There’s a secret design hidden in plain sight on Canadian passports.
The regular travel document is dark blue on the outside, and the 36 inside pages are mostly off-white with unremarkable artwork. But all that changes when the passport is put under ultra-violet, also known as black light.
The blacklight-enhanced design is not just aesthetic — it helps officials identify authentic passports.
"The artistic designs in ultraviolet (UV)-reactive inks complement the visual design and serve to further secure the visa pages against counterfeiting," Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesperson Nancy Caron told Mashable. “The presence of UV designs were included in the details of security features shared with Canadian and international law enforcement and border authorities for their use in establishing the authenticity of a Canadian electronic passport.”
Caron added that, at the time of the release, Canada was the only nation using four-color invisible fluorescent printing in its passport.
In We Are All Made Of Stars, Daria Khoroshavina created a set in which the only source of light became the body paint itself under black light. Aesthetically she wanted to mimic the glowing chaos of space and sky photography.