Posti (the main Finnish postal service) has just announced the new stunning stamps for 2020! There is a colorful surprise among them – Napa Agency’s awesome illustrator Samuli Siirala has illustrated the “Colors of Friendship” stamp booklet, and it’s going to be released just before the Valentine’s Day, on January 22nd!

The stamp year begins with the cheerful and colorful Valentine’s Day stamps designed by Samuli Siirala that present the shared moments, joys and memories of a friendship over the years. Siirala has made the retro-style illustrations of the stamps look like they would belong on a poster by removing details. “The Colors of Friendship” stamp booklet contains six different domestic no-value indicator stamp designs.

Samuli Siirala is a versatile and experienced illustrator who is used to editorial illustration commissions, as well as advertising campaigns & food packaging labels. “The Colors of Friendship” is his first postage stamp illustration project. Designing for such a special format was a new & welcomed challenge for him. The small size of the final artworks also influenced the choice of illustration style:

“I chose the style partly because of the technical framework and partly because of my own preferences: due to the small size of the stamps, I had to minimize the details, but at the same time I was able to make the pictures more poster-like and the scale larger. There is also a dash of retro, which is very typical to my illustrations.”

In Finland, the Valentine’s Day is mainly celebrated as a Friendship Day. This illustration was a very pleasant commission for Samuli because the friendship theme has always been a key theme in his career:

Friendship is an extraordinarily beautiful phenomenon: people want to stay together without the strong bonds that come with a romantic relationship, but just because they enjoy each other’s company. At best, friendships last from early childhood to old age. The same people who play with each other as kids are a support and a joy to each other throughout their lives – sometimes even more closely than their own siblings or parents.

For these stamp illustrations, I was looking for different types of friendships and people tied together for different reasons. I also tried to bring along some of the most typical Finnish events and phenomena. I wanted to show how a grandparent’s relationship with a grandchild can re-open the gate to their own childlike enthusiasm. I wanted to include subcultures because they often create strong bonds between people and also serve as shelters. Most of all I wanted these stamps to convey the mutual acceptance of the friends.”

Napa Agency congratulates Samuli for his first stamp illustrations!

We can’t wait for February, to surprise our closest ones with the Valentine’s Day greetings accompanied with these colorful friendship stamps!

Click to Samuli’s portfolio to get blown away by his talent.

Samuli Siirala