Archive for the '-print: emboss' Category

jump over a hurdle / ハードルを越えた

December 29, 2014


15 June 1960, Poland
Olympic Games, Rome
design: S. Malecki

This year has passed very fast – OK, this is a fact that each year passes faster than the previous one!  And at least I feel that I have jumped over a hurdle and am getting back to normal.

I like the graceful design of this Polish stamp – do you notice the embossed figure other the horse and rider?  But I was puzzled by the mention of Berlin 1936 here… then I found out that the rider was one of the Polish successes in the previous notorious Olympic Games of that year.



large almond / 巨大アーモンド切手

October 28, 2013

1970 Sierra Leone

Another set of stamps with unusual shape – they are big, L= 4.4 cm and W= 3.2 cm.  They are embossed, as the paper is thicker for self-adhesive type and the back-up layer gives a good impression during the pressing, I guess.  They have strong visual impact.

When these unique stamps were made, Sierra Leone was in short time peace, between political disputes.



embossed Machin / エンボスの女王

December 24, 2011

16 February 1999, UK
‘Profile on Print’ booklet
embossed by Walsall Security Printers
based on original design by Arnold Machin

Can you not see the Queen?  Please click the image larger.

When the first Penny Black was introduced in 1840, the post office must have sold them a lot and made a fortune – the second printing method they introduced after intaglio, in 1847, was the rather costly technique of embossing.

This embossed Machin was made to celebrate those rare ( and now expensive ) achievements of 1847-1854 high value definitives.  The die for the press was based on the original Machin cast.

Taking photos of this stamp was not easy!  Different light creates a diversity of expression in the Queen’s face.  One looks more prominent of relief but shows an anxious face, another is paler but with a noble atmosphere.  I experienced some of the difficulties of the team who took the photo for the Machin stamps in 1967.





prayer for peace / 平和の祈り

August 6, 2011

16 May 1995, Switzerland
Europa: Peace and Freedom
design: Hans Erni / embossed

66 years ago today, the first Atomic Bomb destroyed the city of Hiroshima and killed about 140 thousand people over the course of several months.  My family lived on the edge of the city in the shadow of a little hill and they were lucky to survive, but had to witness a huge number of tragic deaths.

I wanted to celebrate the anti nuclear power demonstration today in Japan, but it is unfortunate that it ended with several arrests in Tokyo.  In London today, 3 kilometers away from my studio, in Tottenham, there was a riot where a bus and a block of buildings were set on fire, and shops were looted.  We need love and peace, not violence and armed interventions…

p.s. The author of Europa stamps has told me about the designer of this stamp, Hans Erni.  He is now 102 years old and is still painting everyday!  How wonderful it is and his stamp designs.  I do love this subtle expression of peace and its sincere atmosphere – his background as an activist tells us about it.



追記:Eurpa stampsのユルゲンより、このデザイナーのことを教えてもらいました。この平和を願う真摯な雰囲気は、102歳の今も絵を描いている彼の政治的な活動家としての歴史を現しているようです。

what a stamp design can do / 切手で伝えられること

December 5, 2009

2006 Germany
200 years of Blind School & 150 years of Nikolaus Care Foundation

2008 Germany
100 years of Christoffel-Blindenmission

Two years apart of issuing, I am sure they are done by one designer.  The feature of stamps are both related to care for blind people.  For me, those are the finest examples of computer aided design of contemporary stamps – simple, clear to express the theme and they talk to our emotion.


City for all/ すべての市民のための

May 3, 2009

5 October 1990 Denmark
Fredericia / City for All
design: K. Bassford
engrave: A. Kühlmann
Intaglio and embossed

A neat graphic and Braille express accessibility of Fredericia,  a town in the eastern part of the Jutland peninsula in Denmark.