Bicycle stamps with Droste effect

The Hague, 17 August 2020 - The bicycle is our country’s national mode of transport. The ‘steel steed’ has served cyclists for over 200 years, taking us wherever we wish to go. As a tribute to the bicycle, and in particular bicycle parts, PostNL is issuing six new stamps.

The Bicycle stamps published today feature fragments of bicycle parts in their actual size: a reflector, a bicycle frame, handlebars, a bicycle bell, an outer tyre and an inner tyre. All of the photos are positioned on the stamps at an angle of 6 degrees, within a frame with the same perforation as classical stamps.

The Netherlands: cycling country

The figures show that the Netherlands is a cycling country. Our country can count 22.8 million bicycles, of which 2.1 million are electric. With these bicycles, we travel around 17.4 billion kilometres per year. Even our speed has been recorded: an average of 15.6km per hour. Our intensive bicycle use also influences how public space is configured, with separate traffic lights for cyclists, public parking facilities and roughly 37,000km of cycle lanes. Drivers from all over the world come to examine our cycling infrastructure, especially now that the bicycle is increasingly seen as a fast, healthy alternative to cars and public transport.

Cut out stamps

The Bicycle stamps were designed by Sander Plug from Amsterdam. In his design, he shows how a 1.5m x 1m bicycle can be positioned on a 36mm x 25mm stamp. Plug achieved this by literally cutting stamps out of bicycle parts. ‘What you see on the stamps is almost the same as the cut out fragments. Some of the colours have been slightly edited to enhance the contrast, but that's all. I wanted to make it as easy as possible to identify the bicycle parts.’

Perforations throughout

Each fragment of a bicycle part was photographed in full size and placed on a real postage stamp measuring 36mm x 25mm. This was how each fragment ended up on a bicycle stamp. ‘The whole stamp sheet itself also looks like a stamp, thanks to the perforation around it,’ says Plug.


The ‘Bicycle stamps' sheet contains six stamps, all marked with Nederland 1, the denomination for post weighing up to 20g destined for the Netherlands. The stamps are available as of 17 August from Bruna shops and online at The stamps can also be ordered by phone from the Collect Club customer service on +31 (0)88 - 868 99 00. The validity period is indefinite.