Norway's cool new passport has a stylish secret

By Barry Neild, CNNPublished 18th November 2014
Norway has revealed the result of a competition to design the country's new passport -- but the stylish winner has a major flaw.
Its pages, which reveal secret images of the Northern Lights when placed under a UV lamp, are possibly too beautiful to spoil with smudgy visa stamps.
The new passport, created by the Neue Design Studio, is minimalist on the outside, featuring a red cover embossed with a Norwegian crest and a clean line pattern.
There's a blue version for diplomats and a pale gray one for immigrants.
Inside, the pages feature a chilly graphic showing icy peaks overlooking a body of water.
When exposed to UV light, these display a Northern Lights night scene that can't fail to gladden the heart of even the most stone-faced immigration inspector.
Neue's designers says their creation is a response to a brief from Norway's National Police Directorate to come up with "a unique concept with excellent design qualities" that also increased the security of Norwegian passports and ID cards.
Simple solution
"Nature has always been an essential part of the Norwegian identity and tradition, as well as being a key fundament for our welfare," the design studio says in a statement.
"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.'"
Neue says there'll be a few more tweaks to the design before it hits the trail at an undisclosed date, but once complete it should be here for a while.
The designers quote the competition jury's praise for "the simplicity of the solution."
"It both illustrates the Norwegian identity and makes sure the passport will be viewed as document of high value," the judges say.
"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 new passport isn't the only everyday item to get the Norwegian makeover treatment.
Recently the country revealed new designs for the country's banknotes that won rave reviews comparing them to artwork.