The first stamps of 2014 celebrate Tove Jansson and ancient castles


A total of 12 new stamps released in January–May

Twelve new Finnish stamp releases from Itella Posti Oy in January-May 2014 feature 36 different images. The first stamps of the year celebrate Tove Jansson's 100th anniversary, ancient Finnish castles, the Finnjet ferry, Finnish national musical instruments and the Linnansaari National Park. The stamps also depict snowmen, bears, bunnies, fruit and flowers. The stamps have been designed by veterans, such as Erik Bruun, and three new rising names. 

Six castles, two snowmen and a number of bears in January 

The stamp year starts on January 20 when a stamp booklet representing ancient Finnish castles is released. It has been designed by Erik Bruun, one of the most respected graphic designers in Finland. He is well-known to the general public for numerous stamps, the last bills denominated in Finnish marks and highly popular nature and advertizing posters. 

The Ancient Castles stamp booklet contains six 1st class stamps that depict the Suomenlinna, Häme, Raseborg, Kastelholm, Olavinlinna and Turku castles. These ancient castles were strategically important buildings considering Finnish defense and trading. Currently, they comprise Finland's most important national heritage and sightseeing sites. 

Valentine's Day stamps will also be published in January, depicting teddy bears. The Bear Friends booklet consisting of six 1st class stamps that illustrate endearing teddy bears around the themes of friendship and remembrance. Henna Takkinen, a graphic artist from Kemi, who designed her first ever stamps, knows the theme thoroughly; after all, she describes herself as a teddy bear artist. Through the stamps, Takkinen wishes to convey the ideas of universal peace, love and caring. The layout of the Bear Friends stamp is designed by Markku Kyröläinen, also from Kemi.

The third stamp release in January is perfect for various winter greetings. Janne Harju, an award-winning illustrator, has designed a stamp which depicts two snowmen admiring a bright evening star in mild snowfall. The 1st class Snowmen stamp will be released in a handy folded booklet of 10 stamps.

Tove Jansson gave us more than just the Moomins

On the last day of January, we will release a stamp to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson (1914-2001), the world-famous Finnish artist and author. Known for the Moomins, Tove Jansson was a multi-talented artist who produced a number of paintings, graphic art and public artworks during her career. In addition to the Moomins books, she received recognition for her short stories and novels.

Klaus Welp, a designer of several stamps, presents the different sides of Tove Jansson in his Tove Jansson 100 Years stamp. The booklet of two 1st class stamps represents the islands where Jansson spent a lot of time after her childhood. The booklet also depicts the emblem of the anniversary, Tove 100.

Stamps released in March for Easter, greetings and larger mailing batches

On March 3, Itella Posti Oy will release the traditional Finnish Easter stamp, depicting a cheerful girl dressed like a bunny surrounded by Easter eggs and spring flowers. The Easter stamps have been designed by Päivi Unenge, an artist who lives in Sweden.

The 1st class Easter Surprise stamp will be released in a booklet of 10 stamps. 

For spring greetings, Itella Posti Oy will release five 1st class stamps designed by Kaarina Toivanen, one of the best-known postcard artists in Finland. She is famous for the elf stamps released in Christmas 2011 and the Roses stamp published this March.

The 2014 stamp rolls depict fruit. The Fruit in the Garden stamps illustrate three fresh fruits grown in Finland: the pear, apple and cherry. Illustrator Ossi Hiekkala has also added inflorescence to the stamps. The layout of the stamps is designed by Heikki Sallinen. The roll stamp box contains one hundred 2nd class stamps that are suitable for larger mailing batches. The fruit stamps complement Ossi Hiekkala's Products of the Garden series, which was started by the roll stamp released this March and represented garden berries.

The legendary Finnjet gets its own stamp

On March 17, Itella Posti Oy will complete the Nordic Maritime series by publishing a miniature sheet. Its two stamps depict the legendary Finnjet ferry which navigated between Helsinki and Travemünde from 1977 to 2008. At the time, it was the world's largest car ferry measured by weight, length, capacity, speed and power. 

Graphic artist Klaus Welp, the designer of the stamp, has also embedded a childhood photograph in the sheet, showing him enjoying a sea trip to Germany on the deck of the ferry with his father, mother and brother. In the picture, Klaus Welp is three years old.  

The accordion and kantele can be 'heard' in the May stamps 

The 2014 EUROPA stamps released on May 5 represent national musical instruments. Sanna Mander, a new name among stamp designers, has illustrated two thoroughly Finnish instruments: the accordion and kantele. Being a fan of folk music, Mander approaches the traditional theme from a modern and personal perspective. The Europa: National Musical Instruments sheet contains ten 1st class stamps. 

Another new stamp designer to be revealed in May is Janne Gröning who has photographed traditional Finnish summer landscapes for six stamps. The themes include sunsets, lakes and the sea, fields and forests. The 1st class Sweet Summer stamp will be released in a handy foldable self-adhesive booklet. The booklet also contains Priority stickers. The layout of the Sweet Summer stamp is designed by Tero Jämsä.

The fifth and final stamp of the stamp set representing Finnish national parks will also be published in May. The stamp depicts the Linnansaari National Park which was established in 1956 and protects the valuable nature of Saimaa island as well as its beautiful landscapes. Linnansaari is one of the best habitats for the Saimaa ringed seal and offers one of the densest osprey populations in Finland. Designed by Teemu Ollikainen, the 1st class Linnansaari National Park stamp will be published in a self-adhesive booklet of ten stamps. 

It would not be spring without a flower stamp. This year's stamp depicts a viola. Illustrated by Leena Airikkala, the 1st class Bunch of Violas stamp will be published in a sheet of ten stamps. The plant theme is familiar to Airikkala. Her Apple Blossom stamp was selected as the most beautiful Finnish stamp in 2005. 

Further information

Itella Posti Oy

Itella Communications

Image material for the media  

Release schedule for Finnish stamps, January–May 2014 (PDF)

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