Best of 2014: Norway’s New Passport Design is a Thing of Beauty
Neue Design Studio's latest project takes inspiration from the country's iconic landscape
Many people like to get new stamps in their passport but, from now on, Norwegians may be less keen to do so. Released this month, the pages of the new passport are so gorgeous it seems a shame to add anything else to them.
Neue, a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Oslo, has given the Norwegian passport a minimalist makeover. The new designs have crisp, block color covers which come in white, red or turquoise. The pages reference the country’s stunning scenery and famous fjords.
Inside, the double page spreads depicts a lakeside and mountain scene in a composition that wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery. It’s a simple, charming picture which is beautifully executed in a mixture of cool blues, greens and greys.
But the real treat comes when the pages are placed under UV light. The design changes to a night time scene with the Northern Lights glowing in green and purple above the mountains. They are set against a backdrop of dark indigo and beside a solitary star.
And not only do Norwegian passports put everyone else’s in the shade, even their money looks better than yours. The winning proposal for the new Norwegian kroner is a colorful, modernistic design that shows currency doesn’t have to bow to tradition. Designed by local architecture firm Snøhetta and graphic design agency The Metric System, the notes are set for circulation in 2017 and look almost too good to spend.
The new passport, alongside the country’s new currency, shows that the Norwegian powers that be are way ahead of other countries in their appreciation of modern design. We can only hope that other countries will follow their leading in producing official documents with a sense of style and visual flair.
(Originally published Nov 13, 2014)