Beautiful boundaries


Norway ratcheted up its cool factor by holding competitions to redesign key pieces of its identity: money and travel documents. Sea-themed banknotes to be issued in 2017 will use pixilated coastal interpretations on the back, courtesy of Snøhetta, and Neue Design Studio’s winning passport designs also focus on Nordic landscapes, which switch from fjords to Northern Lights when held under UV lamps.


The National Police Directorate arranged a design competition in February 2014, and Neue Design Studio has been named the winner. 

The purpose was to find a unique concept with excellent design qualities and a theme that is widely accepted, presented through an appropriate and functional solution. The background for the competition was to increase the security of Norwegian passports, ID cards and travel document.

Nature has always been an essential part of the Norwegian identity and tradition, as well as being a key fundament for our welfare. The landscape with its vast variation from the south to the north, is the starting point for the design concept. The basis for the winning entry is the concept “The Norwegian landscape.”

The jury’s decision:

“Of the submissions for the new Norwegian passports and ID cards, “The Norwegian landscape” has been chosen as the best concept. It both illustrates the Norwegian identity and makes sure the passport will be viewed as document of high value. The concept make the documents deeply rooted in the Norwegian culture and widely accepted. It will be relevant for many years to come and it has clear user benefits. The design is attractive and stylish, the colors are subtle and the abstraction of the landscapes are exciting. The proposed solution seems to be designed with great emphasis on the function of passports and ID cards, and is immediately accepted as a document of high value. The concept is the competition’s most subtle and stylish solution, and positively separates itself from the competing submissions. Aesthetically the landscape motifs have been given a distinctive look. The jury appreciates the simplicity of the solution.”

The concept will be adjusted and refined on the basis of technical and safety considerations and the final result will be presented when the new travel documents are ready.