Why passports only come in four colors

We are of the firm belief that everyone should have a passport. They are the keys to the kingdom of travel, and an excellent way of ensuring that you can get out of your hometown, and go see the world. As soon as you are able to apply for a passport, we recommend that you do so, as this is going to come in so handy at a later date.

Now, you might have heard rumblings in the international media recently about passports, and the changing colors. As far as we are concerned, passports are simply the color we’re given them in, they don’t need to be changed. But, it might interest you to know that there are actually 4 different passport colors, no more, no less, and we’re going to look at why that is.

The colors

The only four colors that you will find passports in are green, blue, red, and black. However, the rules allow for different shades of the same colors, which is why you might sometimes get light blue passports as well as dark blue, for example. Now, generally speaking, the colors will almost always be darker, for a number of reasons that we’ll talk about later. But, before we do that, let’s look at what the rules are concerning passports and their colors.

What the rules stipulate

Amazingly, the rule stipulations are not what we thought they would be. We imagined that there would be a stringent rule stating that passports MUST be designed in one of these four colors. But, in fact, this is not actually the case at all; there are no rules, only suggestions. The ICAO recommends ideas for typeface, font, and type size, but there is no actual rule about what is allowed or not. Sure, there are rules pertaining to material and design, but the color is not actually in the rules.

What colors do countries choose?

Because there is actually no official ruling for passport color, nations choose what they wish. For example, many Islamic nations have green passports, because the color green plays a big role in their religion and culture. Basically, nations can choose what they want, but darker colors are much more professional and authentic looking. Can you imagine a bright orange passport? It would just look so fake, right?! Dark colors are also less likely to show dirt and wear, and, as such, they continue to look smart for a longer period of time.

It’s interesting to note what the regulations are regarding passports and their colors. We always assumed that passports were the color they are due to rules put in place, but it seems like it’s much more of an aesthetic kind of deal. Countries want their passports to look smart, so they make them one of these four colors. We can’t imagine having a yellow, or pink passport anytime soon, and that’s probably a good thing – darker colors look more authentic and professional. So, the next time you get your passport out, you’ll understand why it is the color it is, and the power this document has.