Since 2005, the 'Beautiful Netherlands' stamp series has drawn attention to local history, cultural wealth and scenic beauty. This year's new series about the Dutch Frisian Islands was designed by Birza Design from Deventer.
Recognisable images of Schiermonnikoog
In the design of each of the five stamps of the 'Beautiful Netherlands 2019' assembled stamp sheetlet, the island shapes of the five islands plays the leading role. This is reflected in the island maps, which the designers have positioned in miniature on the stamps. Each of the five inhabited Dutch Frisian islands has its own stamp with a distinctive colour. In the background of each stamp there is a duotone landscape photo with a view of the lighthouse of the relevant island. Around it there are photos with typical and recognisable images of the island in question, usually with a nautical character. The typical island shape is also reflected in the design in other ways. For example, the font used for the captions is a 'stencil font', made up of elements that are separate from each other.
Friendly and pleasant
Almost all of the photographs used were taken during a working visit to the five islands by graphic designers Ingmar and Carla Birza in the sunny summer of 2018. Carla Birza explains how each island shows its own character. ‘Texel, for example, is very special from a landscape point of view. It’s a kind of mini Netherlands, with polders, a hill, bulb fields, meadows, forests, brook landscapes, farming villages and harbours. Vlieland's small scale is particularly striking, with its sheer abundance of nature. Terschelling, again, is the most vibrant of all of the islands. And the vast beaches are magnificent, of course.’ The centuries-old commander's houses were our best memory of Ameland, with a serene street screen. Finally, Schiermonnikoog, where friendliness is perhaps the most distinctive feature.’