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Classic chocolate bar Fazer Blue to be honored with a stamp

The January stamps also celebrate Valentine’s Day and the joy of spring

On Wednesday, January 19, Posti will release three new stamp publications, with a total of 8 different stamp designs. Stamps reflect their time. One of the designers for the January stamps is the already well-known illustrator Paula Salviander, who has designed Fazer's Blue anniversary stamp, and two new artists, Leena Kisonen, who has designed Valentine's Day stamps, and Minna Lehväslaiho, who has designed spring nature stamps.

100 years of Fazer Blue

Posti celebrates Fazer Blue, Finland’s favorite chocolate, which first went on sale in 1922, with its own stamp. Karl Fazer’s golden signature and the blue wrapper have been the emblem and quality guarantee of milk chocolate from the very beginning. They are also featured on the delicious stamp designed by Paula Salviander, which focuses on the essential: a newly opened Fazer Blue chocolate bar.

The blue color of Fazer was registered as its own trademark in 2001, which serves as a symbol for the chocolate even without having to write the name. For Finns, Fazer Blue represents the Blue Heart of the whole company. Indeed, Fazer has been one of the most appreciated Finnish brands for years.

The design work for the stamp began on Posti’s initiative at a joint meeting with Posti’s Design Manager and Fazer’s Brand Manager and Head of Communications. “The finished stamp was to reflect Fazer Blue’s brand and flavors. The clarity of the colors and details in stamp size was ensured several times in the design work and the proof stage,” says Tommi Kantola, Posti's Design Manager, who is responsible for directing stamp artwork.

Paula did several drafts of the design, which were further developed with the help of Tommi. “The work resulted in a delicious stamp, with chocolate pieces extending over the edges of the stamp. This gave the stamp a three-dimensional look and captured the atmosphere of fresh chocolate. It was great to be part of the team designing the stamp for the brand icon Fazer Blue for the anniversary year,” Paula says.

The Fazer Blue 100 Years stamp sheet has 10 domestic no-value indicator stamps.

Valentine’s Day stamps born out of lockdown

In Finland, Valentine’s Day is the second most popular card season immediately after Christmas. This year, Valentine’s Day will be celebrated on Monday, February 14. Leena Kisonen was chosen as the illustrator for the new Valentine’s Day stamps. “All my works are characterized by Scandinavian design style, exceptional color combinations and playfulness. Posti wanted to have this spirit also in the stamp illustrations depicting moments of friendship, joy and sharing.”

“Stamps are one of the smallest items I have ever illustrated. The small size brought its own challenges to the design work, which was fun. A stamp must be interesting and at the same time simple and clear in order for it to work in small size,” Leena says.

In her illustrations, Leena combines paper cutting and vector graphics. “I first cut the elements of my work from paper, then scan them and construct the final illustrations digitally on a computer. My work is therefore a combination of handiwork and digital techniques. I particularly like the organic look of paper cuttings.”

The Valentine’s Day stamps were created in the middle of the long lockdown in London in spring 2021. “I moved to London in December 2020 and was still very new to the city when I was designing the stamps. Due to the lockdown, I couldn’t really leave my apartment, the weather was gray and I missed my friends in Finland. You could say that the colorful stamps were inspired by my colorful friends,” Leena says.

Friendship Stories will be issued as a 10-stamp sheet containing five different domestic no-value indicator stamps.

Spring awakens nature also on stamps

Minna Lehväslaiho, known as a postcard artist, was asked to design joyful stamps suitable for spring and Easter. “My stamps depict the wonderful time when nature begins to be flush with light green and spring flowers are literally bursting out of the ground. It feels like the whole world is waking up from hibernation to a burst of colors after a dark winter,” Minna says.

The stamps feature characters familiar from Minna’s postcards. “On the first stamp, a cat and an owl are enjoying the springtime and each other’s company. We can be happy just like that, with no need to rush anywhere. The second stamp depicts little owls’ regular laundry day, which is full of joy. The laundry hung out to dry tells us that the ground has warmed up and the owls have gotten into the vegetable patch.”

Minna did the illustrations on watercolor paper in A4 format. “I drew the pictures with a fountain pen, colored them in with watercolors and gouache and finished them with oil pastels. The work was interesting because, when designing stamps, you must pay attention to the rhythm, airiness and empty space of the illustrations in a specific way. The color choices also have a major impact on the clarity of the illustration. I received good sparring help from Tommi Kantola, who is responsible for directing stamp work at Posti.”

Postcards and stamps are familiar items to Minna through another way as well.I do postcrossing, in which people from around the world send each other postcards. You create a profile on the website, where you can talk about yourself and your card wishes. The card recipients are drawn, and the whole thing works on the principle that the more cards you send, the more will be sent to you. I think that the funniest part of the hobby is when I get to choose a suitable card for the recipient and a suitable stamp to go with it.”

Currently, there are about 800,000 registered postcrossers worldwide, and cards have been sent from over 200 countries. “We Finns are very keen postcrossers, and we have sent more than four million cards in the last 16 years,” says Minna, who was selected as the Finnish Postcrossing Friends Association’s artist of the year in 2019.

Joy of Spring! will be issued as a 10-stamp sheet containing two different domestic no-value indicator stamps.

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