New postage stamps with something special
The new postage stamp year in Finland began on 24 January. On that date a miniature sheet was issued bearing a total of 11 different first class non-value indicator stamps. Also issued on the same day were two sets of postage stamps, one with three stamps denominated 5 cents and another with three 10 cent stamps. All these stamp issues have something new, never before seen on Finnish stamps.
Living images on Alpine Skiing stamps
The miniature sheet dedicated to alpine skiing has an illusion of movement thanks to the imaging and printing technology used. When you turn the sheet in your hands, the picture comes to life. This makes Tanja Poutiainen speed downhill on the slalom stamp. The stamp is in the lower right corner of the miniature sheet. The picture is from the Finnish round of the slalom World Cup in Levi. The 27-year-old skier from Rovaniemi is also shown at speed next to the stamp, on the edge of the stamp sheet. Tanja Poutiainen's achievements also include a silver medal at the Turin Olympics in 2006 and numerous other victories and high placements in world cup championships over a period of years. The stamp dedicated to snowboarding features a stunning performance by Antti Autti. The stamp, on the top right of the sheet, shows a series of stills in which Antti Autti performs a cab 540° roast beef in a half-pipe. Among Antti Autti's triumphs are two gold medals in the World Championships of winter 2004-2005 and the prestigious XGames half-pipe competition in the same season. The two other stamps on the sheet depict freestyle skiing, which includes several types. The upper left of the sheet shows Matti Räti, a 19-year-old exponent of new school skiing and a student at the University of Kuopio. The stamp shows a 'drop'. The stamp on the lower left shows Tapio 'Arska' Saarimäki on powder. Saarimäki now lives year-round in the village of Verbier in the Swiss Alps, where he practices cross-country and downhill biking in addition to Alpine skiing. In freestyle, helicopters are sometimes used to take skiers to virgin slopes, and this explains the chopper on the upper edge of the stamp sheet.
The production process used for the miniature sheet is called MotionPrint imaging. The Alpine Skiing miniature sheet is the most advanced print job ever done with this technology. For example, it simultaneously uses both animation and a 3-D effect for the first time. Outer Aspect Ltd in New Zealand and SEP Sprint Pty Ltd in Australia produced the miniature sheet. Ari Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu designed the sheet. The postage stamp sheet uses stills and footage by Halti/Zoom Agency, Rami Hanafi, Peter Hasselgren, Jani Johansén, Lasse Nevantausta, Tero Repo and MTV3.
Two other miniature sheets issued in January have the new feature of smart squares. The so-called Upcode is printed in the upper right corner of each miniature sheet. The code can be opened with a camera phone. The phone requires Upcode software, which can be downloaded free at www.upcode.fi.
The other miniature sheet with an Upcode is called Catch U. Syrup Helsinki (Teemu Suviala and Antti Hinkula) designed the glowing red miniature sheet with five self-adhesive first class non-value indicator postage stamps. The subjects of the stamps are a message in a bottle, smoke signals, SMS, carrier pigeons and a banner towed by a light aircraft.
Plus sign shaped stamps
The three new stamps denominated 5 cent illustrate water and the three new 10 cent stamps depict islands and the sea. A new feature of these stamps is their shape, which is like that of a plus sign. Timo Berry designed the self-adhesive stamps. Stamps of the same value will be issued in sets on the same sheet. One sheet will have 15 stamps.
Helsinki University of Technology
The other miniature sheet with a code is issued in honor of the anniversary of the Helsinki University of Technology. The Helsinki University of Technology will celebrate in 2008 not only the centenary of its existence as a university but also Finland's 160th anniversary of technical teaching and promoting technology.
The background picture of the Helsinki University of Technology postage stamp sheet depicts the main building of Helsinki University of Technology in the Otaniemi district of Espoo, designed by Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). The lower part of the stamp shows the exterior of the building in evening light, and the upper sections depicts the pastel ceiling structures of the assembly hall. All of the current departments of Helsinki University of Technology are listed on top of the ceiling picture. The miniature sheet has two 15` class non-value indicator stamps. One of the stamps shows a robot built at Helsinki University of Technology, the other stamp demarcates part of the picture of the main building. The sheet was designed by Ad Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu. The photos are by Sarri Kukkonen and Adolfo Vera/HUT.
More information Postage Stamps
Postage Stamps 2008
Postage stamps of Finland
Finnish independence and crafts
Design and architecture
New postage stamps from Finland
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