Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Design a Stamp for the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012

An online design competition open to everyone will begin on Thursday, February 3, at the http://www.futurecity.fi/ website. Future City is the theme of the stamp design competition organized by Itella Posti OY, the Finnish Post Office and the Itella Philatelic Center. The competition is part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program, and the winning stamps will be sold publicly and used by the World Design Capital Helsinki.

The traditional visual themes of urban stamps deal with prominent buildings and monuments. We are now looking for fresh, innovative ideas for both stamp themes and implementation. I’m confident that the online competition, open to everyone, will help us obtain a large number of new, open-minded proposals,” says Markku Penttinen, Director of the Itella Philatelic Center.

“The design competition is an excellent match with the theme of the World Design Capital Year: Open City— Embedding Design in Life. Everyone may participate in the competition, and design as part of life will show in the stamp design, the themes and the final product. The official stamps of Helsinki’s year as the World Design Capital will be the outcome”, says Pekka Timonen, Director of the International Design Foundation, in charge of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.
The entire competition will take place online
The competition period is February 3—April 4, 2011. During this time, contributions should be uploaded to the competition website at www.futurecity.fi in digital format as instructed. The competitors may freely select the implementation method of their contributions. For example, the competitors may depict a future living environment in their stamp, a place where they would like to live, or give their visions about tomorrow and a better life.

Please visit the competition website for more specific instructions and the rules of the competition. The competition website is in Finnish. One competitor may submit as many contributions to the competition as they like. Groups may also participate. You may use a pseudonym when submitting your contribution. The Kokoro & Moi design agency is responsible for the look of the website. The agency was also involved in the conceptual design of the competition in cooperation with Itella Posti Oy/the Itella Philatelic Center.

Voting in April
Everyone may vote for the contributions at the competition website (www.futurecity.fi) from April 7—25, 2011. You may only vote once for one contribution, but you may also give your vote to several contributions. Voters are eligible for a raffle of many prizes both during the competition and the voting.

12 contributions to be awarded in May
Based on the public voting and the selections by the jury, 30 contributions will be eligible for the finals. The jury comprises the art committee of Itella Posti Qy/the Itella Philatelic Center and two experts of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.

Eight contributions will be selected and made into stamps, and each author will receive €1,500. In addition, four contributions will be selected to be made into postcards, and each author will receive €500. The winners will be announced in May 2011.

Stamps to be released in 2012
Itella Posti Cy/the Itella Philatelic Center will process the winning stamps in their final format. The winning stamps will be released, and they will be available for public purchase in early 2012.

The campaign representatives promote experimentation
Five campaign representatives have been selected for the Future City stamp competition. They are well-known in the design sector, and all of them have designed stamps. The campaign representatives are Illustrator Janne Harju, Professor of Graphic Design Tapio Vapaasalo, Shoe Designer Minna Parikka, Designer Kirsti Doukas and Illustrator/Graphic Designer Janine Rewell.

The stamp design style of Illustrator Janne Harju can be seen in the Branches of Friendship miniature sheet, released on January 24, 2011. Harju’s form-cut stamps took an open-minded, ground-breaking approach to the traditional form language used in traditional stamps.
The joy of designing a stamp is the moment when you find a way to condense a brilliant idea in the small space. I would like to encourage all participants to try something new. Come up with something funny, clever, innovative and profound. Creative contributions stand out from the rest!” says Harju.

You can follow the design competition on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/fc2012

You can follow the design competition on Twitter by going to http://twitter.com/futurecity2012/statuses/37504777927528448

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finland Release unusual shaped Stamps

A daring, form-cut format stands out from the rest Finnish stamps released in January which focus on anniversaries, the Finnish National Opera and distinctive Finnish mailboxes. For the Finnish Post Office the year 2011 begins on January24 with the release of seven sets consisting of 22 different stamps. The visual themes of the stamps are the opera, the Finnish flag, Valentine’s Day, mailboxes, the spring, and extra-fee stamps with a nature theme. The stamp designers include both new prominent graphic artists, and professionals who have been in the business for a long time.

Design with an open mind

A miniature sheet entitled “Branches of Friendship” will be released in February to celebrate Valentine’s Day — known as Friendship Day in Finland. The stamps, illustrated by Janne Harju, show happy bird-like characters in their colorful nests. The open-minded design of the five form-cut stamps in the miniature sheet stands out from traditional stamps. The width of the largest stamp in the miniature sheet is over 11 cm. “The spring of life” stamp booklet, depicting nature’s awakening from beneath the winter snow cover, is another product of the new generation of designers. The bird and flower stamps in the five-stamp booklet, designed by graphic artist Pietari Posti, are particularly suitable for different kinds of greetings.

Finnish atmosphere on the stage, pole and by the road

The visual themes of a miniature sheet, published to mark the centenary of the Finnish National Opera, focus on scenes from six popular operas from different points in time. The operas selected in the miniature sheet, designed by Tarja Salonen, include “The Last Temptations” by Joonas Kokkonen, “The Red Line” by Aulis Sallinen, and “The Knight of the Rose” by Richard Strauss. The Blue Cross Flag, famihar to all Finns, is flown in an impressive 2nd class stamp, designed by Minna Luoma and implemented with letter press. For more information please see: http://www.helsinki-hotels.net/opera.htm

or: http://www.opera.fi/en

Mailboxes are an inherent part of the Finnish landscape and everyday life. Five genuine Finnish mailboxes in actual use are the visual theme of roll stamps designed by Päivi Vainionpää. The personal boxes also tell a story of their owners’ life.

Two extra-fee stamps with a different value were also be released in January. the stamps are intended for adding to the value of previously purchased stamp. The themes of these make-up stamps designed by Teemu Ollikainen and Timo Berry are a birch bud with a face value of .20 Euros and a birch leave with a face value of .30 euros. The stamps are cut in the shape of the plus sign, clearing indicating that they are intended to be used as make-up stamps to pay for current postal charges.