This spring, Canada Post issues the final four stamps in the 12-part Signs of the Zodiac series, which began with Aries in spring 2011.
As with the stamps issued in 2011 and 2012, this issue was also designed by Paprika Design of Montréal. According to Creative Director Louis Gagnon, “We are proud of having designed this series and put a great deal of effort into all the aspects of the stamp issue – the OFDCs, the souvenir sheets, the booklet covers. Our goal was to emphasize the visual elements of each stamp and create a sense of surprise within the continuity of the series. We are confident that our work here has a timelessness and will continue to appear fresh and innovative over the years.”
The stamps, each printed in the vivid colours traditionally associated with their respective sky sign, feature a layering of astrological symbolism and a highly stylized representation of each constellation. This colour scheme and adherence to the symbolic language used for ages to map the night sky is also prevalent in the Official First Day Covers. Now with all 12 covers released, collectors of the entire series will be able to form a complete horoscope wheel by placing the covers side by side in a circle.
According to Stamp Design Manager Alain Leduc, astrology borrows from myths to explain personality quirks. It made the night sky much less foreboding to our ancient relatives and provided an early means of noting the passing of time and the seasons. It was a way of bringing order to the chaos of the natural and astronomical world.
“This is what we have tried to do with these stamps – to incorporate the traditional imagery and colours, to layer in the star charts and natural phenomena of the sky, to bring both the real and the fantastic together in the design – which echoes how astrology merges myth with actual constellations.”
Leduc continues, “Paprika created a grand scheme to this entire issue – every piece was planned to work with the others, to create an integrated issue that when brought together, would form a larger, more interesting view. It’s a view of the big picture, which you need when you’re looking at the universe.”
2011 – Constelation series I
Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Lyra, Aquila, Cygnus, Hercules, Ophiuchus and Serpens, Delphinus, Uotsuriboshi
2012 – Constellation series I
Capricornus, Aquariues, Pisces, Cassiopeia, Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus, Cepheus, Cetus, Ikariboshi
In celebration of Britain’s contributions to space discovery and exploration, Royal Mail is issuing a set of six special stamps to mark the 50th anniversary of Britain’s first launch into the final frontier.
Britain joined the space age with the launch of Ariel 1 on 26 April 1962. Since then, much of the UK’s space exploration has been performed through the European Space Agency (ESA). It is from missions conducted by the ESA that all six of the stunning images featured in the Space Science stamp issue are taken. They include the cavernous craters of Mars (77p), the beautiful rings of Saturn (£1.28) and the burning intensity of our closest star, the Sun (1st class).
Also featured in the stamp set are images of the Lutetia asteroid (77p), Saturn’s largest moon, Titan (£1.28) and our planetary neighbour, Venus (1st Class), bringing the planets, stars and satellites we gaze up at each night, right onto our doorsteps in vivid beauty.
For centuries, astronomers have studied the planets and moons of the solar system with telescopes firmly fixed on planet earth. Since the beginning of the space age, spacecraft have become windows to distant worlds and bringing the far reaches of our solar system into focus. These investigations have provided mystery and beauty allowing comparisons between Earth and other planets that orbit the sun.