Annalisa Baranowski
Travel Documentation Through the Ages: An analysis of the past, present, and future of the passport

Since the beginning of civilizations, people have used some form of identification while traveling to foreign lands. As societies progressed, the form of identification has changed over the years to take the form of a passport that we use today. This project will examine the past, present, and possible future of a passport while also exploring the expression of identity through alternate designs of a standard passport.

Throughout history, societies have used different forms of identification for their citizens when traveling to foreign lands. With technological and societal advancements, the form of a passport as identification has evolved immensely and will surely continue to change in the coming years as world travel becomes more common and hopefully more accessible. Since their creation, passports have become a way for people to identify themselves, not only personally but also within their own society and other foreign societies as well. Even the notion of carrying a passport or being a passport holder can reveal information about a person and the society they might live in. By looking at the past, this project will analyze the differences in form and function of early travel identification documents, as well as attempt to predict what the future of the passport might look like.

Through intense research of archival travel documents and research on current passport design, conclusions will be drawn on possible futures of the form and function of travel identification documents. The research will be analyzed, compared, and compiled in the form of a book, documenting and illustrating the evolution of the passport. Further research will be used to design a re-imagined version of a passport that could theoretically be an option in the future. This research could be significant because the design of one’s passport can influence how people define themselves and what people feel as a sense of self while traveling and experiencing new cultures. With this project, I hope to help people better understand the context of a passport and how the different forms and functions of it can influence their own expression of identity as they travel throughout their lives. Furthermore, I hope to investigate what the future might hold by breaking the perception of what a traditional passport looks like in the past, present, and future.

Annalisa Baranowski
I'm a communication designer and ad enthusiast, pursuing a career in all things creative. I value and strive for simple, effortless, intuitive design, and am inspired by outrageous and eccentric advertising.

I like to stay busy in both work and life, making every moment count. When not designing, you can find me practicing my hand-lettering, playing volleyball, or scouring the city for the best ice cream places.

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Thank you to our Capstone volunteers, including students Leslie Ramirez, Chris Keramidas, Caroline Schlegel, and faculty member Laura Rossi García. Special thanks to 2020–21 Capstone faculty Shiro Akiyoshi, Nathan Matteson, and Heather Snyder Quinn.

College of Computing and Digital Media
School of Design
243 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago IL 60604

Graphic Design Capstone Showcase 2020 and 2021
Advisors: Shiro Akiyoshi, Nathan  Matteson, and Heather Snyder Quinn