Post Stamps: the Japanese postal service has begun to change. But how will postage stamps evolve?

Post Stamps: the Japanese postal service has begun to change. But how will postage stamps evolve?

More Details in Japanese


Over 160 years have passed since the first postage stamp was issued. Today, we can send mail not only by dropping it into a mailbox with a stamp on it but also in various other ways. In addition to letters and postcards, E-mail now plays an important role in written communication. Even so, there are still people who choose postage stamps one by one to put on their letters, and recently, they have been increasing in number. If postage stamps were merely a tool necessary to send mails, it would not be necessary to have so many different postage stamps and designs. Postage stamps do not only function for their original purpose. They have emotional value in that they convey the feelings of the senders. Postage stamps continue to attract many people.
Postal services have begun to change after they were privatized. How will the designs of postage stamps evolve?
Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA), which has held a series of informational poster exhibitions displaying posters voluntarily created by the member graphic designers on the themes such as “peace” and “environment”, has turned its attention this time to the tiny graphics of postage stamps. While paying respect to the large number of beautiful postage stamps that have been issued in the past, 200 associate members of JAGDA joined in a challenge of designing new postage stamps.
Although they were under stricter legal and technical restrictions compared to past exhibitions, the participating designers created tiny graphic designs that convey new emotions and are impressive and uniquely beautiful postage stamps.
We would like to express special thanks to Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., Takeo Co., Ltd. and the other sponsor companies for their understanding of the purpose of this exhibition and their tremendous cooperation. Also, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Postage Stamp Design Office and all the staff at Japan Post (currently Japan Post Service Co., Ltd.) for their kind advice concerning the presentation of this exhibition.
(Preface from the catalogue)

1. Regular Postage Stamps by 22 designers
Japanese postage stamps are roughly classified into two categories: regular postage stamps and special postage stamps (commemorative postage stamps and series postage stamps are included in the category of special postage stamps). Currently, regular postage stamps are issued and sold in Japan in 22 different denominations from 1 yen to 1,000 yen. For this exhibition, 22 designers have each designed a new regular postage stamp for each denomination.


2. Themed Postage Stamps by 208 designers
Each designer chose themes of their own, upon which they designed original stamps. Although in reality the category “themed postage stamps” does not exist, we chose to name these postage stamps “themed postage stamps” as they are designed on the themes chosen more freely than those of commemorative or series postage stamps.

Size: A4/152 pages
Number of designs included: 230
Book design: Shinichi Sekine
Year of publication: 2007

Price: 3,000 yen

Availability: Out of Stock

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