U.S. and Canada Reveal Designs of Joint Hockey Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service and Canada Post today revealed the designs for their upcoming History of Hockey joint issue.

The stamps will be formally issued October 20 at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena Belfor Training Center. U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan will be joined by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra at the ceremony.

The stamp format is tête-bêche – a joined pair of similar images in which one is upside down – and the design is strong on nostalgia. On an open pond, a player in modern equipment reflects, literally, on the past. Mirrored in the ice beneath him is a player in vintage gear. The imaginative imagery gives a visual sense of looking back through time. The paired images also depict the game’s evolution and its continuing presence in the lives of players and fans alike.

Each country uses the same basic design with just the country indicator and denomination being different. The U.S. stamps have “USA FOREVER” across their tops; the Canadian stamps have the red permanent stamp maple leaf logo in the upper left corner and “CANADA” in the upper right corner.

The Postal Service is honored to partner with Canada Post to produce The History of Hockey stamps,” said Brennan in a news release. “This sport exemplifies a wonderful tradition of competition and camaraderie between our nations, and these commemorative stamps are a special way to celebrate the game that transcends borders.

A souvenir sheet, which will be revealed during the Oct. 20 dedication ceremony, features a scene that illustrates the evolution of the sport across generations. The selvage — or area outside of the stamps on the souvenir sheet — depicts a father teaching his daughter how to play hockey on a pond.

The stamps were designed by Subplot Design Inc., for Canada Post, the artwork is intended to celebrate and reflect on the history of hockey. KC Armstrong of Toronto, Ontario, shot the photographs. Susan Gilson was the art director of the Canadian version of the stamps. William J. Gicker was the art director of the American version of the stamps.

Professional hockey is celebrating the centennial of the National Hockey League, which formally began competition in 1917. Also, hockey fans are acknowledging the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, today emblematic of the annual NHL champion.

Canada Post on September 28 issued its final set of stamps in a five-year series celebrating the NHL’s 100th anniversary.

This is the sixth joint issue for Canada Post and the USPS dating back to 1959, and the first in more than a decade. It’s also their first celebrating a sport.

The first joint issue released by the two postal administrations marked the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Since then, they have jointly commemorated the United States Bicentennial (1976), the 50th anniversary of the Peace Bridge (1977), the St Lawrence Seaway’s 25th anniversary (1984) and the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the East Coast of North America (2006).

Canada Issues Final Lineup in Five-Year Canadian Hockey Legends Series

Canada Post Thursday, September 28, issued the final set of six stamps in its five-year series celebrating the first century of the National Hockey League and the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the trophy emblematic of hockey supremacy.

The final group — Canadian Hockey Legends — celebrates players considered to be at the most elite level of Canadian hockey: Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Jean Béliveau, of the Montreal Canadiens; Gordie Howe, of the Detroit Red Wings; Bobby Orr, of the Boston Bruins; Mario Lemieux, of the Pittsburgh Penguins; and Wayne Gretzky, of the Edmonton Oilers. All are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The stamps were unveiled and issued in a formal ceremony Wednesday evening at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, a week before the NHL drops the puck on the 2017–18 season.

“The players we immortalized on this year’s stamps redefined hockey over careers that spanned more than 60 years,” said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “They inspired us — and each other — with feats that boggle the mind. They are the Ultimate Six.”

As a group, the all-star lineup scored more than 9,500 points in almost 7,000 regular-season games, won 40 Stanley Cup Championships — 30 as players and another 10 as management — and more than 80 individual awards.

Orr, Lemieux, and Gretzky are still living. Richard died at age 78 in 2000; Béliveau died in 2014 at age 83; Howe died at age 88 in 2016.

This is Lemieux’s first stamp from Canada, Orr’s third, and the second for each of the other four legends. Gretzky, Howe, Richard, and Orr all appear on stamps issued in 2000 for Canada’s 50th anniversary NHL All-Star Game (Scott 1838). Béliveau was honored the next year on a set of NHL Stars stamps (Scott 1885a). Orr appeared on an earlier stamp in this current series as part of the defensemen set issued in 2014.

Designed by Avi Dunkelman and Joe Gault for Mix Design Group of Toronto, each stamp features a head-and-shoulders image of the player in uniform, with the Stanley Cup image ghosted in the background.

Hockey-card souvenir sheets show the players holding the Cup; they are only available in packs of six, like hockey cards.

The 2017 NHL Canadian Hockey Legends issue builds on the NHL Team Jersey stamps released in 2013, the Original Six Defenseman stamps released in 2014, the NHL Great Canadian Goalie stamps in 2015 and the NHL Great Canadian Forwards issue last year.

The stamps are available in several formats, including a mixed booklet of six, containing all six players; those stamps measure 40 mm by 32 mm with simulated perforations, and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper with seven-color lithography. Oversized-rate hockey-card-size souvenir sheets are available in a pack of six, as well. Related products: A gummed mini-pane collectors’ item featuring all six players. The mini-pane features a silver foiled and embossed Stanley Cup.

Canada and India Present Joint Issue Marking Diwali, Festival of Lights

Canada Post and India Post have joined hands to issue stamps in two basic designs that celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, an important annual observance for many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains in Canada and around the world.

The joint issue is a historic first between the postal services.

The stamps were unveiled today, September 21, in a ceremony at Toronto City Hall by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra; Vikas Swarup, the high commissioner of India to Canada; and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

“The Diwali stamps express our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations,” Chopra said. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”

Canada issued two domestic-rate stamps now available, about a month ahead of Diwali celebrations, which will be held from October 19 to 23. . A stamp with a red background is the Canadian design, while one with a gold background was designed by India Post. The souvenir sheet (shown above) has a Canadian international rate stamp and an Indian stamp.

The designs heavily feature the colors of red and gold and a flame within a candle called a diya.

Diwali, a five-day celebration, begins on the 15th day of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. Its main theme is the triumph of light over darkness. The celebration traditionally includes fireworks. In Canada, people often light candles in their homes, while in India, they light small clay lamps filled with oil; illumination is believed to ward off evil and attract happiness and good fortune. Believers also display colorful geometric rangoli patterns to decorate entrances. Families and friends also share sweets and gifts with one another and with those in need.

The stamps were designed by Doreen Colonello of Entro Communications and India Post, and printed by Lowe-Martin. The Permanent domestic-rate stamps measure 30 mm by 35 mm.

Classic Children’s Books Featured on New Stamps from Royal Mail

Classic children’s books known as Ladybird Books are featured on a new set of stamps issued September 14 by Great Britain’s Royal Mail.

The publishing house traces its roots to 1867, but became a true brand in 1940 when Wills and Hepworth’s publication of what is considered its first title: Bunnikin’s Picnic Party: A Story in Verse for Children with Illustrations in Colour. The book featured stories in verse written by W. Perring, accompanied by full-color illustrations by A. J. (Angusine Jeanne) MacGregor.

With paper rationing in force at the start of World War II, the business designed a pocket-sized hardback of 56 pages that could be produced from a single sheet. The size was 7 inches by 4 5/8 inches and the classic format was born. The publisher found this was an economical way of producing books, enabling the books to be retailed at a low price which, for almost 30 years, remained at two shillings and sixpence.

Since then, the publisher has released more than 650 titles with its heyday of production in the 1960s and ’70s. Ladybird began publishing books in other formats in 1980. Most of the remaining titles in the classic format were withdrawn from print in 1999, when the factory in Loughborough which specialized in this format closed.

The eight stamps — two each of differing denominations — are printed as se-tenant pairs. Three books are shown on each stamp, 24 in all. Each stamp shows a different category of books: Achievements, Adventures from History, Early Tales and Rhymes, Hobbies and How it Works, Key Words Reading Scheme, Nature and Conservation, People at Work, and Well-loved Tales.

Each stamp measures 41 millimeters by 30 millimeters and are printed via lithography by International Security Printers. Royal Mail is selling the stamps via several products, including first-day covers, a souvenir sheet, and presentation pack.

More information is available at the Royal Mail website.

 

 

Royal Mail Unveils a New Set of Star Wars Stamps for New Movie

The Star Wars universe will expand with another film in December and Great Britain’s Royal Mail is celebrating with eight new special stamps based on the epic sci-fi movie series.

The Star Wars Droids and Aliens will mark the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, which will hit U.S. theaters on December 15. The stamps will go on sale October 12.

This is Royal Mail’s second blockbuster issue for the Star Wars realm, whose first movie — Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope — was released in 1977. In 2015, Royal Mail issued 12 similarly designed stamps from the earlier six Star Wars movies, including Darth Vader, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia.

Like the futuristic space-age wizardry of the Star Wars films, the new stamps are meant to be fun and filled with some extra features.

The stamps are illustrated by British artist Malcolm Tween, who also designed the Star Wars set issued in 2015.

The stamps feature images of droids and aliens that have appeared in the iconic film series and feature a mix of new and classic characters: aliens Maz Kanata; Chewbacca; Supreme Leader Snoke; Porgs; and droids BB-8; R2-D2; C-3PO; and K-2SO.

The droid stamps include design features that become visible only under a UV light. The style of the “1st” value on each of the stamps replicates the iconic font used for the films.

Each stamp also features a scene created by Tween especially for the stamps that includes the hero character as well as an iconic spaceship or vehicle. The stamps celebrate the British expertise behind the Star Wars films as each episode was made with a large British cast and crew.

Aliens are non-human species who live alongside humans, speaking either human languages or languages of their own. Many aliens have distinctive anatomies, from the tall, hair-covered Wookiees, such as Chewbacca, to the diminutively shaped, short-sighted Maz Kanata.

Droids are everywhere in the galaxy. First developed in the distant past, they assist humans and aliens in every way, from flying spaceships and providing power to spreading war and terror. Most droids speak only in electronic sounds to other droids and have their memory wiped when passed to a new owner. However, some droids escape memory wipes and can appear to develop personalities of their own and even form bonds with their owners.

Star Wars creator George Lucas envisioned the movie series from the start follow space-dwelling characters, their ancestors and descendants in a series of three triologies.  The final film in the original set of trilogies, simply called Episode IX for now, is due to be released in 2019.