New Taiwan passport overshadowed by Norwegian stylish makeover

Norwegian design company, Neue, recently unveiled Norway’s new passport cover, showing a drastic improvement that now includes elements such as fjords, northern lights and mountains, to name just a few, symbolizing the country’s pride.

This new design, however, stood in sharp contrast with Taiwan’s recent passport makeover which debuted on Sept. 3. The new passport merely included an enlarged “TAIWAN” while moving the official name of the country, “Republic of China,” into the emblem on the cover in some wee, tiny characters. 

Contrary to all expectations, the Chinese characters for “passport” were also placed above the country’s name to emphasize the country’s international status.

The changes stopped there, however, prompting many to lament the opportunity to showcase more creativity.

Norway’s new passport design, on the other hand, had undergone 6 years of work since Neue landed the contract in 2014. It was designed on a concept grounded on nature and Norwegian culture.

“The landscapes surrounding us give a sense of belonging and pride, and fill a symbolic function for the entire nation,” Neue explained.

Accordingly, every page of the new passport includes illustrated natural sceneries, such as fjords, forests, northern lights, rivers, mountains and more.

As they form backgrounds where stamps need to be clearly viewed in a glance, the drawings are made up of pale shades of blue and fine lines. When viewed under the UV light, details of the images come to life, with one page showing the Aurora Borealis shining above a mountainous area. 

With Norway’s new passport release, Taiwan’s relatively unimpressive design-change is once again thrust underneath the global spotlight, with some commenting that changes should be used to promote the Taiwan identity and tradition.

Norway’s passport revisions emphasize the local cultures and climates could do even greater wonders in highlighting the nation’s identity, rather than just enlarging the country’s name.

Though “We are Taiwan” Passport Cover Design Competition initiated by the New Power Party included some great works, many also pointed out the possibility of jumping out the “bubble milk tea” scope, to show deeper, more intimate features of Taiwan identity.