Passports are boring because they are designed to be. Usually colored in ugly shades of plainness, these small traveling booklets are created to be functional and never artistic or fashionable.
So imagine the surprise of immigration officers (or anyone really) when they come across a Norwegian passport.
Based on the theme of the Norwegian landscape, local design agency Neue Design was tasked with redesigning government-issued documents, ID cards and the passports after winning a competition conducted by the government.
The open competition was initiated to develop a unique concept with a widely recognizable theme and a functional, high-quality design. Machine-readable Norwegian passports issued between 1999 and 2005 suffered from a manufacturing defect that could result in the identity page coming loose, thus invalidating the passport.
The specially designed Norwegian passports, which were released a year ago, are available in three color variations: white, turquoise or red. While the color palette is interesting, more special features are contained within its pages. They feature minimalist interpretations of the country’s breathtaking landscapes, highlighting Norwegian nature’s unique beauty.
Aside from this, the passports’ pages have a very special surprise. Place the pages under UV light, and a delightful image appears: the Northern Lights beautifully shining out of nowhere as its trails glow on the paper.
The design studio has this to say about their creation: “Nature has always been an essential part of the Norwegian identity and tradition, as well as being a key fundamental thing for our welfare. The landscape with its vast variation from the south to the north, is the starting point for the design concept.”