Saturday, December 1, 2012

Finish Post Office release details of 2013 issues

The stamps to be issued in the first half of 2013 look at Finnish culture from many perspectives. The stamps feature a national park, Moomins, flowers, outhouses, and crazy Finnish contests from wife carrying to anthill sitting. Thirteen stamp releases will be issued in Finland in January–May 2013, containing 39 different stamps.




Sledging and feasting in January

For Finnish stamps, the year 2013 opens with three releases on January 21st.



Sweets are an essential part of St. Valentine’s Day all over the world. Designer Sini Henttonen’s St. Valentine's Day stamps feature playful landscapes composed of sweets. The Sweet St. Valentine’s Day booklet contains six 1st class stamps and four stickers for brightening up letters and cards with. “The oval form and bright colors emphasize the candy-like, playful nature of the stamps,” explains Ms. Henttonen, who will receive her MFA from the Finnish Aalto University in the spring.



The Sledging 1st class stamp is perfect for winter greetings. It will be issued as a foldable sheet of ten stamps. The designer, Georgi Eremenko, wanted to illustrate the joys and light of winter. “I found inspiration from watching colorfully dressed people sledging in Kaivopuisto Park in Helsinki on a sunny January weekend,” Mr. Eremenko comments.

The stylish Orchid stamp, designed by Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi, will also come out in January. The stamp is particularly suitable for purposes such as condolence cards. The value, EUR 1.10, is equivalent to first-class postage for a letter weighing less than 100g. The foldable self-adhesive sheet of ten stamps fits neatly into the wallet.



March of roses and outhouses





Four  stamp releases will be out on March 8th.



The 2013 Easter stamps will feature a brightly colored rooster that carries a willow catkin in his beak and has an Easter egg at his feet. The Easter Rooster stamp sheet, designed by Katja Saario, contains ten 1st class stamps. According to the Finnish Easter tradition, it is the rooster that lays chocolate eggs and hides them for the children to find on Easter Sunday. In church art, the rooster is a symbol of vigilance and endurance, and it stands on the top of the bell tower of many churches.



Furthermore, a 1st class stamp suitable for congratulation cards will be issued in March. The theme was inspired by the traditional dark red granny’s rose. Designed by the renowned postage stamp artist Kaarina Toivanen, the Roses stamp is traditional and modern at the same time. It is a close-up of two rose blossoms on a rose branch with water droplets on the petals. The sheet contains ten stamps.





Three popular Finnish garden berries have been chosen as the theme for the roll of a hundred stamps to be issued in 2013. The photo-realistic 1st class stamps, designed by illustrator Ossi Hiekkala using acrylic technique, portray the blackberry, the gooseberry, and the red currant. The layout of Garden Berries is designed by Heikki Sallinen.






The Prettiest Outhouses stamp booklet will also be issued in March. The motifs were chosen in a photo contest arranged by the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper and Itella Posti Oy. The judges chose the prettiest Finnish outhouses from among more than 500 candidates. The four winners are located in different parts of Finland: Uusikaupunki, Polvijärvi, Mustasaari, and Kerimäki. One of the judges, graphic artist Satu Lusa, has designed 2nd class stamps of the winning photos, emphasizing a cozy summer cottage atmosphere.



Finnish oddities, Moomins, and a national park to be introduced in May

On May 6th, Itella Posti Oy will launch five stamp releases.



Finns have a passion for odd contests and even arrange World Championships in various weird sports. Stamp artist Bruno Maximus has picked four peculiar Finnish sports as the motifs of the Finnish Oddity stamp booklet: wife carrying, air guitar playing, anthill sitting, boot throwing, old-geezer carting, and swamp soccer. “The stamps show the hilarious side of this sometimes so serious-minded country,” Mr. Maximus explains. He hopes that these humorous 1st class stamps will spread around the world and bring smiles on the recipients’ faces. The graphic designer of the Finnish Oddity stamp booklet is Tero Jämsä.














Modern times and history shake hands on the Mail Delivery Vehicles stamp sheet to be issued in May. Modern times are represented by a 2012 Ford Transit Cpmmect delivery van, standing next to a row of mailboxes in a sparsely populated area. The other stamp portrays a Volvo LV-70 truck from 1933, found today at the Mobilia automobile and road museum. The 1st class stamps designed by Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi belong to the EUROPA series issued by European mail operators.



The series of Finnish national parks will continue in May with a sheet of ten stamps dedicated to the Nuuksio national park. Nuuksio is the southernmost inland national park in Finland. It is easy to access by public transport or even bicycle from the Helsinki Metropolitan area. The landscape of Nuuksio is rolling and spotted with lakes and ponds. The Haukkalampi Lake area is the theme of the Nuuksio National Park 1st class stamp designed by Teemu Ollikainen.



The beloved Moomins will make another appearance in May, when Itella Posti Oy issues the Moomin Favorites booklet of six stamps. The colorful 1st class stamps designed by graphic artist Satu Lusa feature Moominpappa, Moomintroll, Moominmamma, Little My, Snorkmaiden, and Snufkin. Satu Lusa wants to emphasize the lively eloquence of Tove Jansson’s drawings and the Moomins’ joy of life.





My Thanks to the Finnish Post Office for the above information.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Finland Releases Christmas Stamps Nov 4

Finnish Christmas stamps for 2012 spread the holiday spirit in new ways


On Monday, November 5, Posti will issue Christmas stamps with two seasonal themes: Christmas tree and a stable lantern. The themes of the sheets might be traditional, but the design is all new.



The Christmas Tree stamp comes in a triangular sheet that doubles as an impressive Christmas decoration. Thanks to its special fold, the 20-stamp sheet stands upright like a miniature Christmas tree. Use it to get your desk in the holiday spirit – and to remind you to send your holiday greetings! The Christmas Tree stamp is worth EUR 0.60, which is the special domestic Christmas greeting rate. To send Christmas greetings with this stamp, the deadline in Finland is Thursday, December 13. This EUR .60 self-adhesive stamp has a size  of 36 X 27 mm while the sheet of 10 has a size of 147 X 215 mm. A total of 41 million stamps were printed by the Dutch firm of Joh. Enschede Stamps by the web offset method.

Christmas Tree Sheet


The Stable Lantern stamp creates the peaceful mood of expectation that is the heart of the Christmas season. The Stable Lantern stamp, sold in sheets of 10, is 1st class. The stamp sheet comes with Christmas-themed Priority labels which can be used for both international Christmas greetings and domestic 1st class cards and letters. The mailing deadline for domestic Christmas greetings with a 1st class stamp is Tuesday, December 18. Individual stamps have a size of 24.5mm by 34.5 mm while a sheet of  10 stamps has a size of 162 X 115 mm. A total of 7 million stamps were printed.



Nina Rintala designed both of the 2012 Christmas stamp. Nina is a graphic artist from Turku who has previously designed stamps for Itella, including the Church Sleigh Christmas stamp, which was recognized as the most beautiful stamp of 2002. In 2008, Rintala designed the world’s first transparent stamp, Frosty Night, for Itella.




Lantern Sheet

See Santa Claus Post Office in Santa's Village in Lapland in Finland - Rovaniemi
                                 Click here to sample a Finnish Christmas song

Further information:

Itella Posti Oy

Petri Pohjolainen, Product Manager, petri.pohjolainen@posti.fi

Markku Penttinen, Development Director, markku.penttinen@posti.fi


Itella Communications

Sara Lindström, Communications Manager,  sara.lindstrom@itella.com



My thanks to the Finnish Post Office for the above information.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ATA Creates Stamp Collecting Module

The American Topical Association (ATA) is producing colorful and interesting modules especially for youth collectors and educators. In recognition of National Stamp Collecting Month in October, the latest 20-page "Topical Tidbits" module is available at




clck here to see the Stamp collecting module




A wide variety of free interesting and educational material for youth is found on the ATA website. Creation of the Topical Tidbit modules supports the "Stamps Teach" project being carried out by the National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society.



The Topical Tidbits module on stamp collecting features creative and colorful games, puzzles and quizzes in areas such as Branches of Philately, Other Ways of Collecting, Stamp Collecting Tools, Caring for Stamps, Parts of a Stamp, Types of Stamps, Special Service Stamps, Perfins, U.S. "Firsts," Stamp Oddities, Stamp Nicknames, Famous Stamp Collectors, and a Stamp Fortune Teller. The last page of the module is an answer key to nine different activities presented.




Each Topical Tidbit issue offers an opportunity to earn stamp gifts for prizes. The bi-monthly contest for the current Stamp Collecting module ends on October 31.




Prior issues of Topical Tidbits are available free of charge at the website listed above. They include Penguins on Stamps (17 pages), Fun Foods (21 pages), One World, Many Stamps (47 pages), and Summer Olympics (24 pages). Future issues are planned for Toys and Games, Lunar New Year, Soccer, The Circus, Symbols of the United States, Folk Tales and Christmas Firsts.




ATA Topical Tidbits are good resources for youth leaders and teachers. Additionally, stamp clubs can utilize them at youth tables at shows and promotions. Individual activities can be extracted from the modules for specific lessons or purposes. For instance, "What's My Country" in the One World, Many Stamps issue can be used to teach a lesson on using a stamp identifier.





ATA’s Topical Tidbits is spearheaded by its Director of Youth Activities, MaryAnn Bowman, of Waukesha, Wis. MaryAnn also serves on the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum Council of Philatelists and has long been active in Wisconsin and ATA philatelic activities. Topical Tidbits is produced by educator and ATA member Aimee Devine, of Janesville, Wis.





It is hoped that all philatelists will spread the word to educators and to youths about Topical Tidbits. Ideas and material for future issues are earnestly sought. Please direct them to the ATA Office.





For additional information about Topical Tidbits or about the ATA  write to: ATA, PO Box 8, Carterville, IL 62918-0008 USA or you can Contact Vera Felts at: americantopical@msn.com, 618-985-5100, for further information or for graphics to accompany this article.



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Monday, August 20, 2012

Finland isssues 17 new stamps for Fall 2012

Itella Posti Oy, the Finnish Post Office corporation, kicks off the fall season for Finnish stamps on Monday, 3 September, with the introduction of three new first-class stamp series that contain a total of 17 stamps. The themes include famous Finnish pop stars from the 1990s, cute little animals, and fall dreamscapes.




The good old '90s music


The series of stamps depicting Finnish music has entered the 1990s. Klaus Welp has designed a six-stamp Stars of the '90sbooklet with designated stamps for the following popular artists: Kaija Koo, Jari Sillanpää, Laura Voutilainen, Anna Eriksson and two bands: Agents and Yölintu.

click her to listen to Kaija Koo

The artists and bands in the stamps have been selected by the Finnish jack-of-all-trades in music Esa Nieminen and Itella. An essential criterion for choosing these artists was popularity that has continued from the 90s to the present day.


click here to listen to Jari Silanpaa

The stamp themes are based on album covers that the artists and bands released in the '90s. The '90s stars sticker stamp booklet will have an issue of 500,000 copies.


click her to listen to Laura Voutilainen

Stars of the '90s technical information:


Value: 6 x 1st class stamps:   Stamp Designer: Klaus Welp

Booklet Size: sheet open 180 x 90 mm, sheet closed 90 x 90 mm, stamps 36 x 35 mm

Paper: self-adhesive stamp paper;  Printer by: Joh. Enschedé Stamps, the Netherlands

Printing method: web offset



Cute little animals to warm the heart!













Pets is a stamp booklet by Satu Lusa whose six stamps feature small, lovable animals. The animals include a European cat, a large eared rabbit, a small rabbit, a dachshund, a Jack Russel terrier, and a British short haired cat.













The photo of the kitten with a tortoise pattern was taken by Spanish nature photographer Rafa Irusta. The rest of the photos were taken by Eric Isselée, a Belgian photographer specializing in animal photography.


The pet photos, were taken against a white background, so as to focus on the  the animals' expressions, natural posture and soft fur. The Pets sticker stamp booklet will have an issue of 500,000 copies.


Pets Technical Information

Value: 6 x 1st class;   Stamp Designer: Satu Lusa

Booklet Size: sheet open 55 x 201 mm, sheet closed 55 x 121 mm, stamps 27.5 x 33.5 mm

Paper: self-adhesive stamp paper;  Printer By: Joh. Enschedé Stamps, the Netherlands

Printing method: web offset.



Alluring and surreal fall dreamscapes



Miika Saksi's Fall Dream stamp booklet takes the viewer to surreal dreamscapes. The five stamps in the booklet include fall colors and several fall-related themes such as migratory birds, a scarecrow and a hot air balloon. Harvest is illustrated in a stamp where a girl is feeding carrots to a horse. The lanterns on the fifth stamp light up the darkening fall evenings. The Fall Dream sticker stamp booklet will have an issue of 400,000 copies.
Fall Dream Technical Information:


Value: 5 x 1st class;   Stamp Designer: Miika Saksi

Sheet Size: sheet 130 x 103 mm, stamp sizes: 38 x 37 mm, 46 x 36 mm, 36 x 28 mm, 34 x 43.5 mm, 45.5 x 28.5 mm

Paper: self-adhesive stamp paper; Printer By: Joh. Enschedé Stamps, the Netherlands

Printing method: web offset





My Thanks to the Finnish Post Office Corporation for the above information.
Further information:



Itella Posti Oy

· Tommi Kantola, Product Manager,  tommi.kantola@posti.fi

· Petri Pohjolainen, Product Manager, petri.pohjolainen@posti.fi

· Markku Penttinen, Development Director,  markku.penttinen@posti.fi



Itella Communications

· Sara Lindström, Communications Manager,  sara.lindstrom@itella.com



Monday, June 18, 2012

Hungary Post Office is the Post Europ 2012 Winner

Paris, 18 June 2012


PostEurop proudly announced Magyar Posta (Hungary), Turkish PTT (Turkey) and Hrvatska Pošta (Croatia) as the top three winners of the 2012 EUROPA Stamp Competition at the Philatelic Forum in Paris hosted by La Poste France.

 

The results of this year’s Europa Stamp competition were announced yesterday at PostEurop’s Philatelic Forum in Paris in conjunction with the Planet Timbre’s exhibition. Magyar Posta, postal operator for Hungary was declared the Gold award winner of this competition. The winning stamp from Magyar Posta is one of two stamps designed by Ágnes Rozmann, a Hungarian graphic artist.The main motif of the stamp is Hungary’s online country code ‘.HU’, which is filled with peppers and grapes. 100,000 copies of the miniature sheet have been made by offset printing at the banknote printing company Pénzjegynyomda.

To go to the Hungary Post Office site click here

“Philately remains an important part of the Hungarian community and collectors are keeping it very much alive. We are proud of our entry this year and thank the public for their support” said Gábor Péterffy, Head of Philately from Magyar Posta at the Philatelic Forum.

The close first-runner of the EUROPA Stamp competition was Turkish PTT, postal operator from Turkey and finally, the second-runner up of the EUROPA Stamp competition went to Hrvatska Pošta, postal operator for Croatia.

To go to the Turkish Post Office site click here

EUROPA stamps are special stamps issued by European postal administrations/enterprises, under the aegis of PostEurop, in which 'Europe' is the central theme. In this 20th consecutive year entries based themselves on the theme "Visit" promoting tourism for their own countries. Fifty-five beautiful entries were received and each told its own tale. The public was invited to view the entries and vote online for their favourite stamps over a period of two months. Compared to last year, another substantial increase of 45% in the number of public votes registered from all over the world was accounted for.

To go to the Croatia Post Office click here

“Stamps are a cultural heritage and a business reality. I am encouraged by the results yielded from EUROPA stamps over the years. Each time I participate in the event, I gain a deeper perspective on its value and influence” commented Botond Szebeny, PostEurop Secretary General.

Hungary Receiving their Award




Markku Penttinen, Chairman of the PostEurop Stamps and Philately working group from Itella Posti added, “We can be proud of the work done so far and the increasing visibility of EUROPA Stamps. Based on the entries, I am encouraged to see more and more Innovative stamps giving new life and possibilities to Philately."



My thanks to Cynthia for supplying information for this article.




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two First-Day Cover Events at National Topical Stamp Show, June 22-24







There will be two first day ceremonies at the three-day National Topical Stamp Show, June 22 through 24th. On Friday, June 22nd at 9:00 a.m. a new format of the non-denominated (32¢) postal card picturing a sailboat will be released. This version is made up of 4-up packs of 10 sheets which will be separated and sold as individual sheets of four at the show. On Saturday, June 23rd at 9:00 a.m. a new series of 10 postal cards will have a First Day Ceremony. These reproduce the American Scenic photographic designs that have been released as stamps from 1999 through 2012. One of these honors Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where the show will be held.







NTSS will be held at the Lancaster Host Resort and Convention Center, 2300 Lincoln Highway East (Hwy. 30). (717) 299-5500. Parking and entrance are free.







Forty-one dealers from around the country with material from all areas of philately will be able to fill holes in any collector’s areas of interest. Free expert advice on stamps that attendees own will be available at the show’s “What’s In Your Attic?” (stamp evaluations) help table. The doors open at 10:00 a.m. each day and close at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday the show will close at 3:00 p.m.







Meetings, which are all open at no cost to the public, include “Meet the Editor” and “Franklin Roosevelt” on Friday morning. Ships on Stamps, Biology on Stamps, Medical Subjects Unit, Wine on Stamps, Graphics Philately, and Lighthouse Stamp Society meet on Saturday morning. Chess on Stamps, the Europa Study Unit, Christmas Philatelic Club and Penguins on stamps will all hold meetings on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning a Gems and Jewelry on stamps program will occur, and the Americana Study Unit will meet. There will be a seminar on Exhibiting at 10:00 on Sunday. On Saturday morning presentations on “Smokey Bear” and “The Wonderful World of Wacky Stamps” will also be held. Over 200 frames (3,200 pages) of exhibits will be on display.




Additionally there will be two youth tables with free stamps, tours on Thursday and Monday, and a President’s Reception and an Awards Banquet. Tours are now being booked for the Thursday preceding the show and the Monday following. More information is available on line at http://www.americantopicalassn.org/.





Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2012 EUROPA Stamp Promotes Travel & Tourism

Brussels, 16 April 2012

PostEurop launched the 2012 Europa Stamp competition on 1 April 2012 based on the theme "Visit". The impressive entries reflected philatelic designers' design interpretation of the concept and promotes travel and tourism for their countries or cities through EUROPA stamps.




Each year, PostEurop the association representing European Public Postal Operators is proud to organize the best of Europa Stamp Design Competition. On 1 April 2012, PostEurop launched the public online voting competition based on one vote per registered voter. The theme for this year's competition is “Visit”. Based on the concept, philatelic designers designed and created EUROPA stamps, which invites the viewers to discover the marvels of the country or city it represents.



"We are excited with this year's exquisite entries and even more excited to see integration of innovative elements such as Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) and new hidden images (Chameleon Code) for postage stamps introduced, to bring the design to life" said Markku Penttinen, Chairman of the PostEurop Stamps and Philately working group from Itella.



View and Vote for Your Favourite Europa Stamp Today

PostEurop invites you to view all the beautiful entries and vote for your favourite stamp on www.posteurop.org/europa2012. The online competition will end on 10 June 2012 and the winning stamps will be announced at the PostEurop Philatelic Forum to be held on 13 June 2012 in Paris.



More about EUROPA Stamps

Since 1956, EUROPA stamps have been a symbol of Europe’s desire for closer integration and co-operation. These special stamps are issued by the European postal administrations/enterprises and bears the EUROPA logo, a PostEurop registered trademark. Since 1993, PostEurop has been the responsible organisation for issuing EUROPA stamps and each year, philately experts within the Philately working group organize the competition amongst other philately initiatives. See more information on on their website
http://www.posteurop.org/

My thanks to Cynthia Wee the Communications Manager for PostEurop for supplying this information. Cynthia can be reached at cynthia.wee@posteurop.org. I urge you to go to go to their website and vote for your favorite stamp. Their are several postal administrations to pick from  the island of Aland 
 through Vatican City.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Swaziland Releases 4 Locust Stamps

The Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation will issue on April 2, 2012 four colorful stamps illustrating locusts found in that Southern Africian Country.


The first stamp stamp in the series shows the Southern African desert locust, Schistocerca gregariaflaviventris (Libhulamdzaka). The adult female is about 60-75mm long and light grayish brown in color A light-colored longitudinal stripe extends across the head and pronotum and the latter also bears short lateral stripes. The forewing has a distinctly spotty appearances and the under wing is yellow at its base- It belongs to the same subfamily as the red locust and bears a spur on the throat- The hoppers are generally green to grey in color. This locust feeds on herbaceous plants as well as grasses, and few crops. This locust is able to survive in extremely dry areas. Breeding coincides with rain. Two generations are possible, one in spring and the other in late summer


Schistocerca solitaria, Lidziya


There are at least more than 4 subspecies of Schistocerca solitaria in Swaziland. This subspecies is commonly found in lush areas where it camouflages with the grass. Generally green in color with lateral black stripes on the fore wings and the under wing is bright yellowish green.
The locust’s season commences around September- October, following the first rains, and runs through March- April. Female adults are 36-48mm. Schistocerca solitaria are predominantly grass feeders.


African migratory locust, Locusta migratoria migratoriodes (Liboni)


There are about 8 subspecies of Locusta migratoria in different parts of the world. This subspecies occurs only in Africa south of the Sahara.
The most important distinguishing characters of the African migratory locust are the yellowish color of the under wing and the hairy ventral surface of the thorax. The general color is yellowish green to light brown with mottled areas on the pronotum and tegmina. Females are 36-54mm and the malesare3s-44mm.Adult swarms roost within un-harvested maize





The red locust, Nomadacris septemfasciata ( lngwelebovu)

It is the largest of the African locusts, solitary females attain a length of 80mm and may be recognized by the white dorsal stripe running from the head to the tip of the forewings. The base of the under wing is red or sometimes purple, more visible when flying. This locust has a small spur on the throat. Only one generation is produced a year with adults living for some 8-9 months. Eggs are laid with the first rains (September- October) and hopper development takes 3-4 months during the summer rainy season. Favored breeding areas are seasonally flooded grasslands lying around rivers.


The stamps were designed by P Dlamini and printed by Joh. Enshede Security Printers by the lithographic offset method. The individual stamps have a size of 28 X 42mm and were perforated 13 1/4 by 13 3/4. The email address for the Swaziland Stamp Bureau is  stampbureau@sptc.co.sz 


For The Swaziland Post Office website go to  http://www.sptc.co.sz/Postal/products/stampbureau.php










Thursday, March 1, 2012

HockeyBird Stamp from Finland for ice hockey world championship tournament

The official stamp of the ice hockey world championship 2012 tournament to be organized in Helsinki will portray the widely noted mascot HockeyBird. The stamp, postcards and first day cover will be available for sale on March 21, 2012.



The stamp and additional products are designed by the man behind the look of the mascot itself. He is, of course, Lead Artist Toni Kysenius of Rovio Entertainment, who has now fulfilled his long-time dream of designing a stamp.



"HockeyBird's job is to bring high-voltage bird energy to the great sporting event and to barge into anything and everything, so it is only natural that he will also take over the stamp," Toni Kysenius says.



The first-class self-adhesive stamp sold in sheets of ten is also well suited for sending greetings abroad. Five million copies of the stamp will be printed. The printing is being carried out by the Dutch printing house Joh. Enschedé Stamps.



A sheet of ten stamps will cost EUR 7.5 and a first day cover EUR 1.30.Tournament greetings can be sent with HockeyBird postcards. There are five different postcards in a package that has the same theme.



Finland and Sweden share the hosting of the ice hockey world championship tournament in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, the main arena for the tournament is the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, and Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena will have a supporting role. The 2012 tournament will be played from 4 to 20 May.

For the Finland Post Office on-line post office

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Findland announces results of 2011 Most Beautiful Stamp Poll

Rose Hip Selected as the Most Beautiful Stamp in Finland in 2011

 
Finnish people voted the frosty Rose Hip stamp as the most beautiful stamp in 2011. Designed by Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi, the winning personalized stamp was released in the new 2nd class Personalized Stamp Frame published in November.

The winning Rose Hip received nearly 12 percent of all of the 22,471 votes given. The voting took place through the Postia Sinulle customer magazine and Posti's website.


The winning Design
 
Second Place stamp


The second place went to Soft Christmas designed by Kaarina Toivanen. It illustrates a smiling boy gnome surrounded by balls of yarn and plush toys.

Natural themes proved to be popular yet again. With a nearly equal number of votes, the third and fourth place was shared by Bunch of Tulips designed by stamp artist Leena Airikkala (1,715 votes) and the spring-summer forest stamp (1,708 votes) designed by graphic designer Klaus Welp as part of Europa stamps for the Association of European Public Postal Operators (PostEurop).


The other of the two Europa stamps with a forest theme designed by Welp came in fifth (1,417 votes). The views on the forest stamps represent Lake Mustalampi in Nuuksio National Park.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Taiwan Celebrates Valentines Day with Feb 10th Issue

The Following story was translated by Tony Lin from an article in the January issue of Postal Service Today. My Thanks to Tony.


"Western Valentine’s Day on February 14 is a much-celebrated holiday among young people. To encourage people to express their love through letters, Chunghwa Post is issuing a third set of two stamps and a souvenir sheet (Issue of 2012) in its Valentine’s Day series. Featuring roses, the stamps will be released on February 10,2012. The designs follow:



 1. NT$12 stamp: A pink rose symbolizes first love and courting, as well as friendliness and a graceful upbringing. This stamp features a pink rose in full bloom to convey unrestrained passion.


2. NT$25 stamp: An orange rose bud reveals the reticence of first love. The vignette of this stamp brings warmth and joy to one’s heart.


3. NT$32 souvenir sheet: Within the heart-shaped stamp are two pale orange roses which signi’ mutual love and affection. The pink background along with the wordings “Happy Valentine’s Day” offers blessings to all of the world’s lovers.


souvenir sheet

 The two stamps are designed as a se-tenant gutter pair. Embossing and spot varnish printing techniques are employed to give the roses a three-dimensional texture. The gutter, featuring two hearts shot through with Cupid’s arrow, symbolizes mutual love. The souvenir sheet is printed in scented ink-a first for Chunghwa Post.


Two stamp folios will be released along with the stamps, each containing the whole set of stamps. The designs follow:


(1)Valentine’s Day Stamp Folio: A vignette of an elegant three-dimensional rose shows through the cutout in the front. The inner pages are printed with roses in soft pink tones. Also included in the folio is a beautiful and collectible metallic sticker.

Valentines Folio


(2) Love Dearly Stamp Folio: The rose featured on the front cover conveys the idea: “You are my only love.” Within the heart-shaped cutout is the English phrase “Forever Love.” A card with an image of an angle is included in the folio.

 A first-day cover, folders with and without crystal mounts and a loose-leaf album page will be released along with the stamps. These will go on sale on February 8, 2012. A pre-cancelled FDC with the full set of stamps, with the NT$ 12-denominated stamp, or with a souvenir sheet will go on sale on February 10, 2012, the issuing date the stamps.



First Day Cover


The set of stamps is designed by Delta Design Corporation and printed by Cartor Security Printing (France) in offset. "



Love Folio

The stamps were printed in sheets of 16 with a format of  4 X 4 on Phosphorescent stamp paper by the offset method. The individual stamps have a size of 41 X 26mm with a perforation of 14 1/2. The souvenir sheet has a size of 55 X 90 mm with the heart shaped stamp on the sheet having a size of 39 mm wide by 35 mm high and perforated 14. It has a spot varnish coating with scented ink


 The url for the Taiwan Post Office is:  http://www.post.gov.tw/post/internet/u_english/index.jsp


For the History of Valentines Day go to:  http://www.post.gov.tw/post/internet/u_english/index.jsp