Archive for the '2000s' Category

What they eat

March 2, 2021


11 January 2005, United Kingdom
Farm Animals
illustration: Chris Wormell / design: Rose Design

Buttergate: Why are Canadians complaining about hard butter? – is an interesting topic about how food chain, environment and our everyday life are connected. Palm oil, one of the causes of massive deforestation, is given to cows more, to produce more milk under the pressure of recent shortage. And it is not only in Canada where cows are eating supplement with palm oil. Here in the UK, researchers are measuring cows burp to find out better formula to feed them, to reduce large source of methane. Already some researches show seaweeds might be the cure for the earth. It has started, but still long way to regulate it and spread to the rest of the world, I think.


plant motif

December 28, 2020


2003, Turkey

The shapes in the four corners remind me of the seed dispersal mechanism which forms after Geranium flowers. And the centre figure is a flower… or maybe a cross?


festive pattern

December 28, 2020


2003 Turkey

Another Turkish stamp, which looks almost like the pattern of a wrought iron gate. I feel this design has cheerful mind, celebrating something – opening a gate to get out from this year, maybe?



December 24, 2020


2003 Turkey

Not in familiar Christmas colours, also from Turkey where Christians account for less than 3% of the population – still, this stamp has something of the atmosphere of Christmas. Holly leaves and small fruits? Seasonal tree, anyway.

Have a peaceful Christmas. Here in the UK we are in tight lockdown – even so, we will celebrate it with a roast dinner.



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…



radio tower / ラジオ塔

April 24, 2017

23 September 2005, Sweden
Varberg Radio Station, Grimeton
designer: Hannu Jarvio / engraver: Piotr Naszarkowski

I really like the lattice towers.  They are designed purely for function – built as high as possible with  a minimum of materials, the wind passes through otherwise it would topple down in a storm.

This stamp is looking up at one of 6 transmitters at the radio station at Varberg in Sweden, built in 1922 to 1924.  Now it is classified as a World Heritage Site and opened to public on Alexanderson Day.



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。


hand and tool / 手と道具

February 26, 2017

2007San Marino001

20 April 2007, San Marino
Birth Centenary of Bruno Munari
design: Ilaria Montanari

One more design by Bruno Munari – description on stamp ‘attrezzo per vetrinista’ is translated to ‘window dresser’s tool’.  Window dresser?  Wikipedia told me that is window display professionals, includes young age of Giorgio Armani and Salvador Dali!

I wonder if Munari has invented this tool for them or refined existing tool for production… Anyone knows?

一つ前のポストで紹介したムナーリの記念切手の最後の一枚。印刷されている「attrezzo per vetrinista」を訳すと「ウィンドー・ドレッサーのための道具」。窓職人?と思ったら、店のウィンドーディスプレイを手がける人たちで、アルマーニやサルバドール・ダリが若い頃に「ヴェトリニスタ(良い響き)」だったと、ウィキぺディアが教えてくれました。


holding hand / 持つ手

February 22, 2017

2007San Marino004
2007San Marino002
2007San Marino003

20 April 2007, San Marino
Birth Centenary of Bruno Munari
design: Ilaria Montanari

Memorial stamps for the Italian designer Bruno Munari showing hands holding products he designed, and receiving the Compasso d’oro award.  Until I saw this stamp, I didn’t know the stylish and common hook-or-hold garage lamp which was designed by him.  He is known more for his beautiful illustrated books.  Using hands for these stamps pays a compliment to Munari’s book from 1963, named Supplement to the Italian dictionarya lot of photos to tell us how Italians use their hands in conversation.


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!




pink kawaii? / ピンクかわいい?

August 13, 2015

*exch. 067  ( limited number )

11 January 2006, Finland
St. Valentine’s Day

I am still thinking about kawaii/cute in stamps – how about colours?  OK, this is not only colour, but with a motif, of course.  Yet, is it still cute if not in pink?

I did not like the colour of pink for long time, since my low-teen until recently, because I though pink is representing girly flatter to gain anything better, which I was not equipped with.  I was reconciled with pink when I recognised that I am not called ‘girl’ any more.

Anyway, this stamp is simple and cute, and it delivers very strong message, anytime.




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.






kawaii〜 / かわいい〜

May 30, 2015


2005 Netherland
illustration: Dick Bruna

‘Kawaii’ is a Japanese word – maybe one of the first 5 vocabularies an oversea visitor leans from natives in Japan.  Together with animated film culture, among with young Anime fans all over the world, this word is becoming a common keyword of Japanese culture.

I used to have ‘kawaii’ category in this blog, but it covers so many diversities and gave up to nominate.  I want to look at this word again, as it might be more universal than I thought.

So, the first examples are not even stamps, but so kawaiiiiiiii (to emphasise your feeling, you stretch the last vowel) !  It is very easy to analyse why we feel so – our hidden infancy is recalled by these illustration.




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。



finally summer / やっと来た、夏

July 16, 2013

15 May 2007, United Kingdom
Beside the Seaside
design: Phelan Barker

Finally we have summer here in the UK for the last 7 days.  Blue sky! Ice cream!!  Our hydrangea has survived a long cold spring and is just starting to bloom now.

The negative side of summer here is; melting roads, steaming Underground and buses and expanded rails – all making our travels nasty…  I thought about beaches, but have not been there yet.



www. on stamps / 切手にHPアドレス

March 10, 2013

2008 & 2010, Croatia
‘Ana Rukavina Foundation’

After a stamp features @, here are a set from Croatia, which are showing URL of a National Humanitarian Campaign on leukaemia.  Ana Rukavina Foundation was made to raise awareness of bone marrow donations.  As Ana’s fight against the illness was known through the internet, it is appropriate to spread the information of this campaign via the www address.

I haven’t seen any other URL printed on stamps yet, but a few more have been issued, I imagine.

「@」の載った切手の次は、「www.」が印刷されている切手を。クロアチアで2006年に始まった、白血病患者を救う骨髄献血を呼びかけるキャンペーンの切手には、キャンペーンのロゴとHPが載っています。Ana Rukavinaのブログがきっかけで広まったこの活動をもっと多くの人に知らせるために、切手というメディアを使っていることが興味深いです。