The maple leaf flutters in the breeze, standing guard over some of the most picturesque places in the country. Canada Post's familiar flag definitive is a classic design that doesn't need improvement. For the 2006 postal rate change, another set of domestic rate (51¢) stamps features the flag flying once again from its virtual pole, now draping its colours over five new images depicting scenic locations across Canada.
The simplicity of the flag stamp design is deceptive, notes Doreen Colonello of Toronto's Gottschalk+Ash International, who created this year's variations on the theme. "It's not easy to assemble these stamp images, because there's a lot of visual content that has to work on a very small scale," she says. "We tried to choose simple, iconic scenes. It's important to be succinct, because we want people to get the images at first glance."
Colonello began with a list of locations selected by Canada Post. "Throughout this stamp series, we've tried to portray as many different parts of the country as possible," says Liz Wong, Manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post. "These locations hadn't yet been featured in the series, and they represent a balance of regions, suggesting the diversity found across the country."
The new stamps show a winter scene near New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island; the Bridge at Bouctouche, New Brunswick; wind turbines at Pincher Creek, Alberta; the southwest bastion at the Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site in Manitoba; and a dogsled in the Yukon's St. Elias mountain range.
Working with stock photographs, Colonello previewed a wide range of shots before making final selections. "For each stamp image we had to ensure the flag and fixed typographic elements stand out, but are still integrated naturally into the landscape image, so the scene works as a whole," she says. "For example, to ensure the legibility of the word Canada, we needed photos with some simplicity in the foreground."
As it happens, the colours in these five images share a palette that's distinctly cooler than last year's stamps. There's a predominance of blue tones this year, from the icy grey-blues of mountains and snowscapes to a range of sky blues and deep indigo water. "We hoped to suggest the strong relationship Canadians have with nature, from our interest in environmentally friendly resources, such as wind turbines, to our historical connection with animals, like the dogsled team," says Colonello.
The stamps are self-adhesive and available in booklets of ten, designed to help Canadians celebrate their country all year long.