Norwegian Landscapes

Neue won the contract to design Norway’s new passports, with a concept exploring the sweeping landscapes of the nation.

BACKGROUND

The objective of the two-step design competition was to develop a unique concept with a widely recognizable theme and a functional design of high quality. The winning concept and theme was to be based on several criteria: To have a Clear expression of Norwegian identity, be Creative and innovative as well as Maintaining traditions and to Remain relevant for many years. Further to have High functionality and universal design and Appear as a document of high value. The documents need to ensure identification for its holder and for controlling authorities – domestically as well as abroad. This implies that the ID documents are both a private and a public matter. The document’s holder should feel proud ownership, thus treating the documents carefully and with respect. The selected theme would influence all further work with the visual design, and all national ID documents that are included in the project.

SOLUTION

The overall purpose was to increase security concerning Norwegian passports, ID cards and travel documents. But a very important aspect of the task was also that the passport should have a solid foundation with the Norwegian people. The design has to create a sense of belonging and connection across age, gender and regions in Norway. Therefore it was important to look at our historical foundation and what in the Norwegian culture that creates a sense of belonging. It’s nature. It is, and has always been, part of our history.

The landscapes surrounding us give a sense of belonging and pride, and fill a symbolic function for the entire nation. Images of scenery and landscape can easily become clichés, but by being widely accepted and deeply rooted in Norwegian culture, they are also very easy to identify with. In addition, to Norwegians, nature is more than beautiful scenery. It supplies us with rich fisheries, clean hydroelectric power, and various other industries.

By using illustrations of single parts of a wide Norwegian panorama, from north to south, we want to show the contrasts in landscapes and climates that have shaped us, offered opportunities and resources, places for recreation and the scenes of important historical events.

Norway’s new passport – already a design classic?

The Guardian, Will Coldwell