Freedom of speech to be honored in spring stamps


Posti is planning to launch a new stamp sheet in May. The theme of the sheet will be freedom of speech, an essential cornerstone of democracy and an important value in Finland. The stamp sheet was designed by graphic designer Ville Tietäväinen.

The stamp sheet will feature five themes related to freedom of speech; animal rights, differences in income, cultural values, immigration, and forms of energy. These topics have been under a great deal of discussion in Finland lately.

- The freedom of speech, secured in the constitution, is a fundamental value for us Finns, even when the world is changing, says Kaj Kulp, Chairman of the stamp committee at Posti.

Ville Tietäväinen, the designer behind the stamp sheet, has portrayed the themes of freedom of speech with a pair of images in each stamp.

A fox stands for animal rights, different meals on a plate for differences in income, graffiti and opera for cultural values, a birch and a character dressed in a burqa/niqab for immigration and multiculturalism, and wind power and atomic power for forms of energy.

The stamps are not intended to take a stand; they simply present some topics of discussion that are important to Finns, says Ville Tietäväinen.

The image motifs are placed in typographic symbols depicting freedom of speech; a question mark, quotation mark, parenthesis, colon, and exclamation mark.

- Stamps raise interest and discussion. The freedom of speech stamp sheet has already become a subject of discussion. The imagery of the sheet has been interpreted from many perspectives. We are following the discussion and collecting feedback from our customers through Postiraati and other means during February and March, says Kaj Kulp.

All of the subjects featured in stamps are discussed in the stamp committee with members from both inside and outside of Posti. The subjects of stamps are selected on the basis of general interest. After the subject has been chosen, the art committee selects a graphic designer and assigns the work. The process from coming up with the theme to launching the stamps takes about 2-3 years.