Passport

Don’t Hate the Norwegians Just Because They’re Better Than You: Passport and Currency Edition

Turns out Norway has more to offer the world than just melodramatic memoirists, stupid television, and really expensive beer. Also: pretty passports and currency. Norwegian authorities recently unveiled new designs for their national currency and passports. Both are elegant, minimalist designs that play on Norway’s design heritage and natural beauty. The passport comes in three ...

ASERUD, LISE/AFP/Getty Images
ASERUD, LISE/AFP/Getty Images

Turns out Norway has more to offer the world than just melodramatic memoirists, stupid television, and really expensive beer. Also: pretty passports and currency.

Norwegian authorities recently unveiled new designs for their national currency and passports. Both are elegant, minimalist designs that play on Norway’s design heritage and natural beauty.

The passport comes in three colors — white, turquoise, and red — for immigrant, diplomatic, and standard travel documents, respectively. A riff on the country’s crest graces the cover.

The interior pages deliver spare takes on Norway’s most famous natural feature: its magnificent fjords. The design is evocative in its simplicity.

And when put under a black light, the northern lights appear:

The currency design similarly doubles down on the Norwegian minimalist aesthetic. The pixelated design on one side of its new currency is based on the Beaufort wind scale, with the lower denominations showing still landscape and the larger currency displaying what resembles a storm.

The obverse of the currency will also feature pretty sea-related images, such as this one:

If you haven’t already picked up on it, the Norwegians have a love affair with the sea. And it isn’t surprising. The country’s coastline is fantastically beautiful and its ocean territories have made Norwegians fantastically rich, first from cod and herring, then from oil. It’s only fitting they pay tribute on their currency.

Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @EliasGroll

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