A record-breaking number of new stamp designers
In January-May 2015, there will be 12 new Finnish stamp releases with 33 different stamps. The stamps have been designed by many graphic design professionals, and no fewer than 13 of them are newcomers to the field of stamps. The stamps depict works by Finnish contemporary artists, sports, schlager, toys and flowers, for instance.
January's themes include six works of art, synchronized skating and encounters in the woods
The stamps published on January 19 celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Artists' Association of Finland. Among the works of art that participated in the design competition organized in the spring 2014, six were selected to be featured in the stamps. Through the stamps, the artists reach a record-breaking audience for their works, representing various fields of fine arts.
The works of art selected for the stamps, the artists and their places of residence are:
The graphic design of The Artists' Association of Finland 150 years stamp booklet comes from Dog Design.
Altogether 131 entries were submitted to the stamp design competition and judged by a seven-person jury consisting of artists and Posti's representatives. The works submitted to the stamp competition can be viewed at the exhibition to be held at the Postal Museum January 19-March 1, 2015. The Postal Museum is located in Museum Centre Vapriikki in Tampere.
Valentine's Day stamps will also become available in January. This year they are inspired by delightful encounters in the woods. The cheerful stamps designed by Ilja Karsikas feature snowflakes, trees, a mouse, birds, berries, a fox and a rabbit. The Friends together miniature sheet has six 1st class stamps as well as Priority labels designed to go with each of the stamps. These are the first stamps designed by Karsikas who has made plenty of illustrations for publications, record companies, associations and publishing houses. For instance, he was responsible for the visual look and illustrations of the Ruisrock festival in 2013 and 2014.
January's sports-themed stamp is Synchronized skating, designed by Ari Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu, known for their many award-winning stamps. The stamp is based on a skating competition photograph taken by Olli-Pekka Juhola of Helsingin Luistelijat ry's Marigold IceUnity synchronized skating team, which won the world championship for the fourth time in April 2014. The elegant sheet is printed on a glossy foil paper with a silvery ice crystal pattern added in gloss paint.
March brings a bouquet of flowers to celebrate the great man of schlager, women and high school graduates
On March 2, five stamp releases will be published, each by a new stamp designer.
In March, stamps commemorate the 100th anniversary of Toivo Kärki, a versatile talent from Finnish music life. The stamps in the stamp booklet designed by Lasse Rantanen depict the three different phases of Toivo Kärki's long career: a performing musician, an active record business player and composer as well as a record company mogul during the last decades of his career. Lasse Rantanen is known for his imposing, personal illustrations in Helsingin Sanomat's monthly supplement and Suomen Kuvalehti, among other magazines. He was awarded the title of Graphic Designer of the Year in 2005.
This year, International Women's Day is celebrated with stamps depicting female caricatures looking at themselves in a mirror. The Mirror Mirror stamp booklet contains four 1st class stamps. The stamps are designed by Laura Valojärvi who specializes in illustrations for children's books. She is also writing a doctoral dissertation at Aalto University, researching the significance of picture books from the point of view of Finnish children's book illustrators.
A perfect choice for an Easter stamp is Spring twitter, in which a great tit sings its heart out on a branch with willow catkins. In the foreground, there is a narcissus protruding over the regular borders of the stamp. The graphic design of the Spring twitter stamp comes from Salli Parikka Wahlberg, known for her storybook, textbook and children's book illustrations as well as the numerous cover pictures, labels and postcards designed by her.
For a long time, customers have hoped Posti would release a stamp suitable for high school graduation party invitations and thank-you notes. The perfect solution will now be available: the 1st class stamp designed by Anssi Kähärä, featuring a student cap. The simple Student cap stamp with a blue background showcases modern typography, and the black peak of the cap is emphasized by gloss paint. The cockade of the cap shows Apollo's lyre, the emblem of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, which is also on all new student caps.
March's floral stamp is called Festive bouquet. Riikka Juvonen has designed a colorful and abundant orchid and peony bouquet for the stamp. Riikka Juvonen is a multitalented artist, writer and illustrator from Helsinki. She has written dozens of books and also illustrated most of them. Years spent abroad among different cultures can be seen in Juvonen's works as bold use of colors, for instance.
In May: a golden swan, old toys, floral beauty and the joys of summer
On May 4, Gold swan, the first stamp designed by the famous Klaus Haapaniemi, will become available. The swan is covered with golden patterns typical of Haapaniemi. Klaus Haapaniemi lives in London and is considered one of the most significant illustrators and designers of the younger generation. He has, for instance, designed garment prints for Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana and Marimekko as well as drawn the figures for Iittala's popular Taika and Satumetsä series.
The EUROPA stamps released by European postal operators in 2015 take their theme from old toys. The Finnish stamp depicts old toys featuring Tove Jansson's Moomin figures from the late 1950s. The two stamps by the experienced stamp designer Klaus Welp showcase Hemulen's aunt, Moomintroll, Fillyjonk, Sniff, Stinky and Moominpappa.
Artist Minna Immonen has designed two fuchsia-hued floral stamps that are well suited for congratulations and invitations, for instance. The 2nd class stamps in the handy folded Floral beauty sheet show the rugosa rose, which is a familiar sight along Finnish roadsides and gardens, as well as the more sophisticated cultivated orchid. Immonen has designed numerous postcards, several products for Arabia as well as the 2009 Christmas stamps.
This year's summer stamps are designed in the style of classic Finnish tourism posters. The Summer feeling sheet designed by Pietari Posti consists of five stamps featuring traditional summer highlights, such as rowing, swimming in a lake, ice cream and strawberries. Pietari Posti, working in Barcelona, has made illustrations for several international publications, such as The New York Times and Wired, as well as graphic design for American Express and Omega, among others. Posti also designed The spring of life stamps published in January 2011.
The Finnish stamps to be published in January–May 2015 (PDF)
All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti's online shop.