May 16

Stamps in packaging

Posted by Packaging Sense in Advertising | Bottles | Design | Uncategorized

No doubt my main hobby became my profession when I selected packaging way back in the 1950ies! My other hobbies are:

  • table tennis
  • jazz
  • calligraphy
  • stamps
  • photography

Collecting stamps is an obvious hobby as I love to write and thus need stamps to send off my letters from wherever I am on this earth. By buying stamps in various post offices (there are not many left!) it struck me how related stamp design is a reflection of the general design level of a country.

It is not by chance that the most attractive stamps come from countries in which one can find a high design level. Those countries are for instance Canada, USA, UK, Sweden, Australia. There are of course countries which have specialized themselves on issuing stamps as a business. Such a country is Liechtenstein, but the design, although of high quality, is very traditional.

I am looking for stamps that inspire and here Germany and the Netherlands come quite high up on my list, as well as an ‘emerging market’ as China. Hong Kong having been a British colony has obviously been inspired by the high British level with the gold embossed queen to give it a very special look. My native Sweden is especially great with highly stylized, refined engravings which please a calligrapher as me.

May be I should add that, as a stamp collector, one has a tendency to choose a special theme in order to reduce and focus on one’s passion. In my case I have collected all table tennis and most jazz stamps.

Do stamps appear on packages? Yes, especially in two product categories: tea and coffee, as well as wines (Australia). One of the most interesting wine labels I ever came across is a Portuguese Douro wine sold in Germany which has a label divided into 13 ‘stamps’ all highly interesting to read.

It is surprising to note that when people write fewer letters and post offices close down, postal services in many countries continue to issue great stamps. I am happy to see this as one of the most difficult jobs a graphic designer has is to develop a great idea on a small surface… well, in a similar way to package design!

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