World Stamps

Royal Mail wins hobby’s Oscar equivalent for best stamp issue of 2015

Aug 15, 2016, 9 AM

By Denise McCarty

Great Britain’s Inventive Britain set won the Asiago international award for philatelic art for the best stamp issue of 2015.

Considered the Oscars of the stamp-design field, the Asiago awards are presented annually in Asiago, Italy. The ceremony for the 46th Asiago awards took place July 3. In addition to Great Britain, stamps of Portugal, Spain, Poland and San Marino received awards.

Great Britain’s Royal Mail issued the eight stamps in the Inventive Britain set Feb. 19, 2015. 

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Designed by the London-based firm GBH, these stamps commemorate the following inventions and innovations: the Colossus decryption computer, the World Wide Web, reflective road studs known as cat’s-eyes, fiber optics, stainless steel, carbon fiber, DNA sequencing, and the i-limb bionic hand.

In announcing the stamps, Royal Mail said: “The design company created original visual interpretations of the inventions’ key functions for six out of the eight stamps, while two were designed using existing imagery and computer-generated imagery (CGI) illustration.”

The Asiago jury called the designs “bold” and also referred to them as “stimulating, visually perfect images.”

Portugal was awarded the Asiago prize in the category of ecology for four issued stamps Oct. 14, 2015, in two vertical se-tenant pairs.

One pair of these €0.45 stamps honored 2015 as the International Year of Soils, and the other celebrated the International Year of Light. 

Pedro Ferreira designed all four stamps. The Asiago jury said that he showed an “inspiring transition from the sun to the fruits of the soil through real objects such as satellites and solar panels and symbols such as a sand [hour] glass and the roots of the Earth.”

Spain received the award of the Palladian Academy of Vicenza for a souvenir sheet promoting Exfilna 2015, the 53th national Spanish philatelic exhibition held March 13-21, 2015, in Aviles. 

The souvenir sheet contains two stamps, €0.42 and €2.42, showing symbolic designs representing a typical street of the old town Aviles. The director of the Olympic Academy of Vicenza, who decided this prize, said he was charmed by the string of porticos on the Spanish souvenir sheet.

The Asiago jury said that “the buildings, churches, porticos, windows, roofs, and squares [of Aviles] embody centuries of daily life and local culture, inviting us to walk down the path of history.”

The award of the Italian Academy of Philately and Postal History went to Poland for the 1.75-zloty stamp issued June 14 for World Blood Donation Day. 

The creative design by Andrzej Gosik features two red hearts arranged vertically. The drop of blood falling from the top heart is just the right size to fill the whole in the bottom heart.

As part of the Asiago awards, the postal administration of San Marino received a special jury award “for 35 years of effective and continuous collaboration from 1981 to 2015 and for the unchanged quality and originality of their stamp issues.”

The Asiago jury for 2015 included artist and stamp designer Franco Filanci, film critic Lorenzo Pellizzari, journalist Gian Antonio Stella and philatelist Luciano Varaschini.

The awards are presented under the patronage of the president of Italy and under the organization of the Italian stamp collectors club Sette Comuni.