Archive for the '2000-04' Category

cat’s shoulder / 猫の背中

January 30, 2018

13 February 2001, United Kingdom
Cats & Dogs
photographer: Henri Cartier-Bresson ( 1908-2004 )
design: Johnson Banks

With photography it is possible to capture a moment – yes that is why we cannot stop taking snaps.  Somehow Black & White shows a frozen moment clearer, I think.


Watch out for the dog / 犬に注意

January 21, 2018

13 February 2001, United Kingdom
Cats & Dogs
photographer: Richard Kalvar ( born 1944 )
design: Johnson Banks

My second stamp in the year of the dog is – a cat, sitting on a gate door.  Black & White photographs are not often used for stamps, but this series works nicely on colourful envelopes.


Happy New Year 2018 / 新年おめでとうございます

January 7, 2018

13 February 2001, United Kingdom
Cats & Dogs
photographer: Elliott Erwitt ( born 1928 )
design: Johnson Banks

I wish you all a happy new year in 2018!
The world is still in chaos – but let’s carry on our own creative year.

The Dog is the animal of the year in the Eastern zodiac – then I found that I have very few dog stamps.  Well, this one suits to the new year greetings the best…



hand and tool 3 / 手と道具 3

March 13, 2017

5 September 2000, United Kingdom
Mind and Matter / Millennium projects
design:  The Post Office

Only 31 years since the last featured stamp “hand and tool 2” – one of many Millennium stamps was showing the latest tool at that time, and an operating hand in X-ray photo.

Well, it is a bit old-fashioned shape of mouse with wire ( ooops, already 17 years ago! ), but it was less than a decade since the mouse became a common tool for many industries.

ひとつ前のポストで紹介した『手と道具 2』から31年経った2000年に、ミレニアム記念としてたくさん発行された切手のひとつがこの手とマウスのレントゲン写真でした。


toys / 玩具

January 26, 2016


18 September 2003, United Kingdom
Classic Transport Toys
designed by Trickett & Webb

I wrote that I don’t like stamps of photographed toys….. and then I found these British stamps!  They are good – delivering an evocative feeling of vintage toys.  What makes them different then? Maybe the simplicity of a white background and the braveness of adding nothing behind the object.  For example, these Swiss stamps or these Bosnia and Herzegovina – are not bad, but not cool.  This Liechtenstein set is funny and my favourite.

Once I saw a collection of Meccano used in the design development process in a design studio.  It’s a wonderful system, good enough to examine how a real product works!




retro kawaii / レトロかわいい

June 25, 2015


15 May 2001, United Kingdom
150th Anniversary of First Double-Decker Bus
design: Consignia plc

Somehow British stamps like to show objects or faces from the straight front.  I think this is brave to illustrate buses from the front – they are normally depicted their character of the long side views.  As a result of these stamps, you notice that some buses have kawaii faces…

But not all of them are kawaii, in fact – it is very personal opinion, maybe, but the ones in a stamp below are not cute.  To compare to those industrialised faces, very recent bus designed by Thomas Heatherwick is, in a way, kawaii.  What is the decisive point?  Round, low and distanced eyes??

Oh, and as you might notice, that this series are printed in one long band of 16 front faces.  Click the bottom image to enlarge.






Printing revolution / 印刷革命

February 26, 2015


17 February 2000, Germany
600th birthday of Johannes Gutenberg
design: Regina & P. Steiner

The hand carved woodblock print was born in China, and in the 15th century in Europe, metal letter press was invented and that made the printing culture wide spread.

This stamp is celebrating the inventor’s birthday of 600 years ago – well, he is responsible for many areas of later development, such as publication, education and yes of course, typography.

The letters from 600 years ago were quite a bit different in written manner, by the way.





season of red wine / 赤ワインの季節

September 22, 2014


26 February 2000, Argentina

In autumn, somehow I want to drink Red wine rather than summery White wine.  So, I feel that I am in autumn season, today.

I met a very nice designer/artist couple from Argentina this summer in France – OK in their country the season is now spring, but here in Europe I think about harvest of grapes.

Well designed stamps with rhythmically placed circles, to tell us their passion on wine – I wish to visit in the near future.




design-it-yourself / オリジナルを作る切手

October 7, 2013


25 March 2003, United Kingdom
Design-It-Yourself ‘Fruit and Vegetables’
designer: Johnson Banks
photographer: Kevin Summers


I am not a fan of self-adhesive stamps normally, but for this set it is appropriate and a great joy to have a lots of sticker parts to choose from.

The only one restriction is not to hide the Queen’s silhouette and 1st class value.  So, the results are my designs, except Mr. Potato, which was one of the examples by the designer.

In 2010 Finland issued a bad copied version of this series – not as cool as this British original design.  What’s going on at the Finnish Post??


「Design-It-Yourself 」というテーマでシール切手に付属して顔や帽子などのパーツのシールを足してオリジナルな切手を作るシリーズです。女王の肖像とファーストクラスの額面を隠さないよう、という注意書きつき。



communication tools / 通信ツール

March 6, 2013


2000 Korea
‘Cyber Korea 21 Century’

It was three months ago, on 3 December 2012 – the morning radio program was interviewing a man, a former researcher for Vodafone, who had sent the world’s first text message to a mobile phone in 1992.  The program was celebrating the 20th birthday of SMS.

This stamp shows the communication tools in 2000.  After only 13 years, we rarely see this type of telephone handset these days, handle CD format data less and less, and also the mouse has evolved.  The appearance of physical products don’t stay long, but “@” has been surviving well and we will keep it for a while.. won’t we?



microphone and TV / マイクとテレビ機器

September 29, 2012

15 November 2001, Japan
50th Anniversary of Private Commercial Broadcasting
design: Akira Tamaki

In the early times of TV news broadcasting, the microphone was prominent – although news-readers are no longer talking to microphone these days, it being hidden or at least discreet.

I like this almost stoic stamp showing early TV equipment, together with the shape of a TV screen in the three primary colours, and the old style ending title of a program.  In my memory this shape of TV screen is familiar, but current TVs are all rectangular with a lot more width than height – cinema proportions, almost.




Bravo Wiggo / 初の英国人ツール勝者

July 24, 2012

16 July 2002, UK
17th Commonwealth Games, Manchester
design: Madelaine Bennett

Bradley Wiggins has become the first British winner in the history of the Tour de France.  It was really exciting to watch him winning the individual time trial stage on day 19 – even when he knew he was the winner of the Tour, he did not stop pushing his bike faster!

This stamp is showing the Team pursuit, in which Wiggins won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, held at his home ground of the Manchester Velodrome.  I am just imagining one of the three racers might be Wiggo.  His career was built step by step since that time, adding mountain climbing skills on top of his talent in the time trial – a sport of solitary effort.  After all of those endless trainings, team work and physical and psychological support, he has been drawn as a Bicycle Saint by howies!


この切手で使われているのはウィギンズが頭角をあらわし始めた約10年前の団体追抜競技( Team pursuit )の写真です。2002年コモンウェルスゲームズで英国は銀メダルを穫ったので、写っている選手の一人がウィギンズだったとしても不思議はないです。もともとトラック競技のタイムトライアルに強かったウィギンスは、ロードレースに必要な坂道でのスキルを少しずつ身につけ、チームメートに助けられ、32歳にしてツールの勝者となりhowiesのTシャツではとうとう聖人に!

oxidized silver love / いぶし銀の♡

February 13, 2012

*exch. 053 ( one mint only )

6 February 2001, United Kingdom
design: Springpoint Design

Since I arrived to Tokyo last week, I have been seeing a lot of ‘hearts’ floating in window displays, on greeting cards, balloons attached to temporary chocolate stands – yes, St. Valentine’s Day! Here in Japan, 14 February is a big day, when women are able to express their love to men with a package of chocolate.  In fact, a lot of little ribboned boxes are given to male colleagues, male teachers, fathers, grandfathers and even sons.

I admit that those bubbly hearts cheer up this cold winter towns, and also make you to think about delivering your love.  But I think that love can be expressed every day, not necessarily with floating pink hearts, but with something subtle and blended into your daily life – something like in this oxidized silver.

This is my favourite set with hallmark letters on sliver and nice patina.

*exch. 054
*exch. 055 ( one mint only )
*exch. 056 ( one mint only )





spaceship interior / 宇宙船内部

November 1, 2011


4 November 2004, Belgium
Explorers on the Moon‘ by Hergé, 1954

I like this interior colour – Hergé must have been influenced by his contemporary designers, such as Jean Prouvé.  Design details for light weight structures and round corners of drawers, dots on the floor… they all are reflecting the atmosphere of that time.

Why do I categorise this in ‘kawaii/cute’? – the back view of Snowy… his skinny neck is so cute!



Tintin 3D / 立体タンタン

October 30, 2011


4 November 2004, Belgium
clay figure, sketch and illustration by Hergé (1907-1983)

In fact Hergé worked on 3D films and made clay figures for ‘Destination Moon‘ in 1953 and ‘Explorers on the Moon‘ in 1954.  The sketch shows his detailed design for that evocative Red & White checkered spaceship.

Then the Belgium post released a set of stamps which shows his Black & White stop motion animated film of 1947, based on his illustrated book of ‘The Crab with the Golden Claws‘ of 1941.

So – it’s not hard to think that he imagined quite a detailed ’real’ version when Spielberg told him his ideas about filming Tintin.  Was the concept of digital 3D indicated at that time already?





run to a cinema? / タンタン3D?

October 25, 2011


11 March 2000, France
Tintin and Snowy
illustration by Georges Rémi ‘Hergé’

Yesterday and today are the world premiere of ‘The Adventure of Tintin – 3D‘ – the movie is shown in the cinema from tomorrow.  I watched YouTube clip of the trailer, also the channel 4 feature… well, rushing to a cinema?  Ummm… I realised that I am a fan of those distinctive black line drawings and well-chosen colour compositions.  I am not sure if I am keen to watch the 3D.  Is it a too conservative opinion?  Should it be good because it is directed by Steven Spielberg?

昨日と今日がワールド・プレミアで、明日から公開される『The Adventure of Tintin – 3D』。さて、映画館に走るべきなのか?トレイラーとチャンネル4のニュースまで観たけれど、スティーブン・スピルバーグがタンタンを「ティンティン」と発音するのにいちいちひっかかって困りました。タンタンだもん!そして気付いたのです。わたしはあの黒い線描とマットな着色が大好き!ということに。3Dなぁ、、、こんな困惑は保守的すぎますか?

coastlines 2 / 海岸線 2

April 22, 2011

19 March 2002, UK
Photography: Richard Cooke

Another five stamps complete the set.  Again, a variety of coastlines are shown – characteristic chalk cliffs, sunbathing people on beach, beach huts lined up, sailing boats, and a coast road alongside old mining industry.

Although I am not a great fan of stamps with photography, I have to admit photoraphy has the power to stop a moment and show us documentary fact.



coastlines / 海岸線

April 17, 2011

19 March 2002, UK
Photography: Richard Cooke

Coastlines are cultural interfaces between ‘native’ and ‘overseas’.  This set of stamps with aerial photos around the British Isles are showing geographical fact and the lives of people, who protected their land from invaders, the ports for importers and fishermen to bring food, as well as the farmers working on flat land.

This series of satellite photos from the New York Times show us that the Tsunami has taken thousands of lives from the East coast of North Japan, and had destroyed history and culture alongside a long section of the coastline.



hazardous? / 体に害?

February 15, 2011


2000 Israel

Finally, the power of the people removed the Egyptian President.  Israel, which is sharing a border with Egypt is concerned about the future of its neighbouring countries.

This stamp was issued 11 years ago, not concerning the communication and networking which mobile phones are offering now, which are contributing towards change, but rather the so-called ‘micro wave effect’ to your brain, I guess.  It was discussed for a while, but we all forgot about it by now, didn’t we?



under 60 / 60歳以下

April 26, 2010


2001 Italy

2 stamps from a set of 6 – well, I though I wouldn’t show them here… but I found name of Patricia Urquiola on one of them.  This year she had released projects from several companies and most of them in high quality, and she is under 60 years old!  First stamp features a shelving system for Edra, which she took part in at Piero Lissoni’s office.  Second stamp features Bombo, designed by Stefano Giovannoni for Magis, which was and still is one of the most popular bar stools.  And he is under 60, too.

Maybe, the failuer of stamp design comes from photos, which feature objects as furniture catalogues do.  This set of British Design Classics is beautiful, as stamp designer puts priority on composition on stamps and not showing objects in normal way.