Three awards for Finnish stamps in international design competitions


Juries of professionals have recognized three Finnish stamp designs with awards in international design competitions in September and October 2014. The awards were given to Sanna Mander's kantele stamp design for National Instruments and to Christmas Hug and Orchid, both designed by Ari Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu. 

Kantele - a stand out design 

In September, Sanna Mander's kantele stamp was chosen as the second most beautiful stamp of 2014 in the EUROPA series. In total, the competition organized by PostEurop attracted 59 stamp designs featuring national instruments. According to the nine-strong jury, the kantele stamp design's modern and distinctive drawing style stood out from the other entries, which were mainly based on photographs. 

For Mander, a first-time stamp designer, folk music is a continuum that links the past and the future. "For this stamp, I chose to depict musicians captured in a moment, where the music and the setting become one. The kantele is played by a young woman in a meadow covered in sheet music." 

The twist in the National Instruments stamps, published on May 5, 2014, is a hidden code which opens a Sibelius Folk Big Band music video ( on your smartphone or tablet. The CEE App application works on all Android, iPhone and Windows 8 phones and tablets. 

Nostalgia-filled Christmas Hug also a firm favorite among Finns 

In September, Ari Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu's Christmas Hug was voted youth-theme runner-up in the highly-regarded Grands Prix de l'Art Philatélique Belge et Européen. The jury, comprising 30 experts from the fields of philately and visual design, were enchanted by the nostalgic look of the Christmas stamp, first released on November 4, 2013. In all, the competition attracted entries from 22 European countries. 

For Christmas Hug, Lakaniemi and Rumpu drew inspiration from the world of scrap images. "The children seen in the stamp were originally featured on an old postcard. The background of the stamp glows warm and golden, creating the mood of candlelight," Lakaniemi and Rumpu describe the stamp they designed. 

Christmas Hug was voted the most beautiful stamp of 2013 in a poll conducted on the Posti website and via its customer magazine, having also secured its place in the hearts of the Finnish public. 

The fine printing technique of the Orchid stamp admired by the jury 

The design duo of Ari Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu also created the Orchid stamp, which received the award for the best stamp in the printing technique category at the Spanish NexoFil: The World's Best Stamp 2013 competition in October. The competition's international jury of experts admired the stamp's 6/1 color web offset printing, which was finished off with a glittering sheen effect done with iridion lacquer. 

The orchid on the stamp was photographed by the floristry specialist Jouni Seppänen. Due to its elegant appearance, the Orchid stamp, published on August 23, 2013, has often been used for sending congratulations and condolences.

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