On October 19, 2020, Norway issued its first new passports to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, and the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Monica Mæland. The decision to create a new version of the passport was mainly to increase its security elements, making it more difficult to forge. The new passport features aspects of Norway’s natural scenery as a pleasant background on the pages, but it also doubles as a security feature; when placed under UV lighting, the Norwegian landscape background will switch from day to night.
This clever feature came to fruition through a design competition for the new Norwegian passport. Neue Design Studio won for its emphasis on Norwegian identity, functionality, and preservation of traditions. One of their main intentions was to convey the variances in Norway’s climate and landscape—elements that have shaped the people and country. Neue’s senior designer Benjamin Stenmarck adds “The design had to create a sense of belonging and connection across age, gender and regions in Norway.” What better way to do this than through Norwegian nature.