The stamp year 2012 in Finland brings various releases related to culture, sports and anniversaries, and naturally the ever-popular nature themes. A total of 22 stamp sets consisting of 73 different stamps will be published in 2012. Next year's versatile stamps have been designed by talented designers, of whom as many as 13 are first time stamp designers.
Design, Sámi culture and Schjerfbeck in January
At the beginning of the stamp year, on 23 January, a stamp booklet related to the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program will be published. The pictures for the booklet were selected from entries to an open online design competition organized last spring. The judges and the public chose eight works from among 1,422 entries. These will be published in the Future City stamp booklet. Design agency Kokoro & Moi turned the awarded works into stamps.
Next year's Valentine's Day stamps were designed by Päivi Unenge, a Finnish illustrator living in Sweden. The miniature booklet called I heart you contains six self-adhesive stamps and motifs including little girls, birds, pets, and naturally a focus on hearts.
Sámi culture is celebrated with a four-stamp miniature sheet, shaped after the floor plan of the Sámi Cultural Centre SAJOS that will be opened in Inari in January 2012. The sheet depicting shaman drums was designed by Merja Aletta Ranttila from Inari. The self-adhesive stamps are shaped like mountains.
Year 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of artist Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946). In honour of the anniversary, a booklet of four self-adhesive stamps depicting her works will be released. The booklet designed by Teresa Moorhouse includes the School Girl II, Green Apples and Champagne Glass, Self Portrait, Black Background and Silk Shoes paintings.
Flowers, clouds, Women's Day and Railroads in March
The stamp designed for Easter greetings and that will be published on 5 March has a funny cartoon-like design. It will be published as a booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps entitled Happy Easter! The stamp designed by Illustrator Janne Harju depicts a chick and a bunny painting on an Easter egg.
Spring flowers will be shown in a retro-styled six-stamp miniature booklet that depicts liverwort, spring pea, least gagea, lung-wort, marsh marigold and spring corydalis. The Spring Blossoms miniature booklet was designed by Klaus Welp, and he also took the photographs for it.
Railways in Finland will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year. In honour of the occasion, a six-stamp booklet designed by Tarja Salonen will be released. The stamps depict six trains from different periods from the steam locomotive Ukkopekka to the newest train called Allegro. The shape of the stamps has been cut to perspective to give them the feeling of motion.
March also sees the release of a motif that has been requested a lot, and which is especially suitable for wedding invitations. The motif of the stamp called Wedding is two golden wedding rings. The stamp was designed by Ari Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu, who also took the photographs for the stamp. It will be printed on foil paper to make the rings glisten like real gold rings.
Women's Day will be celebrated with the release of a credit card sized four-stamp booklet called Kisses Blown. The motifs of the stamps, designed by Ulla Bergström, were inspired by spring festivities, friendship and evening gatherings. The cheerful Women’s Day stamps are suitable for many kinds of shipments.
March stamps also take a look at the sky with three stamps depicting clouds. The stamps, which are based on photographs, were designed by Timo Berry. The stamps will be sold in rolls of 100 and depict three types of clouds. In addition, pictograms are printed on the images using transparent lacquer.
The second release in March depicts sea life and ice hockey
On 21 March a self-adhesive stamp booklet, designed by Klaus Welp, will be published as an addition to the Nordic Maritime 2012 series. The theme of 2012 is Life at Sea. Stamps with a similar theme will be published at the same time in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, and on the Åland Islands, Faroe Islands and Greenland. The motifs of the Finnish stamps include the Finnish Border Guard's patrol vessel Merikarhu and the Finnish Lifeboat Institution's rescue cruiser Jenny Wihuri.
A stamp in honour of the Ice Hockey World Cup that will be held in Helsinki and Stockholm in May 2012 will also be issued in March.
Travel, sports and a national park in May
On 7 May a new stamp will be added to the Europa series, for which every European postal administration has picked its own stamp motifs. The 10-stamp self-adhesive stamp booklet called Visit Finland was designed by Johannes Ekholm. For this booklet, he has chosen old Finnish travel posters that have also been published in the book Welcome to Finland.
Summer of 2012 will be a real summer of sports – the first European Athletics Championships will be held in Helsinki, and after that the Summer Olympics will take place in London. To commemorate this, Itella Posti Oy will issue a sports-related stamp.
Next in the series is The Bothnian Sea National Park, which introduces Finnish national parks. Teemu Ollikainen has designed a 10-stamp self-adhesive stamp booklet.
The sunflower gets a stamp of its own in May, when a stamp designed by Ossi Hiekkala will be released as a booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps. The draft-like design of the stamp brings out the flower from the background. There are two different kinds of sunflowers on the sheet.
90s music stars and baby animals in September
A booklet of self-adhesive stamps called Pets, which will be published on 3 September, could become a favourite in many families with children. The six stamps in the booklet depict baby animals. Satu Lusa designed the stamps and Rafa Irusta Machin and Eric Isselée took the photographs for the stamps that show kittens, puppies and bunnies photographed against a white background.
A dreamlike, surreal and miniature self-adhesive stamp booklet called Autumn Dream, designed by Miika Saksi, will also be released in September. It contains five stamps.
A series of 6 stamps depicting Finnish music has entered into the 90s. The six stamp booklet, designed by Klaus Welp, gives a stamp to four popular artists: Kaija Koo, Jari Sillanpää, Laura Voutilainen, Anna Eriksson, and two bands: Agents and Yölintu. The artists and bands were chosen by Esa Nieminen. An essential criterion for choosing these artists was their popularity that has continued from the 90s to the present day.
New Christmas stamps will be introduced in November
The traditional Christmas stamp will be renewed on 5 November, when Itella Posti Oy releases 20 stamps on a sheet that is an impressive Christmas decoration in itself. The Christmas Tree Christmas stamp sheet, designed by Nina Rintala, is ideal as a present at Christmas parties or as a small business gift. Nina Rantala has also designed another 10-stamp booklet called Stable Lantern to be released on Christmas.
In addition to Christmas stamps, a cheerful stamp called Sledging, designed by Georgi Eremenko & AIno-Maija Metsola, will be released. It is suitable for various kinds of winter greetings – for example on Shrovetide.