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City Nation Place: Essential Costa Rica Country Brand Awarded Best in the World in the 2022 Best Use of Design Category

City Nation Place: Essential Costa Rica Country Brand Awarded Best in the World in the 2022 Best Use of Design Category

  • The "Best Use of Design" award was given for application of the brand to the Costa Rican biometric passport in 2021.
London, November 10, 2022. Costa Rica’s country brand Essential Costa Rica was the winner in the 2022 "Best Use of Design" category of the international City Nation Place Awards, which celebrate and spotlight the global efforts of country brands in areas such as communication, marketing, and social media.
The project that received the highest score in the "Best Use of Design" category in this international forum was the Costa Rican biometric passport implemented in 2021. Essential Costa Rica was nominated along with other brands such as Australia, India, Scotland, and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in England. 
The new passport design, which took effect in Costa Rica in 2022, incorporates technology with the passport holder’s biometric data such as facial features, fingerprints, and personal information. Designed for the first time by Costa Rican hands, the passport also has the essence of Costa Rica impregnated on each page, showcasing four representative areas of the national identity: 

  • Biodiversity: reflected in “an underwater paradise” inspired by Coco Island, highlighting such elements as hammerhead sharks, waves, turtles, corals, butterflies, and sloths.
  • Renewable energy: incorporating the Arenal Volcano area, which was chosen to underscore our country’s wealth of renewable energy since we generate geothermal, wind, and hydroelectric energy, complemented with an image of the area’s animals.
  • Education and peace: showing our path of peace through the image of the act and torch of independence in addition to the importance of education for Costa Ricans with the image of books, schools, and, of course, our characteristic “pura vida”.
  • Talent: highlighting the essence of Costa Ricans, who are talented by nature, exemplified by the oxcart, pre-Colombian spheres, sculptures, Boruca masks, marimba, calypso, and even our native Creole swing. 
“Aside from being a major technological innovation, the biometric passport represents an inter-institutional effort with the Directorate of Immigration and Foreign Nationals that shows the world the essence of our country through a modern design based on four areas that are fundamental for Costa Rica’s international positioning. Its pages tell the world that we are home to 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity, that 99% of the energy we use is renewable, that we earmark 8% of our GDP for education, and that our talent is found in everyone who contributes to the country on a variety of fronts,” noted PROCOMER manager and president of the Inter-institutional Country Brand Committee, Pedro Beirute.
“We are extremely proud to have won first place in this City Nation Place Awards category and that passport applications have jumped 400% in this year alone. This recognition commits us to continue our efforts to show the world the quality of our products and services,” Beirute affirmed.
CINDE Managing Director Jorge Sequeira stated, for his part, that “we are proud of the path we’ve followed and essential Costa Rica’s contribution to the positioning of our country in key sectors for Costa Rica’s development and economy.”
In addition, the Essential Costa Rica brand was nominated as a finalist in the "Best Use of Data" category for the “Integrating Data for Country Brand Performance Measurement” project. In this category, Essential Costa Rica shared the nomination with Cape Town (South Africa), Denver (U.S.A.), Houston (U.S.A.), Indiana (U.S.A.), Long Island (U.S.A.), and Madeira Islands (Portugal).