You get to decide – well, almost

The British Prime Minister Theresa May could trigger Article 50 as early as Tuesday this week, thereby formally initiating the process of the United Kingdom’s secession from the European Union. EU leaders have pencilled in a formal gathering on April 6th to respond to Britain’s formal letter of notification.

While the pundits debate the ramifications of that for the island nation, there is that small matter of optics no one’s talking about – the country’s passport.

At the moment, its passport has the words “European Union” prominently embossed at the top of its burgundy cover. Once the UK leaves the EU, it will need to be omitted. Architecture and design magazine Deezen, have introduced an unofficial competition to solicit design ideas as to what the new passport should look like.

Before you go Hirst-crazy and submit an entirely outrageous design, it’s good to brush up on a little general knowledge as to the guidelines of a passport design. For example, the majority of the world’s passports are in shades of four colours – red, green, black and blue. The colours can be influenced by religion (many Muslim states opt for green), geopolitics (EU passports use burgundy) or legacy (the countries within the Caribbean Community and Common Markets use blue). The colour of a passport could also signal aspiration – Turkey changed to burgundy in the hope that it would show its intent to join the EU.

Deezen will award the winner with just over $1,000. The jury consists of industry heavy-hitters including Deyan Sudjic, the director of Design Museum in London, Oliver Wainwright, architecture and design critic for The Guardian, and Marcus Fairs, the editor-in-chief of Deezen, among others.

The deadline for the competition that’s open to everyone and without any participation fee is March 24. The winning designs will be exhibited at the Design Museum in London and shown at the Clerkenwell Design week as well later this year. Need a little creative inspiration? See what the world’s passports look like by clicking here.