Erik Bruun’s whooper swan stamps to be issued on May 8 – Other stamps to be issued in May feature flower arrangements and calligraphy


Erik Bruun (93), a legend of graphic design, has designed two EUROPA stamps featuring a whooper swan for Posti. The stamps will become available on Wednesday, May 8.

Bruun considers the whooper swan, Finland’s national bird, an important symbol. “The swan is an animal that commands respect. The birds live as a bonded pair for a long time and take good care of their young. I used to spend time observing swans and other waterfowl at Lake Inari and felt great respect for them.”

For one of the stamps, Erik Bruun cropped the image to show the swan’s head and long neck. “For the other stamp, I wanted to illustrate what the swan needs that long neck for and showed it using its strong beak to rip aquatic plants off the bottom of a lake.”

Nature and especially birds have been a strong focus in Bruun’s work throughout his career. Birds have also been featured in dozens of stamps designed by Bruun. This includes stamps depicting waterfowl and shorebirds as well as cranes, woodpeckers and owls.

EUROPA: The Whooper Swan will be issued as a 10-stamp sheet containing 2 different domestic no-value indicator stamp designs.

Beautiful flower arrangements for various occasions

The spring’s congratulation stamps have been designed by photographer and postcard artist Anna-Mari West. In her studio, she photographed beautiful flower arrangements for the pictures in the Say It with Flowers stamp booklet using various props.

“I wanted to photograph subjects that would be suitable for sending many kinds of greeting cards and invitations. Using photo editing, I also added a little bit of a scrap relief feel to the images,” says West.

Before this stamp booklet, Anna-Mari West had already designed two stamps. In addition to postcards and stamps, her photography has also been featured on fridge magnets, bookmarks, calendars and gift bags. Besides paper products, she has also designed home decor products and homeware.

The Say It with Flowers stamp booklet contains 6 domestic no-value indicator stamps.

Calligraphy reflects its time

At the turn of 2017–2018, Posti held a competition for the members of Suomen Kalligrafiayhdistys (“The Finnish Calligraphy Society”) with the theme of a touching letter. The five best works from the competition will now be published in a stamp booklet designed by Paula Salviander.

The calligraphy works featured in the stamps were created by Maarit Ali-Marttila-Olkkola from Nokia, Iiris Lyra from Kemiö and Marja-Liisa Neuvonen from Helsinki, as well as Taru Tarvainen from Rauma, who created two winning works.

“Both the stamps and the design of the letters reflect our time well. The small size of the letters is a challenge when designing calligraphy stamps. The winning stamps are clear, unpretentious and skillfully done. I hope that the stamps will make calligraphy better known,” says Teija Tiilimäki, a former chairperson of the calligraphy society who was part of the design competition’s jury and an expert member of Posti’s Art Committee. 

The A Touching Letter stamp booklet contains 5 domestic no-value indicator stamps.

First Day Event at Helsinki Main Post Office on May 8, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The first day event will take place at Helsinki Main Post Office (Elielinaukio 2, Helsinki) on Wednesday, May 8, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. New stamps, first day covers and other stamp products will be on sale at the event, and visitors can get first day postmarks on their items. Stamp artists Erik Bruun, Anna-Mari West and Paula Salviander will be present to sign their works from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Image material for the media:

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