VANCOUVER—When it came to designing a stamp celebrating Canada’s ecosystems, Subplot Design in Vancouver could see the forest for the trees.
The challenge was to create a stamp to celebrate the UN’s International Year of Forests; in this case, Canadian forests were the focus, said Roy White at Subplot, one of the companies invited by Canada Post to deliver a design concept.
“Each design company comes up with a creative concept, and those concepts are presented anonymously to a SAC (Stamp Advisory Committee),” he explained, noting the committee comprises around 50 people “ranging from politicians, people in the local community, people from arts and culture. They anonymously vote.”
The goal of Subplot was to capture the forest scene from top to bottom, he explained.
“We wanted to encapsulate the entire ecosystem, so rather than doing a panoramic from left to right, we wanted to do a vertical panoramic that got in the forest floor, the mid-forest and up through the forest canopy that showed the entire forest instead of just a bunch of trees,” said White, creative director and partner at Subplot.
The stamp is a two-pane design measuring 30 by 40 mm (vertical), with both stamps together making up the entire forest scene.
The main stamp image was created by Anthony Redpath Photography, combining more than 30 photos of forests in North Vancouver. Three “nocturnal animals” are printed in ink only visible under black light.
The design guidelines were mostly open-ended, said White, although there were some constraints when it came to choosing a font, he added.
“The actual design process is more about readability at that kind of size as well, bearing in mind it is going onto a full-colour background,” he explained. “Canada Post is also fairly specific about not having fonts that are too floral and decorative, obviously because of readability.”
The chosen serif font for the stamp is PMN Caecilia.
Simplicity was in mind during the design process, with “minimal writing and animal silhouettes to help tell the story of animal life at all the layers of the forest,” states a news release from Subplot.
The stamp was made available to the public on April 22, timed with Earth Day celebrations.
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