First Finnish stamps of the year

The Finnish stamp year 2012 will start on January 23 with the release of a set of four publications. The stamps celebrate the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project, Helene Schjerfbeck's 150th anniversary and the brand new Sami Cultural Centre SAJOS in Inari in Finnish Lapland. The January stamp set will be supplemented by a traditional Valentine's Day release.

The Future City stamp booklet, which celebrates Helsinki's position as the World Design Capital, presents seven new stamp designers who were awarded in the open design competition organized online in spring 2011. The highly popular competition produced a total of 1,422 designs, of which the jury and the public selected eight for the final stamp booklet.

The competition winners include professionals in graphic design, amateur designers and two children. The eight designs awarded in the competition were Future City by Chloe Chapeaublanc, a French graphic designer; Onnela by Sini Henttonen, a student of textile art and design from Helsinki; Citykani by Katja Hynninen, a textile designer from Tampere; Kaupungin liike by Daniel Kallsrtöm, a schoolboy from Helsinki; Asenne by Ville Korhonen, a graphic designer from Lahti; Tulevaisuus rohkeana by Elias Ollila, a 6-year-old boy from Espoo; and Color Power and Mix by Varpu Kangas, a freelance graphic designer from Helsinki.

A surprisingly large number of designs with a nature theme were presented in the competition. Through her Citykani stamp, Katja Hynninen wanted to illustrate an animal adapted to urban conditions. "A rabbit utilizes the available space efficiently, raises discussion and will eventually blend into the everyday landscape," Hynninen says.

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