms, printed in gold, adorns the front while the back is plain.

Currently citizens of the UK carry a European Union passport with a burgundy soft cover

However following last summer's vote to leave the European Union, the UK government said it was "considering potential changes" to the passport, although it admitted it had not "made any decisions about what a future UK passport might look like."

Some people have called for a return to the stiff, dark blue passport cover used before the UK joined the European Economic Community, the forerunner to the European Union.

Updated British passport design
Architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and other creatives feature on the pages of the current UK passport

But Brexit could be an opportunity to rethink the document and turn it into something that reflects the identity and aspirations of the UK.

Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs said: "The EU referendum vote divided the country, with the majority of creatives voting to remain in the EU.

"But whether we like it or not, Brexit is going to happen. So it's time to start thinking about what image the UK wants to project and trying to create a positive vision for the future. A new passport could help achieve that."

Some people have called for the post-Brexit passport to be blue, the colour used for British passports before the UK joined the EEC, now the European Union

Who can enter?

The competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. There is no entry fee. We hope to get entries from people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.

Judging criteria

Judges will be looking for a combination of a strong design idea, good execution, practicality and a convincing justification for their design.

Winners and prizes

There will be three prizes for winners: a first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £500 and a third prize of £250. Several runners up may be selected at the judges' discretion, however these will not win cash prizes.

Norway's passport, recently redesigned by Neue Design Studio, includes minimal illustrations of landscapes from around the country

Brief and submission guidelines

Please follow these guidelines carefully as we will not accept entries in any other format. In particular, please don't forget to download and complete an entry form and send that to us along with your entry.

Entries should consist of a full-size mock-up of your passport design, featuring as a minimum a front cover, back cover and a spread of two visa pages. Entrants can add additional pages if they like.

Please bear in mind that the standard, internationally accepted size of a biometric passport is 125mm x 88mm (TD3 format). Entrants are welcome to rethink the passport format but should bear in mind that practicality is a key judging criteria.

In addition entries should contain a completed entry form including a text explaining your design (max 200 words).

Both the passport booklet and the entry form should be posted to us inside a standard, stiffened C4 (229mm x 324mm) envelope. Please do not fold your entry.

The Swiss passport is often praised for its design, which features a minimal red cover embossed and printed with the iconic Swiss cross

How to enter

Download and complete the entry form. Send the completed form along with your entry by post to: UK passport design competition, Dezeen Limited, 8 Orsman Road, London N1 5QJ.

Closing date

All entries must be received by Friday 24 March. Any entries received after this date will not be considered.


Intellectual property rights for each submission will remain with the entrant. However by entering the competition, entrants grant Dezeen Limited and its partners the right to publish, promote or otherwise display their designs without having to seek prior approval. This will involve taking photographs or scans of entries for digital publication.

Entries must not violate the intellectual property or design rights of any third party. Any entry found to have done so will be disqualified.

We regret that submissions cannot be returned.

The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

One entry per person (or group of people) please. Bulk entries will be disqualified.

Winners will be announced on on Tuesday 11 April 2017.

Individual prizewinners will be notified by email. Please ensure your email address is clearly written on the entry form.

Cash prizes will be posted by cheque via registered post to the winners, based on the names and addresses supplied on entry forms. It is therefore essential that entry forms contain correct information. No alternative prizes will be offered.

Questions about the competition should be emailed to [email protected].

Press enquiries should be directed to Robbie Wallace, [email protected] or 020 3327 1230.