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Finland: Moving pictures and smart squares on stamps in 2008

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The stamp year will begin on 24 January with three miniature sheets, all with features totally unprecedented on Finnish stamps.

On the four-stamp miniature sheet devoted to Alpine skiing, champions Antti Autti and Matti Raty perform dazzling jumps, while Tanja Poutiainen and Tapio "Arska" Saarimaki speed downhill. The way the sheet is printed is based on a lens technology which combines multilevel images. When you move the stamp around in your hand, an illusion of movement is created. The production process is called MotionPrint imaging. These are 1st class non-value indicator stamps.

January will also see the first issue in Finland of stamps with a smart square. The code can be opened by taking a picture of it with a camera phone. One of the coded issues is a miniature sheet of two 1st class non-value indicator stamps issued in honour of the centenary of Helsinki University of Technology.

Also upcoming are a partly transparent stamp and a stamp with Braille lettering.

In 2008 there will be a total of 59 stamps in 23 separate issues. Most of these will be 1st class non-value indicator stamps, but there will also be stamps denominated at 5 and 10 cents, among others.

Making their debut as stamp designers will be Sari Airola, Marjatta Hanhijoki, Teemu Lipasti, Kustaa Saksi and Klaus Welp as well as the Syrup Helsinki duo Teemu Suviala and Antti Hinkula. The Christmas 2008 stamps are the work of Julia Vuori. Stamps are also a new field for Father Mitro: he came up with the ideas for the 2008 Easter stamp.

COLLAGE: STAMPNEWS.COM

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