The new stamps issued by Canada Post featuring The Tragically Hip, Rush, The Guess Who and Beau Dommage are the latest in Canadian ongoing series honouring Canadian recording artists – and the first to feature bands rather than individual performers. The commercial and critical success that these groundbreaking musicians have achieved reaches far beyond Canadian borders.
Designer Louis Gagnon of Paprika drew on feedback from the groups in this series to focus on what fans recognized most about their beloved artists. The result: stamps with group shots of Beau Dommage and The Tragically Hip alongside stamps featuring the iconic logo of The Guess Who and the fan-favouritecover of Rush's album, 2112.
"The main challenge was trying to catch the mood of each band, while keeping a respectful look and feel," explains Gagnon to StampNews.com. The current band members were present in the development process and gave their input all the way through. That helped us balance how we saw the final result and how they wanted to be represented."
"Although these bands have existed for over 30 years, they are still active and performing today," he adds, "so we wanted to stay as close as possible to a timeless treatment."
Canada Post's Stamp Design Manager Liz Wong echoed those challenges. "Representing the incredible history of these groups in just a few images is nearly impossible. Balancing history with the present to create something classic and lasting was essential."
"This release is really about the fans", says Wong. "We wanted to turn the larger-than-life character of each group into something that every fan would recognize and love."
For Gagnon, working on the series was an honour. "These names have enormous history and, along with their all-time classics, are still very influential in the rock scene," he says. "It was very rewarding to design their stamps, considering that these will travel the world and be part of special collections."