Christmas 2016 (Netherlands)

[press release]
The December Stamps 2016 PostNL will send a card as possible for everyone in the Christmas and New Year period to family, friends and relations at a cheap rate. The December special rate of € 0.65 per stamp this year is valid from November 14, 2016 until January 6, 2017

Issued November 14, 2016 nl_xmas2016About the design:
A sheet of 2016 December stamps contains two pages with ten stamps each and the extra December stamp. The ten illustrations on the stamps look like festive miniature stories. Each illustration refers to the festive month of December: a sleigh full of presents, a skate on wintery ice, a crystal snow globe with a snowman, squirrels collecting acorns, Christmas cookies, a Christmas tree in a cargo bicycle, mulled wine and ornaments, deczegel11rgbchampagne glasses, a woman wearing a knit cap and scarf on a cold, wintery night and a record player with cheery Christmas music. Each stamp features gradient rich, warm colours. The atmosphere on the stamps is enriched with crystal shapes each with a different function – from fireworks to snowflakes, from champagne bubbles to even the shiny reflections on the ornaments and the single on the record player. There is a certain, unique logic to each of the colours. For example, the squirrels are set in a green environment, the skate is on blue ice and the drawbridge is shown against the red evening afterglow. The background colour on the extra December stamp was taken from the same palette as the other stamps. The image is a picture of five hands spread out to make a star. This image symbolises unity and connecting people and goes nicely with the thought of using this stamp to send a card to a special person. The font used for the typography is the modern, round, friendly and modest Brauer by Philippe Desarzens of Elektrokosmos from 1999/2006, an updated version of Pierre Miedinger’s font of the same name from 1974.

Technical Specifications:
deczegel02rgb_2_1Stamp size: 25.3 x 20.8 mm
Perforation: 14½ : 14½
Paper: normal with phosphor tagging
Gum: synthetic
Printing: offset
PostNL: 4,860,000 sheetlets
Trekpleister: 130,000 sheetlets
Kruidvat: 500,000 sheetlets
Printing house: Joh. Enschedé Security Print, Haarlem
Print colors stamp: yellow, magenta, cyan and black

About the designer:
deczegel09rgb_2_1Edgar Smaling and Carlo Elias of Smel have designed stamps for PostNL before. The last ones were the 2014 December stamps. “This new assignment was a complete surprise,” Carlo says, “and of course again a great honour. PostNL asked us to build on the style we developed in 2014, but not to copy it completely. Which was a good thing, as that wouldn’t do our style justice. We also had other concepts to deal with. Ten different illustrations instead of twenty. A horizontal format instead of a vertical one. And the extra 21st stamp to surprise a special person with a Christmas greeting.” For the illustrations, Smel looked for modern subjects. Edgar: “Of course we have the classics like Christmas trees, ornaments, bells and snowflakes. But it also features contemporary images. The modern cargo bicycle used to transport children for example, with the Christmas tree in it. The comeback of the record player with the renewed interest in vinyl. The mulled wine with star anise. And the German Lebkuchen, fast gaining popularity in our country as Christmas cookies. We focused on the same principles in the selection of each subject: recognition, sharing, warmth and cosiness.” “We also revised our illustration style”, Carlo explains. “We went for a two-dimensional approach with a stronger focus on the larger picture than on finer lines. No 3D, no classic perspective, but we did create depth through a clever use of colour and layers. Look at the Magere Brug (“Skinny Bridge”) stamp. Positioning the skate on the foreground and blurring the colour of the bridge automatically creates distance. This sheetlet contains lots of dynamic images. The snow globe is tilted, because it will only snow once you shake it. The sleigh is also tilted up deczegel01rgb_2_1somewhat, a logical direction that refers to pulling the rope. The cargo bicycle is riding into the stamp, the woman is rushing along the canal houses, the champagne glasses are moving towards each other and the record on the record table is spinning. That movement is counter-balanced by the calm of the illustrations on the stamps with the mulled wine and the squirrels. That was how we brought balance to all of it. There is a similar balance in our choice of location – half of the stories are set outside and the other half is inside.” As is often the case in Smel’s work, these illustrations again contain subtle details. Edgar: “There are many different ways to depict the arm of the record player. The art is in leaving things out while still maintaining recognisability. The details are an essential part of the illustrations. Take the nostalgic triangle on the single or the mirrored squirrels, for example. Or look at the cinnamon stick in the mulled wine, next to the star anise. You can even see the lemon peel floating in the glass. The shape of the star anise is blown up in the background. It’s barely visible, but it’s there. We applied the same technique for the windmills on the back of the stamp sheetlet.” Carlo calls it “a challenge to find the right balance between what most people like and what we think is a good design. What we make is usually pert and unique. So for example, giving an unaesthetic subject like Lebkuchen its own aesthetic was quite the challenge. With all the necessary details. All stamps were designed as miniature stories on a miniature scale, but I dare say the design would have the same strength and effect if it were blown up to poster size.” About the designers The 2016 December stamp sheet was designed by Edgar Smaling and Carlo Elias, founders of Smel. Both designers studied between 1993 and 1997 at the Academy of Art and Design St. Joost in Breda. Smel, founded in 2001, consists of an energetic team of dedicated, multidisciplinary creative professionals, working for clients in government, fashion, design, art, photography and architecture. They design strategic corporate identities, magazines, books, house styles and websites. In doing so, they aim for airy shape concepts subtly connecting quality and the power of imagination. Smel provided the designs for the 2009 Summer stamps, the 125 Years of Carré stamps in 2012 and the December stamps in 2014.

Happy New Year (Ukraine 2016)

[from a press handout]

ukrxmassglIssue Date: November 11, 2016

Postage stamp No. 1545
Face Value: 4.40 UAH (about 17¢ U.S.)
Size: 40×40 mm
Number of stamps per sheet: 8 (4×2) 35.20 UAH ($1.38 U.S.)
Size of the stamp sheet: 199×112 mm
Printing run of the stamp: 140,000
The stamps are multi-coloured; print process: offset, foil embossing.
The stamp is printed by SE “Integrated Printing Plant “Ukraina” for Production of Securities”. ukrxmasshtUkraine Post philatelic sales (click on the tiny British flag icon near the top of the page for English. This issue was not yet on the site as of November 8th.)

Hibernating Animals (UK Post & Go 2016)

Issue Date: Monday 14th November 2016uk_hibernating

Hibernation is an extended period of deep sleep that allows animals to survive winter extremes. Reducing metabolic rate and lowering body temperature enables survival through cold periods when food is scarce or has little energy value. Hibernating species uk_hedgehog2usually work hard to build up large fat reserves before they bed down, and subsist on this during their sleep. They might wake up at intervals to defecate or top up on food. Few British mammals hibernate during the winter – only the dormouse, hedgehog and the bat species.

uk_grasssnakeBritish snakes also hibernate through the winter months. The grass snake is the UK’s largest snake, growing to 150cm in length and identifiable by its yellow or cream band behind the head and its delicate body markings. They live in a wide range of wetland habitats but also venture into gardens. Grass Snakes eat as much as possible before they go into hibernation to store up enough fat in their bodies to live off during their long winter sleep.

Technical Details:

uk_dormouseNumber of stamps:Four
Date of issue: 14th November 2016
Design: Osborne Ross
Illustrations: Chris Wormell
Acknowledgements: illustrations and sketches by Chris Wormell Card design © Royal Mail Group Ltd 2016
Printer: International Security Printers
Process: Gravure
Format: Landscape
Size: 56mm x 25mm
Perforations: Die-cut simulated
Phosphor: Bars as appropriate
Gum: Self-adhesive

uk_hedgehog2As overprinted by Post & Go machine: Hedgehog As hedgehogs get ready to hibernate, their body temperature drops down to as low as 2°C, and after that they enter a period of deep sleep. They often use piles of dead leaves and vegetation in gardens as shelter, which means that they are particularly vulnerable when garden bonfires are lit.

uk_grasssnakeAs overprinted by Post & Go machine: Grass snake Like all reptiles, grass snakes are cold-blooded and rely on basking in the sun to remain active. As the days get shorter, there is insufficient sun, so they crawl under piles of vegetation or into cracks in banks. They emerge in early summer and can be found basking in the sun once again.

As overprinted by Post & Go machine:Dormouse Dormice can uk_dormousespend over half the year in hibernation. Indeed, their name might come from this trait, from the Latin word for sleep, dormire. They bed down in carefully constructed nests, woven from strands of honeysuckle bark and dried grass, for instance, well hidden in their woodland habitat.

uk_longearedbatAs overprinted by Post & Go machine: Brown long-eared bat Bats rely on a constant source of insects to eat. As the supply of these dwindles in the autumn, they find special hibernation roosts, often returning to the same location year after year. Bats prefer to hibernate at very cold temperatures and are often found in caves and old mine shafts.

Christmas 2016 (UK)

Issue Date: Tuesday, 8th November 2016 uk_xmasReason and Inspiration
In much of the world, the idea of a British Christmas is the epitome of the seasonal celebration. This year’s set celebrates some of the key traditions of a UK Christmas – decorating the Christmas tree, making a snowman, hanging out a stocking, eating a Christmas pudding and lighting a Christmas lantern. It also includes a robin redbreast, which is synonymous with our Christmas and has a strong association with sending and receiving cards and messages, its appearance on cards having been inspired by the red coats worn by postmen in Victorian times.

uk_xmasrobin1stRoyal Mail has issued Christmas stamps since 1966 and is therefore celebrating fifty years of Special Stamps this year.

As is usual, separate stamps of the Madonna and Child at the 1st and 2nd Class rates will also be available from Post Offices.

Price: £9.05
Code: AS2178

Technical details:

Number of stamps: Eight
Value of Stamps: 1 x 2nd Class, 1 x 1st Class, 1 x 2nd Class Large, 1 x 1st Class Large, £1.05, £1.33, £1.52 & £2.25
uk_xmascakeDesign: The Chase
Acknowledgements: Illustrations by Helen Musselwhite
Photography by Jonathan Beer
Stamp Format (Standard): Portrait
Stamp Format (Large): Landscape
Stamp Size (Standard): 24mm x 28mm
Stamp Size (Large): 34mm x 28mm
Number per sheet: 50
Printer : De La Rue Security Print
Print Process: Gravure
Perforations: 14.5 x 15
Phosphor: Bars as appropriate
Gum: Self-adhesive

Price: £9.05
Code: MZ120

Miniature Sheet with barcode
Miniature Sheet without barcode

Miniature Sheet contains all eight Special Stamps
Set against a snowy background containing snowflakes

Technical details

Design: The Chase
Miniature sheet size (excluding barcode slip): 179mm x 74mm
Stamp Format: Standard (Portrait)
Large (Landscape)
Stamp Size: Standard (24mm x 28mm)
Large (34mm x 28mm)
Printer : De La Rue Security Print
Print Process: Gravure
Perforations: 14.5 x 15
Phosphor: Bars
Gum: PVA

First Day Cover – Stamps
Price: £11.28
Code: AF415

Available up to 8th November 2016
Contains all eight Christmas stamps cancelled with either a Tallents House or Bethlehem, LLANDEILO postmark

The envelope is beautifully decorated with an illustration of the Christmas tree from the £1.05 stamp

Comes with an illustrated information card comprising a brief summary of 50 years of Royal Mail Special Christmas stamps

First Day Cover – Miniature Sheet
Price: £11.28
Code: MF119

Available up to 8th November 2016

Contains the Miniature Sheet cancelled with either a Tallents House or Bethlehem, LLANDEILO postmark

The envelope is beautifully decorated with an illustration of the Christmas tree from the £1.05 stamp.

Comes with an illustrated information card comprising a brief summary of 50 years of Royal Mail Special Christmas stamps

Information Card
This decoratively illustrated information card bordered by a selection of Christmas stamps issued over the past fifty years is contained in all the First Day Covers, Stamp Souvenirs and Stamp Sheet Souvenirs. It touches on the introduction of Royal Mail’s Special Christmas Stamps which was made a reality in 1966 by the then Postmaster General, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, and provides examples of Christmas stamps issued over the last five decades that have been designed by notable designers, illustrators and photographers such as David Gentleman, Jeffery Matthews, Quentin Blake, Andy Goldsworthy and Raymond Briggs.

First Day Envelope
Price: 30p
Code: AE369

The First Day Envelope is normally available one week before the issue date.

Canada Christmas 2016: Madonna and Harder

[press release]
Canada Post’s Christmas stamps capture the season in playful and traditional images can_xmasrolfbkltOTTAWA – Canada Post’s Christmas stamps ring in the holiday season with three mirthful images from one of Canada’s most prolific stamp designers and a classic Renaissance rendering of Mary and the baby Jesus. Holiday well-wishers can add special cheer to their cards and letters with a secular or a sacred image.

Filled with billowy snowflakes in a navy blue sky, Rolf Harder’s images appear to be taken from an enchanted forest, occupied only by Santa Claus, a single Christmas tree and a dove carrying an olive branch. The renowned designer, who died in 2013, produced more than 60 works for Canada Post. His work has been added to the permanent collections of the Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

can_xmasartThe fourth stamp depicts the Virgin and Child, which was painted around 1460 by a highly esteemed painter from Florence, Italy, known only as the Master of the Castello Nativity. This rare painting uses gold and tempera, a pigment common until the advent of oil paint, whose many layers create intense colours. Virgin and Child is part of a generous donation of paintings made by Michal and Renata Hornstein to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

About the stamps:
Master of the Castello Nativity:
Designed by Louise Méthé, this PermanentTM domestic stamp measures 26.25 mm by 32.25 mm and was printed by Canadian Bank Note using six colours, including a special gold ink. Virgin and Child was photographed by Brian Merrett and the image was made available courtesy of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The stamp is available in booklets of 12 with a single-stamp Official First Day Cover cancelled in Montréal. can_xmasartfdcRolf Harder Christmas stamps: Designed by Hélène L’Heureux, the Christmas stamps were developed from Rolf Harder’s original illustrations under the art direction of his daughter, Vivi Harder. They are available in domestic booklets of 12 Permanent stamps, and single-sided booklets of six U.S. and international-rate stamps. They are also available in souvenir sheets of three Permanent, U.S. and international stamps. Printed by Canadian Bank Note using six colours, they measure 22 mm by 24 mm. can_xmasrolffdc

NHL’s Great Forwards (Canada 2016)

[press release]
NHL Great Canadian Forward stamps celebrate hockey’s legendary goal-scorers and storied leaders
Hockey heroes in NHL collection contributed to Canada’s national story

can_forwardsTORONTO – On the eve of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 semi-finals, and less than three weeks before the start of the 2016-17 NHL® Season, Canada Post today unveiled the fourth issue in its five-year NHL stamp series.

The 2016 NHL® Great Canadian Forwards stamps highlight some of the greatest goal-scorers ever to play in the NHL: Phil Esposito (Boston Bruins), Guy Lafleur (Montreal Canadiens), Darryl Sittler (Toronto Maple Leafs), Mark Messier (Edmonton Oilers), Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings), and Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins).

“This talented group of star forwards has contributed to our national story beyond the goals they’ve scored and the trophies they’ve won,” says Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “They are heroes for what they stand for. They are men of honour and character and represent the best of who we are as Canadians.” can_forwards-ofdcThe six legends hail from five provinces. As a group, they played in more than 8,300 NHL games and scored more than 3,800 goals and more than 5,700 assists – more than a point per game (regular season and playoffs). Between them, they have won 18 Stanley Cup® Championships.

“This year’s collection represents a special group of players; each one a marquee player whose impact was felt by those on the ice, behind the bench, in the stands, and at home,” says NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “The NHL is proud to congratulate this year’s elite class of honourees.”

Avi Dunkelman and Joe Gault of Toronto designed the six-stamp Canadian issue, which features head-and-shoulder images of the players in uniform. Souvenir sheets in this series resemble hockey cards and feature full images of the players in action. The back of the stamps complete the hockey-card experience, offering career statistics that tell part of the players’ professional story. They are only available in a pack of six, like hockey cards.

All players participated the unveiling ceremony in the Esso Great Hall, home of the Stanley Cup®. The lineup:

can_espositoPhil Esposito played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, scoring 1,590 points in 1,282 regular-season games over an 18-season NHL career. Esposito helped lead the Bruins to two Stanley Cup® Championships (1970 and 1972) and Team Canada to victory in the 1972 Summit Series. A 10-time All-Star, Esposito was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. The Bruins retired his No. 7 jersey in 1987.

can_lafleurGuy Lafleur played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques, scoring 560 goals and 793 assists for a total of 1,353 regular-season points over a 17-season NHL career. He reached a milestone 1,000 points in just 720 games, faster than any other NHL player before him. He won five Stanley Cup® Championships as a player with the Canadiens and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. The Canadiens retired his No. 10 in 1985.

can_sittlerDarryl Sittler played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings, scoring 484 goals and 637 assists for 1,121 regular season points over his 15-season NHL career. He became the first Leaf to score 100 points in a season and also made history by scoring 10 points in a game against the Bruins on February 7, 1976, an NHL record that still stands. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989. The Leafs honoured his No. 27 jersey on February 8, 2003, 27 years plus a day after his historic scoring feat against the Bruins.

can_messierMark Messier played 25 seasons in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He is one of the game’s highest scorers, ranking second among all-time points leaders with 1,887. He scored 694 goals and 1,193 assists in 1,756 regular-season games and holds the record for most NHL games played, including playoffs – 1,992. He won five Stanley Cup® Championships with the Oilers and another with the Rangers. A 15-time All-Star, Messier is the only player to captain two different franchises to Stanley Cup® titles. The Rangers retired his No. 11 in 2006 and the Oilers in 2007. Messier was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

can_yzermanSteve Yzerman was a nine-time All-Star who played in 1,514 regular-season NHL games and another 196 playoff contests over 22 seasons – all of them with the Detroit Red Wings. He scored 692 goals and 1,063 assists for 1,755 career points. He was named team captain at age 21 and became the longest-serving captain in the history of the NHL – 19 seasons. He led the Wings to three Stanley Cup® Championships (1997, 1998, 2002). In 2007, his No. 19 was retired and lifted to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

can_crosbySidney Crosby has played his entire NHL career to date with the reigning Stanley Cup® Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Drafted first overall in 2005, at age 18 he became the youngest NHL player to notch more than 100 points. Named captain two years after entering the NHL, he was the youngest captain ever to win the Stanley Cup® championship in 2009 at age 21. He won the Stanley Cup® Championship a second time last spring. He has played 707 regular-season games to date, scoring 338 goals and 600 assists for 938 points. He is also a two-time Olympic gold medal winner (2010 and 2014) and captured gold with Team Canada at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship.

The 2016 NHL® Great Canadian Forwards series is the fourth of a five-year collection of NHL stamps leading up to the NHL’s 100th anniversary in 2017. The issue builds on the NHL Team Jersey stamps released in 2013, the Original Six™ Defenceman stamps released in 2014 and the NHL® Great Canadian Goalies stamps last year. The series and all related products are available online at

About the NHL Great Canadian Forwards stamps
can_forwards_bkltcvrAvailable in a mixed booklet of six, containing all of this year’s lineup, the stamps measure 40 mm x 32 mm with simulated perforations, and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper with seven-colour lithography. The booklet front features a tightly cropped action shot of Lafleur and Sittler. Oversized-rate hockey-card-size souvenir sheets are available in a pack of six, as well. Each includes a chance to win: one in 40 packs has a signed and authenticated souvenir sheet. Related products: A gummed mini-pane collectors’ item featuring all six players. The mini-pane features embossed, foiled logos of the team each player was best known for. The Official First Day Covers – one for each player – will be cancelled in the birthplaces of the player: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Esposito); Thurso, Que. (Lafleur); Kitchener, Ont. (Sittler); Edmonton, Alta. (Messier); Cranbrook, B.C. (Yzerman); and Cole Harbour, N.S. (Crosby). Limited edition signed and numbered framed prints are available for each player.

The official first day covers for all six players is above. Here are the ones for each player:can_esposito_ofdccan_lafleur_ofdccan_sittler_ofdccan_messier_ofdccan_yzerman_ofdccan_crosby_ofdc

can_sittler_ssHere are the fronts and backs of the hockey-card-size souvenir sheets for each player: can_crosby_sscan_lafleur_sscan_messier_sscan_yzerman_sscan_esposito_ssAnd the mini-pane for the issue: can_forwards_minipane

Canada Haunted For The Third Time (Canada 2016)

[press release]
They’re back! Haunted Canada stamps return with more spine-tingling tales haunted3souvOTTAWA, SEPT. 8, 2016 /CNW/ – Don’t give up the ghosts – another fright-filled adventure is yours to enjoy in Canada Post’s latest collection of five Haunted Canada stamps. [The stamps were issued September 8th. —VSC]

Pity the grief-stricken ghost bride of Montmorency Falls. Beware the marsh-dwelling spirit who transforms from a beautiful woman into a foul-smelling hag. Lament the tolling of the bell that foretells the loss of four women at sea. Above all, brace for more hair-raising fun.

The stamp set is the last in a three-year series that brings regionally renowned ghost stories to a broader Canadian audience. Illustrator Sam Weber cast the five stamps in otherworldly hues befitting the eerie tales:

bell-island-hagThe Bell Island Hag – Bell Island, N.L. The spirit, it is said, dwells in the marshes near Dobbin’s Garden and appears to a lone person, overpowering him or her with her stench. As she covers her victim with her cowl, she always hisses the same words: “No one came to help me when I died in that swamp. No one will help you. Now taste what I tasted and smell what I smelled as my life was taken from me.” The victim is found hours later, unconscious and reeking of death.

dungarvon-whooperThe Dungarvon Whooper – Renous, N.B. Lumberjacks returned from work one day to discover their young cook dead and his money belt missing – apparently the work of the camp boss. The cook was quickly buried as a snowstorm blew in, and in the night, terrifying whoops and wails issued from his shallow grave. The lumberjacks fled in terror, never to return. To this day, Miramichi residents claim to hear the cook’s mournful cries, despite the efforts of a priest to quiet the grave years after the suspected murder.

lady-in-whiteThe Lady in White – Montmorency Falls, Que. Hidden in the roar of Montmorency Falls are the cries of La Dame blanche (the Lady in White) calling out for her lost love. It was at the falls that Mathilde Robin’s fiancé, Louis Tessier, had courted her. Little did the betrothed couple know that Louis was soon to perish in battle during the Seven Years’ War. Overwhelmed with grief at the news of this death, Mathilde donned her wedding gown and tossed herself into the raging cataract.

phantom-bell-ringersThe Phantom Bell Ringers of the Kirk of St. James – Charlottetown In the early morning of October 7, 1853, a sea captain was mystified to hear what sounded like the clanging of a ship’s bell coming from the town centre. He made his way to the Kirk of St. James, where he and the church keeper spied four women, one peering down from the belfry. The two men pursued the women up to the tower but found nothing except the bell, still vibrating. Later that day, the Fairy Queen mail steamer sank in stormy seas, with seven lives lost, including four women – three were members of the congregation of the Kirk of St. James.

winter-garden-theatreThe Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre – Toronto Staff and patrons have witnessed all manner of apparitions and otherworldly events in the restored theatre centre. A woman dressed in Edwardian dress has reportedly appeared in the lobby, while the hand-operated elevators have been seen stopping of their own accord at various floors. And be careful where you sit – the seats in the Winter Garden Theatre have flipped down and back up, as if unseen audience members had sat down and got up again. Or so they say.

About the stamps
haunted3fdcThe stamps measure 32 mm x 32 mm and are available in booklets of 10. They were designed by Lionel Gadoury and printed by Colour Innovations in five colours with a holographic foil. The issue also includes a souvenir sheet of five stamps measuring 127 mm x 73 mm, an Official First Day Cover (above) cancelled in Renous, N.B., and an uncut press sheet (below) measuring 650 mm x 480 mm. There are also five postage-paid postcards (available individually or as a set of five) and a Haunted Canada gift set of coin and stamps. haunted3press

Birds of Canada (Canada 2016)

From Canada Post’s Details magazine
can_birds01Issue date: July 12, 2016

“I’m a collector, illustrator, artist and designer. These projects bring all of those elements together.
— Keith Martin, illustrator

can_birds05Hatched by designer Kosta Tsetsekas and illustrator Keith Martin, these stamps are the first in a three-year series celebrating Canada’s avian citizens. Our first flock includes five official birds: the Atlantic puffin (Newfoundland and Labrabor), the great horned owl (Alberta), the common raven (Yukon), the rock ptarmigan (Nunavut) and the sharp-tailed grouse (Saskatchewan).
To help create the series, Martin learned about his feathered can_birds04subjects. He explains that, “You ultimately have to understand the physicality of these creatures.”

Martin’s illustrations focus on the most striking traits of each bird: the cartoon-like colouring of the patterns, colours and textures that come together to create the character and warmth of these birds.”

can_birds03Forced to pick a favourite, Martin chose the puffin. “When it’s flying, it’s like a missile,” he says, “but when it lands, it always looks like it’s doing it for the first time. I wanted to reflect that quirkiness in my illustration.”

With two more years of Canadian birds waiting in the wings, Tsetsekas is equally keen to see the next issues soar. “Before a single image was finalized, Keith and I worked together to plan can_birds02each bird in the 15-stamp series,” he smiles. “So, naturally, we’re eager to see them take flight.”

Dinos of Canada (Canada 2016)

Scott Catalogue has assigned the following numbers:

2923 Souvenir Sheet of 5
2924 Troodon inequalis
2925 Dimetrodon borealis
2926 Comox Valley elasmosaur
2927 Cypretherium coarctatum
2928 Acrotholus audeti

[press release]
Predator or prey? There’s more than meets the eye in Dinos of Canada stamp sequel can_5dinosOTTAWA, May 26, 2016 /CNW/ – The mystery about the prehistoric creatures depicted in Canada Post’s exciting new Dinos of Canada stamp series is whether they are the hunters or the hunted.

can_dinos05The series, unveiled today, depicts five beasts from Canada’s geological past as reflections in the eyes of their prey or the predators stalking them. They are vividly illustrated by Sergey Krasovskiy, one of the world’s top paleo-artists.

The stamp design team at Vancouver’s Subplot Design Inc., led by Roy White, created an interesting storyline for the stamps with each eye as its unique frame. The stamps inspire the imagination without having to depict an entire scene.

The repeating eye motif comes roaring back on the uncut press sheet as the eye of a hungry tyrannosaur and as the frame for a single stamp among seven other souvenir sheets.

The creatures’ fossils were found across Canada and represent vastly different geological times. The animals were chosen with the help of the Canadian Museum of Nature, which assisted in the development of the 2015 series. They are:

  • can_dinos05Acrotholus audeti – This small dinosaur possessed a skull bearing a 10-centimeter thick dome of solid bone over the eyes. The bipedal herbivore may have used the dome to butt heads with other members of its species. It inhabited the then coastal lowlands of Alberta about 85 million years ago.
  • can_dinos02Comox Valley elasmosaur (this fossil has not yet been given a scientific name) – The vicious marine reptile had a neck nearly seven metres long that helped it hunt its prey 83 million years ago. It was discovered in 1988 by a father and his 12-year-old daughter prospecting for fossils in the Comox Valley.
  • can_dinos04Cypretherium coarctatum – One of a group of mammals commonly known as “terminator pigs,” this fearsome beast had a long, narrow snout with menacing pointed teeth at the front. It lived on the ancient floodplains of Saskatchewan 35 million years ago.
  • Dimetrodon borealis – Heralded upon its discovery as can_dinos03Canada’s first dinosaur, paleontologists later came to realize it was a mammal-like reptile. Its fearsome jaws were filled with serrated teeth and it likely used a sail on its back for display. It lived in what is now Prince Edward Island about 270 million years ago in, when it was hot and dry and located near the Equator.
  • can_dinos01Troodon inequalis – The bird-like dinosaur was similar to the carnivorous Velociraptor of Jurassic Park movie fame. It had the largest brain of any dinosaur in relation to its body size and was a resident of Alberta’s coastal lowlands about 75 million years ago.

About the stamps
The four-colour stamps measure 40 mm x 40 mm. They are available in booklets of 10 permanent stamps printed by Lowe-Martin. The uncut press sheet measures 480 mm by 650 mm and features an enlargement of a tyrannosaur, whose eye is the frame for a single stamp among seven other souvenir sheets. Each souvenir sheet measures 159 mm by 105 mm and consists of five stamps. The cancel image on the Official First Day Cover features dinosaur tracks. The cancel site is Courtenay, B.C., where the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre is home to the Comox Valley elasmosaur.

Pink Floyd (UK 2016)

[press release]

  • 10 new stamps will be issued on 7 July 2016 to celebrate one of the most successful and influential British rock bands of all time
  • Six stamps feature iconic album covers: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn; Atom Heart Mother; The Dark Side Of The Moon; Wish You Were Here; Animals and The Endless River
  • A further four stamps within a miniature sheet celebrate the ground-breaking live performances of the band, from the appearances at the now legendary UFO Club, London in 1966 where they invented the ‘psychedelic’ light show; to the extremely ambitious staging for albums such as The Wall and the Division Bell tours
  • The Division Bell album cover appeared on a stamp in 2010
  • The stamps are available to pre-order online from 26 May at
  • The stamps will be available to purchase in 8,000 Post Offices from 7 July 2016

Royal Mail today reveal images of a set of 10 stamps that will be issued to mark 50 years since Pink Floyd turned professional and became the ‘house band’ of the London Underground movement of music and arts.

The stamps are available to pre-order from 26 May 2016 at and to purchase from 8,000 Post Offices from 7 July 2016.

uk_pinkfloydpfSix stamps feature iconic album covers: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn; Atom Heart Mother;The Dark Side Of The Moon; Wish You Were Here; Animals and The Endless River.

The band is renowned for its innovative album covers, many of which have become design classics. Through working with leading graphic designers and photographers, they established a body of work that is instantly recognisable, with album cover art considered among the most iconic ever created. Most of the band’s album covers were devised by Hipgnosis, co-founded by Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson in 1968. They were at the forefront of album cover design, using experimental techniques in photography and multiple exposures, and retouching to create the startling images.

uk_pinkfloydwalltourA further four stamps within a miniature sheet celebrate the live performances of the band. Arguably the most visually literate band of all time, as well as being one of the most successful, their live appearances were renowned. They were among the first groups to make extensive use of light shows and projection of films for their appearances, increasing in ambition over the decades.

The four images convey the experience of these live performances, from the appearances at the influential UFO Club, London in 1966 where they invented the ‘psychedelic’ light show; to the extremely ambitious staging for albums such as The Wall and the Division Bell tours.

uk_pinkfloyddarksidePink Floyd were formed when the founding trio of bassist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright were augmented by original guitarist Syd Barrett. In 1968, guitarist David Gilmour joined the band shortly before Barrett’s departure.

Few bands in the history of rock have managed to carve out a career as rich and expansive as that of Pink Floyd. From their blues-based psychedelic roots, the members of the outfit have created some of modern music’s most totemic and inspirational albums, with ground-breaking live performances to match.

uk_pinkfloydpfTHE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (EMI Columbia, 1967)
Pink Floyd’s psychedelic debut is named after Chapter 7 of Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s novel, The Wind in the Willows, one of frontman Syd Barrett’s favourite books. Photographer Vic Singh shot the cover image using a prism lens given to him by George Harrison some weeks earlier.


ATOM HEART MOTHER (EMI uk_pinkfloydatomHarvest, 1970)
Pink Floyd’s fifth album provided them with their first UK Number One. It was also the first of their LPs not to feature the band’s name on the front of the sleeve, setting the tone for subsequent albums. Hipgnosis, co-founded by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell, designed the cover – the cow’s name is Lulubelle III.


uk_pinkfloyddarksideWith sales in excess of 40 million copies worldwide, The Dark Side Of The Moon remains in the Billboard chart in America over 40 years after its release, and has been entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-charting album. Created by Hipgnosis, with graphics by George Hardie of NTA, the prism device is a classic.



uk_pinkfloydwishyouWISH YOU WERE HERE (EMI Harvest, 1975)
With a theme of ‘absence’, the Hipgnosis design message was summarised by Storm Thorgerson as ‘not being present in a relationship or conversation’. The concept even extended to the album being shrink-wrapped in opaque black plastic which had to be slit or removed to access the music and images.


uk_pinkfloydanimalsANIMALS (EMI Harvest, 1977)
Animals was released as punk raged. While Johnny Rotten wore a T-shirt with the slogan ‘I Hate Pink Floyd’, Nick Mason busied himself producing The Damned’s Music for Pleasure. The photograph of Battersea Power Station features the now legendary floating inflatable pig designed by Roger Waters.



uk_pinkfloydriverTHE ENDLESS RIVER (Parlophone Warner, 2014)
Ostensibly a tribute to the late Richard Wright and described as a ‘headphones’ album by David Gilmour, The Endless River beat all records for volumes of online pre-orders. For the album cover, Aubrey Powell discovered 18-year old graphic designer Ahmed Emad Eldin’s enigmatic work, which was recreated by design company Stylorouge and photographer, Simon Fowler.

uk_pinkfloydliveWhile their studio work has always been important, Pink Floyd have been defined by their live performances. Their early shows in 1966 at London’s UFO Club married the use of pioneering liquid light effects that matched the psychedelic quality of the music itself.

By 1973, the band’s stage set was further expanded to mirror the dramatic sensibilities of the music: the tension that pervades The Dark Side of the Moon was reflected by lighting director Arthur Max’s innovative work, which included a 15-foot model plane flying over the audience, crashing on stage in sync with the explosion during the track On the Run. The In The Flesh Tour (aka The Animals Tour) of 1977 continued that pattern of spectacle through the use of inflatables, including the now famous pigs, and saw Pink Floyd make US stadiums their own.

Next came the Wall, Roger Water’s ambitious theatrical concept base on alienation which saw a physical wall built between the audience and the band.

Some 14 years later, spectacular stadium shows had become the norm, with Floyd underlining their status as pioneers during The Division Bell Tour, captured to great effect on the p.u.l.s.e DVD and beating all records in terms of gate receipts.

1st Class UFuk_pinkfloydufoO Club, 1966. The UFO Club opened on Dec. 23, 1966. Pink Floyd were booked for the opening along with Soft Machine.

uk_pinkfloydmoontour1st Class – The Dark Side of the Moon Tour, 1973.  This show included the special effect of a plane crashing into the stage at the end of the song On the Run.

uk_pinkfloydwalltour£1.52 – The Wall Tour, 1981. Gerald Scarfe and Roger Waters designed a series of animations for the Wall Tour.  These animations were projected onto a 40-foot high wall of cardboard bricks which was gradually built between the band and audience.

uk_pinkfloydbelltour£1.52 The Division Bell Tour, 1994. Over 5.3 million tickets were sold for this tour and it grossed approx. 100 million US dollars.