Ten objects associated with our country are portrayed on the stamps. The ten images are a Frisian flat-bottomed boat, a smockmill (windmill), a piece of Gouda cheese, a farmer's clog, a step-gable from Amsterdam, a delftware kissing pair, a bicycle, a tulip, a cow (Holstein-Frisian) and a Frisian ice-skate. Five of the icons – the bicycle, the windmill, the step-gable, the cow and the tulip – recur on the Dutch Icons International stamp sheetlet.
The stamps were developed by graphic designer Joachim Baan and concept developer Fleur Dérogée. They portrayed the icons as though made with a 3D printer. "We depicted the images as iconically as possible, concentrating purely on form and leaving out all colour and frills. The use of blue-coloured areas created a kind of display case to embed the objects in which the icons are displayed, like in a museum. Yet we also wanted to show each icon in its own environment. That’s why there is an extra graphic layer, with ice crystals around the ice-skate, water with the sailing ship and the form of stretchers at the cheese market," said Joachim Baan.
The print run of the basic range stamps is high and runs into the millions. According to Dérogée this gave an extra dimension to the contract to design the stamps: "The sheetlets are PostNL's business card, and PostNL has a new design made regularly so that the basic range always reflects the spirit of the times. That's why we found this assignment to design these stamps so prestigious."
The stamps will be available at PostNL post offices, postkantoor.nl and www.collectclub.nl. The stamps are valid until further notice. These stamps are marked 'Nederland 1' or International and are intended respectively for domestic mail and international mail items up to 20g. As of 1 January 2014, the stamps Europe and Rest of World have been combined into the stamp International. The stamps marked International stamps are suitable for all destinations abroad.
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