Norway unveils stylish new minimalist passports and ID card

Pages in the passports glow under UV light, to reveal the Northern Lights above a Norwegian landscape

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The Independent Online

Norway has unveiled the new Scandi-chic design of its passports and ID card, to the envy of non-Norwegian citizens across the world.

Last week, Norway’s National Police Directorate announced that an Oslo design studio had won a competition to create a new design for the country’s passports and ID card.

The jury who selected Neue as the winners said the entry was selected because of the “the simplicity of the solution”.

Neue has said the minimal design represents the nation’s attachment to nature.

The passport's pages and the ID background showcase Norway’s stunning landscape in fine, minimalist lines and modern-looking block pastel colours.

Small details make the passports even more impressive - not least the ink which when exposed to UV light reveals the northern lights in the night sky and hidden text.

The passport covers come in elegant white, turquoise or red for immigrant, diplomat and standard, respectively, and are finished with embossed san-serif golden letters and a simplified version of the country’s crest.

Even the functional electronic passport symbol fits seamlessly with the concept.


Since the documents went viral, non-Norweigian fans of the redesign have taken to social media to declare their jealousy.

"Please can I have Norwegian citizenship immediately please," said one such Twitter user @chiggi.

“All Norwegians are so connected to nature, it’s a very strong part of our history and defines us as a country,” Gørill Kvamme of Neue told the Guardian, adding that the minimal concept came from seeking to find the “essence of something”.

“It represents the vast variety of nature and landscapes you find in Norway … which makes it relevant to all of us whether you have always lived there or just received your citizenship,” he added.

The jury also praised Neue's design for both illustrating the Norwegian identity while ensuring the passport is viewed as a document of high value.

“The design is attractive and stylish, the colours are subtle and the abstraction of the landscapes are exciting. Aesthetically, the landscape motifs have been given a distinctive look. The jury appreciates the simplicity of the solution," the group said.

Neue will now develop its graphics closely with the National Police Directorate to balance the design with the complicated security functions the documents need to fulfill.

Passports sporting the new design are expected to be released in the next two years.

“The winning entry will now be processed and design expression will have a changed appearance on the basis of technical and safety considerations,” said police inspector John Kristian Thoresen. “The final result, you will first see when the new travel document has been produced.”

The redesign comes a month after equally striking graphics by Snohetta were chosen for the country’s new bank notes.