Year-end stamps to feature Jean Sibelius and Finnish rock bands that have taken the world by storm


Posti will release nine new stamp publications in September-November 2015, with a total of 35 different stamps.  The stamps will feature musical themes ranging from Sibelius to hard rock. Design is another major theme of the upcoming releases, which include illustrations inspired by art, Finnish everyday design and crafts. Vegetables will also be in the spotlight, with chili peppers, tomatoes and herbs featured in stamps. This year's autumn and Christmas stamps will depict urban cityscapes.

Three stages in the life of Jean Sibelius

In September, a miniature sheet of three stamps will commemorate Finland's best-known composer, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). The Jean Sibelius 150 years sheet is designed by graphic artist Pekka Loiri, a self-confessed classical music lover and Sibelius enthusiast. 

Loiri's stamp designs are inspired by three different stages in Jean Sibelius' life, each illustrated using different artistic techniques. Loiri has created a black-and-white inked-in drawing depicting Sibelius in the late 1800s as a passionate young artist living the bohemian life. A richly colored watercolor profile shows Sibelius as a symphonist in the early 1900s during the most prolific period of his career. A lithographic chalk drawing depicts Sibelius in the 1930s as an aging composer, matching the mental image that most Finns have of Sibelius.

Six internationally successful rock bands

The other music-themed stamp sheet to be released in September features six internationally successful Finnish rock bands that got to where they are today through a great deal of determination and perseverance. The Finnish invasion of the global rock music scene began with Hanoi Rocks back in the 1980s. The other bands featured in the stamps are The Rasmus, HIM, Apocalyptica, Children Of Bodom and Nightwish.

"For each stamp, I selected a band photo and a logotype that together resemble a band poster," says Klaus Welp, the graphic artist that designed the Million miles away sheet. The background of the sheet depicts the green room backstage in the legendary Tavastia rock club, which Welp describes as an archaeological treasure of Finnish rock 'n' roll.

Art Post dives into the depths of the imagination

Also scheduled for release in September is Art Post, a miniature sheet designed by the creative agency Vanhatapio & Saksi that features dreamlike images that rise from the depths of the imagination. "The sheet's four stamps include cinematic and literary references that allow the imagination to create the set and setting for events," explain Tiia Vanhatapio and Miika Saksi, the designers who created the stamps.

Vanhatapio & Saksi is a creative agency specializing in concept, product and brand development. The agency's ideology is summarized in its motto, "When there is a will, there is a way".

A miniature town comprised of stamps

This year's autumn stamps feature a colourful urban cityscape. Graphic artist and illustrator Lotta Nieminen has designed a miniature sheet of six stamps depicting a good-humored imaginary town in which animals and people live happily side by side. "I designed a small house in each of the stamps, allowing people to put together a miniature town of their own when they use the stamps on an envelope or package," Nieminen says in description of the Animal Town miniature sheet.

Lotta Nieminen currently resides in New York City, where she is forging a successful career as a versatile graphic artist and illustrator. Nieminen's clients include Hermès, Google, The New York Times, Volkswagen and IBM. In 2014, Forbes magazine included Lotta Nieminen in its 30 under 30 list in the Art & Style category.

Design is alive in the daily life of Finnish homes

In September, Posti will continue its series of stamps to mark the centennial year of Finnish independence to be celebrated in 2017. Created by graphic designer Ilkka Kärkkäinen, the Everyday Design stamp booklet features Finnish designers and their classic products from different eras. Stylishly designed practical objects have been a typical element of daily life in Finnish homes for several decades. 

The stamps in the booklet depict the Solifer moped by Richard Lindh, the Kukkuluuruu fabric designed for Marimekko by Sanna Annukka, the Block lamp by Harri Koskinen, the Paratiisi plate by Birger Kaipiainen, the Mademoiselle lounge chair by Ilmari Tapiovaara and the Ultima Thule glass by Tapio Wirkkala.

Spotlight on crafts

Crafts is a miniature sheet to be released in November with an aim of increasing the public appreciation of crafts. The sheet is the result of a proposal submitted to Posti by the Finnish Crafts Organization Taito ry, the Association of Craft Teachers TOL ry and the Association of Technology Teachers TAO ry. The miniature sheet is designed by Aamu Song and Johan Olin, who together make up the artist partnership COMPANY.

The stamps depict products made from many different materials, representing both traditional and new crafting techniques. The featured craft products are Rose socks and Grandmother's Square by Tuula Kunnas, Birch bark handbag by Auli Vasara, as well as Dancing Shoes and Porcini Stool by COMPANY. The spaces between the stamps on the sheet are filled with drawings that illustrate different crafting techniques.

Vegetables of the Year featured on a roll of stamps

November will see the release of the final instalment of illustrator Ossi Hiekkala's series of rolls of stamps entitled Products of the Garden. The stamps feature chili peppers, tomatoes and herbs, which were selected as Vegetable of the Year between 2012 and 2014.  The roll includes a total of one hundred 1st class stamps.

The chili peppers depicted on the stamps include the orange Habanero, Heatwave, Joe's Long, Jamaican Bell, Jalastar and Summer Heat.  The tomatoes on the stamps include beefsteak tomato, cherry tomato and organic tomato. Herbs are represented by basil, salvia and cilantro.

Christmas traditions in the city

This year's Christmas stamps, designed by graphic artist Klaus Welp, have an urban theme. Many Finns today spend their Christmas in cities, following their own family traditions. 

The landscape-oriented stamp Reflection depicts a child looking at the reflection given off by a mirrored Christmas ornament. The portrait-oriented Christmas Street shows a father and child on the way to pick up a Christmas tree. Welp has included a bright Christmas star in the sky in both stamps as a reminder of the deeper meaning of Christmas.

Image material for the media

All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti’s online shop.