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22 January 2020

Valentine’s Day — Friendship

Finland: Valentine’s Day – Friendship, 22 January 2020. Image from Posti,

The 2020 Stamp Programme for Finland was announced by Posti on 17 October 2019.

From the Posti press release published on 17 October 2019:

The stamp year begins with the cheerful and colorful Valentine’s Day stamps designed by Samuli Siirala that present the shared moments, joys and memories of a friendship over the years. Siirala has made the retro-style illustrations of the stamps look like they would belong on a poster by removing details. The Colors of Friendship stamp booklet contains six different domestic no-value indicator stamp designs.

Finland: Valentine’s Day – Friendship (first day cover), 23 January 2020. Image from Posti Online Shop.

An additional press release was published on 15 January 2020:

The themes for January’s stamps are the protection of the Baltic Sea, friendship and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare

15.01.2020

The 2020 Stamp Year will begin on January 22, when Posti issues three new stamp publications, with a total of 14 different stamp designs. January’s stamps will show Moomins protecting the Baltic Sea, look back to the shared moments of friendship and celebrate the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare.

The theme of January’s Moomin stamps is the protection of the Baltic Sea. The stamps are part of the #OURSEA campaign to be launched this year. The campaign is carried out by Moomin Characters in cooperation with the John Nurminen Foundation, which has been successful in marine protection.

The sea plays an important role in the Moomin stories created by Tove Jansson, which celebrate their 75th anniversary this year. The #OURSEA stamps feature various Moomin characters interacting with the sea. The stamp booklet designed by James Zambra contains six different domestic no-value indicator stamp designs that repeat the campaign’s visual language and color palette.

Zambra also acted as the head designer of the visual identity of the entire #OURSEA campaign at Kobra Agency. “For Moomins, the sea stands for freedom and adventure, but it is also an element that inspires respect and can sometimes even be dangerous. I personally spend a lot of time on the archipelago, so a campaign and stamps to protect the Baltic Sea felt like a meaningful assignment,” Zambra says.

The Moomin stories’ games and adventures on the beach and the waves would not look the same in the current environment. The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas in the world, and its most serious environmental issue is eutrophication. “We think it is important to take part in efforts to inspire people and organizations to protect the Baltic Sea,” says Sophia Jansson, the Creative Director of Moomin Characters.

Friendship makes life more colorful

This year’s Valentine’s Day stamps have been designed by Samuli Siirala, an advertisement and magazine illustrator. The colorful stamps present the shared moments, joys and memories of a friendship over the years. The Colors of Friendship stamp booklet contains six different domestic no-value indicator stamp designs.

Siirala, who made his debut as a stamp designer with this release, made the retro-style illustrations more simple and poster-like by limiting the amount of detail. The illustrations have been created digitally, but the edges of the illustrations have been finished in watercolor, giving them a more organic feel.

“At its best, friendship can last from early childhood to old age. The same people who played with each other in the sandbox as children may support each other throughout their entire lives. For the stamp series, I wanted to depict unique moments of friendship when no one is in a hurry to go anywhere and everything is well,” says Siirala.

In the beginning, the family is a child’s whole world

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, Posti will issue two stamps designed by children. The illustrations for the stamps were selected from competition entries submitted by the young students of the Järvenpää art school, in which the children portrayed their own families. The drawings selected for the stamps were created by Pinja Haapola, eight years old, and Emma Aalto, nine years old.

Ilkka Kärkkäinen, who was responsible for the stamps’ graphic design, wanted to give the children free rein to express themselves. “Children bring joy and curiosity into our lives and help us see the world in an entirely new way. In these stamps, children portray what is most important to them – their own family,” says Kärkkäinen.

The theme of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare’s anniversary year is the invitation to join. “When the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare was established in 1920, we invited all Finns to help us make the lives of children better. We would like to issue this invitation again: we need everyone’s help. During our anniversary year, the stamps will spread the joy brought by children around the country and remind us of the importance of children,” says Maria Gnosspelius, Communications Manager at the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare.

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare 100 Years will be issued as a 10-stamp sheet containing two different domestic no-value indicator stamp designs.

First day event at Helsinki Main Post Office on January 22, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The first day event will be held at the Helsinki Main Post Office (Elielinaukio 2) on Wednesday, January 22, 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. The stamp artists will be present to sign their works from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti’s online shop at: www.posti.fi/ostoksille


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