The birth certificate 02.04.13

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The birth certificate is the first official document you are given in what is hopefully a long life of much lesser forms and documentation. It is the official record that you have arrived and is special for those involved. The current document feels historical and archival, but doesn't offer much information or feel special.

In a digital age it makes sense that such a document would have a digital form. But we felt it would lose the sentimental value of something that could be touched, loved and displayed. We agreed on a traditional hard copy, but one that paints a bigger picture of a person and when they were born. This could be accompanied by a dynamic digital file that could expand on this content.


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All the information on the existing birth certificate is kept – mother, father, name, registrar. For location we added mapping co-ordinates, for the digital version. We then added more detail – exact time of birth, type of birth, physical attributes including weight, length, head circumference, hand and foot prints, blood type and eye and hair colour; then astrological and astronomical details – moon cycle, ruling planet, weather. We included the etymology of the given name, the birth flower and stone, religion and the ruling monarch.

We wanted the certificate to be visually playful, but lose the sense of being an official document. The information is displayed in a grid with the name in the centre and details around it. The information is in black foil blocked onto watermarked heavyweight card. The card comes in four colours each representing the season of birth. They are subtle and muted to retain an archival feel. The content is a mixture of type and graphic icons. The certificate is then housed in a heavy, gloss, white envelope with the baby's basic information embossed on the front and a wax seal.

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I WANT design

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The current document feels historical and archival, but doesn't offer much information or feel special

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