World Stamps

Finnish stamp designs express love in time for Valentine’s Day

May 3, 2021, 6 PM

New Stamps of the World by Denise McCarty

The designer of the latest Valentine’s Day stamps from Finland was inspired by nature, art and fairy tales in creating the illustrations.

Called Light of Friendship, the five nondenominated first-class stamps were issued Jan. 24.

Leena Raappana-Luiro, the designer, said: “The creative process just carried me away, and I noticed that I am reaching for a mystical, dramatic and, at the same time, magical feeling. The vegetation of the fairytale forest is formed by hearts, which glow against the dark background.”

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“Even though I’ve created the illustrations digitally, I took inspiration from art history,” she added. “I admire the Dutch flower painting of the 17th century and old natural science illustrations.”

Two of the stamps prominently feature leaves that are shaped like hearts. The gold map in the lower right corner of one stamp and in the upper right on the other represents that the stamps pay the domestic rate.

The other three stamps also include the map in gold.

Joh. Enschede of the Netherlands printed the stamps by offset in booklets of five (one of each design).

Raappana-Luiro had placed second in a design contest for Finland’s Valentine’s Day stamps of 2017. While she did not win that competition, Finland Posti liked her work so much they asked her to design this year’s issue.