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Insect stamp release by Canada Post

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Canada Post continues its beneficial insect series with five more of nature's tiny helpers: the paper wasp, the assassin bug, the large milkweed bug, the margined leatherwing and the dogbane beetle.

According to designer Keith Martin of the Vancouver-based Signals Design Group, this stamp project provided the chance to "unleash a new bug fest," as he so enthusiastically puts it. Martin speaks of the insects with an energy that is keenly reflected in the stamps. "Try as I might, I could not get these guys to behave!" he playfully laments of the infestation of insects that squirm across both the pane and the first day cover.

"The more I thought about bugs, the more I delighted in their seeming lack of a 'right side up,'" Martin explains. To capture this peculiar trait, he positioned them in a variety of orientations. He continues, "I also wanted to touch on the contrast between the first issue, which focused on insects often spotted in the sky, and this one, which is centered on plant and ground-dwelling bugs." The leafy, garden-inspired backgrounds of the stamps speak to this feature.

Martin adds that light plays a special part in the design. "The choice of lighting was as integral as deciding which background to use in each stamp. For example, a strong light source on the assassin bug allows its cast shadow to define it against the active background of that stamp, while the flat light on the large milkweed bug creates a parallel between the flower's abstract triangular forms and the shapes of the bug's markings."

Five special philatelic packs including your choice of corner blocks (UL, UR, LL, LR) of all five denominations, plus a corner set containing all four corner blocks of each denomination, are available from the National Philatelic Centre. Availability is limited.

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