February 12, 2008

new US passport design. WTF.

Um, who voted on this one? B told me about the new American passport today, using descriptions that include Napolean Dynamite, and lo, I found some images on NYT. Apparently, the theme of the passport is "American Icon:"

The inside cover sports an engraving of the battle scene that inspired “The Star Spangled Banner.” A couple of lines of the anthem, starting with, “O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,” are scrawled in what the State Department says is Francis Scott Key’s own cursive.

The short, 28-page version of the passport comes with 13 inspirational quotes, including six from United States presidents and one from a Mohawk Thanksgiving speech. The pages, done in a pink-grey-blue palate, are rife with portraits of Americana ranging from a clipper ship to Mount Rushmore to a long-horn cattle drive.

This is one more very good reason I'm not particularly fond of iconography anywhere ... architecture, religion ... no matter how great an idea it seems at first, it somehow always ends up making ugly. (But, what does anyone think would have happened when the government puts together a six-member committee to re-design the national passport?)

Says Michael Beirut of Pentagram: “It is like being given a coloring book that your brother already colored in.” B and I did agree, though, that we'd be more than happy to wear some of these eagles on a t-shirt (on a particular hot day in Dolores Park).


CaptainUSA? said...

should be lines from merle haggard songs with inspirational pictures. i mean america is about long horn cattle, clipper ships, and mout rushmore right? have you ever been to mount rushmore? well...can't put crack, fat people, waste, and pissed off middle class white women. oh and nascar too...oh wait maybe nascar is in there too.

Fashion Critic said...

Hahaha, this is awful. More shoving of Americana in other nations' faces to further alienate us. Exactly something I would expect from this government.

P.S. I answered your comment on my blog, thanks a lot for taking time to post.