Cape Town is more than just a city of breathtaking beauty and leisure tourism; it also brims with creative talent and is widely known as South Africa's arts and culture hub. It is no wonder therefore that the Mother City has recently also earned the prestigious title of World Design Capital 2014. To celebrate this well-deserved achievement, the South African Post Office issued a set of five self-adhesive stamps of different designs and one commemorative cover on 28 February 2014.
The prestigious status of World Design Capital (WDC) is designated biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) to cities that are dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development. The WDC has become more than just a project or a programme. Today, it is a global movement and serves to acknowledge that design can, and does, have an impact on the quality of human life.
It is a great honor and a remarkable achievement to be the first African city to be selected as World Design Capital, positioning the southern tip of Africa as a focal point for the international design community in 2014.
For Cape Town, the WDC appointment comes exactly two decades after the dawn of democracy in South Africa. "2014, then, is the moment when the past and the future will come together for Cape Town, in contemplation and in action, " said Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille on acceptance of the WDC designation. "It is a reflection of how the city has socially and physically reinvented itself," she added.
The striking stamp designs by Tamryn Elliot is the result of a stamp design competition organized by the Philatelic Services of the South African Post Office. Artists were requested to submit designs under five different themes aimed at igniting the imagination of the public and contributing towards a greater understanding of the multi-faceted nature of design.
The overarching bid theme "Live Design. Transform Life" is represented on the first stamp. The other themes are "African Innovation. Global Conversation"; "Bridging the Divide" – reconnecting the city and reconciling its communities; "Today for Tomorrow" – sustainable solutions for people and planet; and "Beautiful Spaces. Beautiful Things" – inspiring architecture, interiors, food, fashion, jewellery, craft, art and creativity.