On 1 August five new stamps will be issued by NZ Post celebrating the possibilities of a predator free future. For the design team at NZ Post, it’s quite a departure from the usual subject matter of stamp issues.
“The majority of our stamp issues look at culture, history, heritage and people,” explains Simon Allison, Head of Stamps and Coins at NZ Post. “There’s a lot of history. Those stories are easy to tell because we have the images. The challenge with this stamp issue is, what will it look like in 2050? Who knows?”
This is the first time NZ Post has taken on a futuristic topic and with a theme of ‘Imagine’ this special stamp issue looks at what New Zealand life might look like 30-odd years from now. Robot lawnmowers, futuristic housing, driverless cars, lots of cyclists and a whole lot of wildlife living all around us are some of the images that artist Stephen Fuller and the NZ Post design team have come up with.
“It’ll be interesting to see how customers engage with and respond to the stamps,” says Simon. “When the Predator Free 2050 (PF2050) issue was suggested, we really liked the idea. There’s a lot of public awareness of PF2050, so a stamp issue makes sense. It’s a great initiative.”
There are five stamps in the issue, two $1.20, $2.40, $3.00 and $3.60. They’ve been printed by Southern Colour Print in Dunedin and will be available in PostShops across New Zealand from 1 August 2018.
“We print several hundred thousand stamps – enough to supply the PostShops for 4-6 weeks,” says Simon. “They’ll also be available in a special presentation pack and can be ordered online.”
NZ Post has worked with the conservation organisations, including PFNZ Trust, to create this stamp issue.
“The design process is part science and part art,” Simon explains. “Once we’ve worked out an idea, we research it, come up with a concept and engage a designer to submit designs on the theme. Sometimes the designers are subject matter experts and we also have our own designers in the team. And just as important as the visual design of the stamps is the story we tell behind them.”
It’s a process that takes around nine months, from the initial thematic idea, through to production and delivery to market.
“The challenge with this issue is that we wanted to look forward,” says Simon, “So we talked to the key stakeholders and asked, ‘are we telling the story that we want people to know and understand?’”
Simon expects there may be some people out there who will say ‘you wouldn’t see that animal in that environment.
“That’s what Predator Free 2050 is all about,” he says. “It will be very different from now – so maybe those wildlife species will be seen in those environments in the future. We love people talking about our stamps and commenting on NZ Post’s social media,” he adds. “We take all feedback on board and use it in other stamp issues.”
So check out the new Predator Free 2050 stamps. We – and Simon – are keen to hear what you think. But don’t leave it too long. They’ll likely be sold out (extinct!) by some time mid-September.
“Pre-orders have been very popular,” says Simon. “The stamps are a great medium to convey the message of what Predator Free 2050 is about.”
Stamps can be purchased at your local PostShop or online.