THE NEW SWISS PASSPORT SERIES
Switzerland’s next-generation passports were issued in fall 2022 by the Federal Office of Police (fedpol). Since 1959, the distinctive red passport is considered as one of the most sophisticated and secure travel documents in the world. Commissioned with the new design, RETINAA wanted to honour the tradition of innovation in Swiss graphic arts. In close collaboration with a group of experts led by fedpol, and in cooperation with Thales and Orell Füssli, the studio created a design that combines clean yet complex aesthetics and state-of-the-art security features.
The Swiss passport is more than a formal administrative document. It is the expression of Helvetic identity and a brand ambassador for Switzerland abroad. It is a celebration of Swissness and a showcase of technological know-how. In addition to increasing security and being counterfeit-proof, the design needed to explore these aspects to create a document the holder can trust, identify with and be proud of.
Swiss landscape is not only defined by its majestic mountains but also by the essential role water plays in shaping it. With its 1,500 lakes, numerous glaciers and countless rivers and streams, Switzerland is often referred to as the water tower of Europe. Making up 6% of Europe's total drinking water volume, reserves are also used to produce climate friendly energy, accounting for 56% of the country's overall electricity production. On a symbolic level, water represents life and motion, its fluidity evokes interaction and exchange.
Drawing on cartographic tradition yet modern in its use of 3D modeled landscapes, the design depicts an imaginary journey along watercourses, from the Alpine peaks down to the valleys, through the 26 cantons and to the world beyond. This journey starts on the first page of the document, which features the Pizzo Rotondo, a summit in the Saint-Gotthard Massif at the crossroads of linguistic regions. Under ultraviolet light, contour lines reveal the landscapes' topography, enhanced with architectural landmarks that showcase the country's rich cultural heritage and history.
Publisher: Federal Office of Police (fedpol)
General Contractor: Thales DIS Schweiz AG
Printing: Orell Füssli Ltd. Security Printing
Photography: Robin Bucher
Publisher: Federal Office for Police (fedpol)
General Contractor: Thales DIS Schweiz AG
Printing: Orell Füssli AG
Photography: Robin Bucher
700 SPECIMEN BANKNOTE
This project emerged out of ideas generated in a design competition for Orell Füssli's 500-year anniversary specimen note (we came in second place), growing into an ongoing research study exploring the future aesthetics of currency and payment interfaces. The outcomes are communicated through a range of speculative artefacts using CGI, photography and digital illustration.
Drawing on inspiration from geophysics, cosmic scales and navigation systems, we created a series of designs using procedural generation and 3D modelling as primary tools for building visual assets. The mountain peak on the front of the note evokes Swiss landscapes and exploration. In the centre, a diagram based on the rapex, a device for determining coordinates on the Swiss national maps, shows the cardinal directions. The back of the note depicts Earth seen from space with the South Pole at the top in reference to the first clear image of our planet, The Blue Marble, originally taken “upside down” by the crew of Apollo 17. Under UV light, an expanded view of the Earth's magnetic field appears.
Hybrid substrate with windows
Simultan offset printing
Silkscreen-printed colour-shifting ink
Diffractive optically variable image device
Cell-modulated screening intaglio
SICPA is a leading global provider of secured authentication, identification and traceability solutions and services. RETINAA was commissioned to develop a visual storytelling concept and a range of communication materials for the launch of next-generation SPARK® security inks.
Working closely with the SICPA team, we came up with a disruptive and contemporary way to present the innovations of ink technology. Inspired by microscopic images of banknotes, we built an imaginary CGI universe composed of three environments, each illustrating a key ink property. The project resulted in a collection of objects presented in box sets – including specimen cards, sample banknotes and ceramic sculptures – inviting users along an immersion into the banknote microcosm.
Optical effect ink designs
Specimen cards & sample banknotes
Custom presentation boxes
3D generated ceramic sculptures
ANNIVERSARY WINE BOTTLES
In 2021, we released a batch of limited edition wine bottles with scannable labels, mapping out key projects undertook during the last 5 years as a collection of symbols. The labels were silkscreen-printed to reveal the fluorescent properties of the paper, and overprinted in deep purple intaglio. The selected wines were produced by Le Domaine de la Ville de Morges: Gamay Réserve Grand Cru and Parcelle No. 982 Sélection Nature Grand Cru.
Seamless, scannable label
Deep purple intaglio
Wax-sealed in purple and red
Photography: Nicolas Delaroche
RETINAA is an independent creative studio founded by Carl Guilhon and Guillaume Peitrequin, working globally out of Switzerland. The studio integrates art direction with security design expertise to conceive visual narratives, craft images and design forward-thinking products. Through the exploration of storytelling, technology and visual culture, RETINAA seeks to connect technical innovation with human emotion.
Since its inception, the studio specialises in the design of security documents and anti-counterfeiting solutions for high-security printers, technology suppliers and brands. Past commissions in this field include ID documents, banknotes, brand protection and bespoke typefaces. Between 2017 and 2022, RETINAA was commissioned with the design of the new Swiss passport series.
Research and collaboration are integral parts of RETINAA. Over the years, the studio has engaged in R&D projects with artists, writers and researchers, to open up a range of concerns for tomorrow's design and production systems.
✦ Creative Consultancy
✦ Security Design + Integration
✦ Art Direction + Graphic Design
✦ CGI + Image Making
✦ Concept Art
✦ étapes: 272
✦ Grafikmagazin 01.23
✦ T – Le magazine du Temps
✦ The Brand Identity
AWARDS & MERITS
✦ Art Directors Club of New York
✦ European Design Awards
✦ High Security Printing EMEA
✦ The One Show
JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
We are currently not accepting applications for jobs and internships.
Please check our social media for updates.
Route des Acacias 43
1227 Geneva, Switzerland