Canadian passport reveals its design secrets

New Canadian passports have been hiding a whole series of design gems between their innocuous-looking pages; you just need an ultra-violet light to see them

Images by Imgur user chachichachichicken

New Canadian passports have been hiding a whole series of design gems between their innocuous-looking pages; you just need an ultra-violet light to see them…

While the new-look passports have been in use since July 2013, there’s one aspect to their design that has not (to our knowledge) been duly celebrated until very recently. This week, a post on Imgur via Reddit alerted our attention to one of the most surprising design reveals we’ve seen. As one commenter pointed out, “It’s like a party on every page”.

Loaded up onto Imgur user chachichachichicken displayed several shots of his friend’s passport: “My buddy got his new Canadian passport and had the wisdom to take a look at it under his black light,” he wrote. “We thought we’d share…”.

And what a revelation the images turned out to be: each fairly standard-looking page of the passport (historical figures, well-known monuments etc) is brought to life in a blaze of pattern and colour when view under a ‘black light’ or ultra-violet light source. The design feature acts as an additional security feature that many Canadian’s are just unaware of but presumably is viewable at passport desks around the world.

In 2010 I wrote about the UK passport redesign, in which the Identity and Passports Service evoked this isle’s sea-faring tradition in its rendering of an Albion of yesteryear. Conversely, it was the very modern design of the Norwegian passport that last year set the internet into a documentation-based frenzy.

Now Canada has revealed its hand. While its certainly not as cooly minimal as the Norwegian effort, it’s difficult not to enjoy the party.

The full series of images is at imgur.com. All images by Imgur user chachichachichicken

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