19 april 2024

On Safari in the Netherlands (Deer / Rodents & Hares)

In 2024, PostNL will release a series of 8 personalised stamp sheets called On Safari in the Netherlands. The first 2 stamp sheets will be released on 26 March 2024 (featuring deer, rodents and hares). The other release dates this year are 25 June (cats and dogs, owls), 1 October (martens, waterfowl) and 19 November (hoofed animals, birds of prey). All stamp sheets are available for sale separately or as a subscription. PostNL will publish a ninth sheet, with a release date of 26 March, about the Big Five on the Dutch natural landscape. This stamp sheet is exclusively intended for subscribers to the complete series. They will receive this gift at the same time as their first order. All stamps have a value of 1 for mail up to 20 grams with a destination within the Netherlands. The stamps are designed by studio026 from Velp. The price for a sheet of 5 stamps is €5.45. A subscription for the complete series costs €43.60, including the stamp sheet about the Big Five.

Originally, the term ‘safari’ referred to a hunting expedition. The word comes from Swahili and literally means ‘long journey’. In Dutch and English, ‘safari’ mainly refers to tours in African wildlife parks, where tourists take pictures of big game. In the Netherlands, it is also possible to admire wildlife in their natural environment, for example in nature parks or in protected nature reserves accompanied by forest rangers or nature guides.

The stamp sheets in the On Safari in the Netherlands series feature the wild animals found in our country through a set of binoculars. There are 8 stamp sheets available, with animals from the deer, rodent, hare, dog, cat, owl, marten, waterfowl, hoofed animal and bird of prey families. PostNL will also release a ninth sheet as a gift for subscribers to the entire series. The stamps on this sheet are dedicated to the Big Five on the Dutch natural landscape.

PERSONALISED STAMPS
Every year PostNL releases a series of personalised stamps in addition to the official release programme. This is a flexible programme, although each release is based on a fixed format with a fixed number of personalised stamps. The stamps are exclusively available from the online store and customer service of Collect Club on 088 – 868 99 00.

  • Stamp sheet / Release date
    On Safari in the Netherlands Deer: 26 March 2024
    European fallow deer (female), European fallow deer (male), red deer (female), red deer (male), roe deer
  • On Safari in the Netherlands Rodents & Hares: 26 March 2024
    rabbit, beaver, hamster, hare, squirrel
  • On Safari in the Netherlands Cats & Dogs: 25 June 2024
    lynx, fox, common raccoon dog, wolf, European wildcat
  • On Safari in the Netherlands Owls: 25 June 2024
    Eurasian eagle-owl, little owl, tawny owl, barn owl, long-eared owl
  • On Safari in the Netherlands Martens: 1 October 2024
    European pine marten, badger, stoat, otter, European polecat
  • On Safari in the Netherlands Waterfowl: 1 October 2024
    white stork, grey heron, purple heron, common spoonbill, little egret
  • On Safari in the Netherlands Hoofed Animals: 19 November 2024
    Highland cow, Konik pony, wild boar, European bison, mouflon
  • On Safari in the Netherlands Birds of Prey: 19 November 2024
    red kite, Eurasian goshawk, white-tailed eagle, common kestrel, western marsh harrier
  • Gift for subscribers: On Safari in the Netherlands Big Five: 26 March 2024
    badger, roe deer, fox, wild boar, red deer

DESIGN
Each personalised stamp in the On Safari in the Netherlands series has two large circles to symbolise the view through a set of binoculars. This view covers most of the image area on the stamp. The view from the binoculars contains a zoomed-in photograph of a wild animal in its natural habitat. On the edge of the sheet you can an enlarged version of one of the photographs from the stamps. Outside the binocular view, there is an additional graphic layer in the background along the edge of the sheet featuring an interpretation of the animal’s camouflaged habitat. This print is designed with elements from the original photo. The photo at the sheet edge runs under the vertical strip of stamps, while the animal’s head is always to the right of the stamp strip. On both the stamp and the sheet edge, the lettering follows the curvature of the lens of the binoculars. On the top tab, a fragment of the graphic camouflage layer is repeated. On the bottom tab, you can find the product data (item number, designer and image source).

TYPOGRAPHY
The font for the value of 1 and ‘Nederland’ was created in 2018 by the font designer Martin Majoor from Arnhem. The typography on the stamps and the sheet edge is in Antique Olive (Roger Excoffon, 1962-1966, Fonderie Olive/URW Type Foundry). The typography on the bottom tab is in Akzidenz Grotesk (H. Berthold AG, 1896).

DESIGNER
Choice of animals
The series On Safari in the Netherlands is designed by Anne Schaufeli and Huub de Lang from studio026 in Velp. In preparing the design, they received help from specialists from Saxifraga (a network of European nature photographers) and the Zoogdiervereniging (an organisation for the study and protection of all wild mammals). “They aided us in our choice of animals,” says Anne Schaufeli. “The photos we used are also from them. The subject of this release is familiar to us. It’s practically inevitable as we live on the edge of the Veluwe which is a real paradise for wildlife in the Netherlands. We see everything from deer to boar and Konik ponies. Our village was once even visited by a wolf, so you don’t have to travel far to go on safari. There’s so much to see in the Netherlands.”

Binocular concept
When choosing the categories and the animals within the categories, the designers did not make any snap decisions. Schaufeli: “We spent a lot of time on it. The obvious animals – red deer, wild boar, beaver and wolf, for example – were quick. But the other animals took a bit longer. They had to go well together and fit the safari theme. During our search, we were also working on the design concept featuring the binoculars. Binoculars are essential when you go on safari if you want to be able to see the animal in its camouflaged habitat. There is a lot to discover and while searching and observing you might catch a glimpse of the animals if you are lucky. As a human, you get an insight into their habitat when camouflaged and immersed in their environment. The binoculars in our concept represent the binoculars and the human looking through them, as well as the animal looking back.”

Focus on the head
In the graphic representation of the binoculars, the designers added a shadow along the edge to give more depth to the image. “This also allowed the typography to stand out better,” says Schaufeli. “The font used is called Antique Olive, a sturdy font with character. It was also needed so that the letters wouldn’t get lost among everything else going on in the image. We used the binoculars as a basis, and then started looking more specifically for suitable images, especially photos where the animal is looking directly at you. So the focus is on the head of the animal looking back at us through the binoculars. It is always such a powerful moment when you encounter a wild animal and there is a level of interaction between you and the animal.”

Image editing
studio026 was able to access enough good photographs in the image banks of Saxifraga and the Zoogdiervereniging. Schaufeli: “We had plenty of choice which was nice. There was less supply for the hoofed animals like the mouflon, Konik pony and Highland cow though. They are non-native animals whereas these nature organisations focus more on native species. No matter how good the quality of the photos, we always edited them. Correcting the colours enabled us to achieve more unity by bringing the backgrounds of the photos together.”

Realistic proportions
On each stamp sheet, the proportions between the animals are depicted as realistically as possible. “This looks more natural,” says Schaufeli. “But it was not always possible. For example, with the red deer, we had to zoom out more to get the antlers right. Birds require a different cropping approach because of their elongated bodies. Most animals have the head depicted in one lens of the binoculars and a part of the body in the other. Their body also extends beyond the view of the binoculars where possible because that’s how it is in reality. You also get to see more of the animal and the layers come together nicely.”

Additional graphic layer
All the photos depict the animals in their natural habitat, including the camouflaging in the colour and illustration. Schaufeli: “That’s why you don’t see photos of birds in flight as often they are set against a clear sky. The camouflaging was also used as a basis for an extra graphic layer added to the background on the sheet edge. That was done by editing part of the camouflage into a pattern. This pattern was superimposed onto the original photo so as to fuse both the layers. Each stamp sheet got its own pattern, our interpretation of the animal’s camouflaged habitat. After all, if you’re looking for wild animals with binoculars, you’re trying to penetrate that camouflage. The graphic layer reinforces that feeling.”

About the designers
studio026 is a graphic design firm from Velp, consisting of Anne Schaufeli (1987, Warnsveld) and Huub de Lang (1980, Arnhem). Both studied graphic design at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem from 2004 to 2008. Since 2009, the agency has focused on designs with a strong conceptual, editorial and aesthetic basis. The graphic designers believe in conceptual thinking and allow space and time for research, experimentation and innovation. For PostNL, Anne Schaufeli and Huub de Lang have previously designed the stamps: 10 years Willem-Alexander (2023), Juliana of the Netherlands (2022), Palace Het Loo (2022), Look at the Netherlands (2022) Historical motorcycles (2021), Old postal routes (2020) and 150 years Red Cross in the Netherlands (2017).

SALES/VALIDITY
The series On Safari in the Netherlands is exclusively available from Collect Club’s online store and customer service on 088 – 868 99 00 while stocks last. The validity period is indefinite.

VALUE
These stamps each bear a value of 1, intended for mail up to 20 grams with a destination within the Netherlands. The price per sheet of 5 stamps is €5.45. A subscription for the entire series of 8 stamp sheets costs €43.60, including the ninth stamp sheet about the Big Five.

TECHNICAL DATA
Stamp size 40 x 30 mm (W x H)
Sheet size 122 x 170 mm (W x H)
Paper normal with phosphor print
Gumming gummed
Printing technique offset
Printing colours cyan, magenta, yellow, black
Print run 5,000 sheets per release
Appearance sheet of 5 personalised stamps in 5 different designs
Value each with a value of 1 for mail up to 20 grams with a destination within the Netherlands
Design studio026, Velp
Photography Saxifraga Foundation, Berkel-Enschot | Zoogdiervereniging, Nijmegen

Release: On Safari in the Netherlands
Release dates: 26 March, 25 June, 1 October and 19 November 2024
Appearance: Sheet of 5 personalised stamps in 5 different designs, each with a value of 1 for mail weighing up to 20 grams sent within the Netherlands
Design: studio026, Velp
Photography: Saxifraga Foundation, Berkel-Enschot | Zoogdiervereniging, Nijmegen

SUMMARY
Item number: 840029 Deer released 26 March 2024
Item number: 840030 Rodents & Hares released 26 March 2024
Item number: 840031 Cats & Dogs released 25 June 2024
Item number: 840032 Owls released 25 June 2024
Item number: 840033 Martens released 1 October 2024
Item number: 840034 Waterfowl released 1 October 2024
Item number: 840035 Hoofed Animals released 19 November 2024
Item number: 840036 Birds of Prey released 19 November 2024
Item number: 840037 Big Five (gift for subscribers) released 26 March 2024

© 2024 Koninklijke PostNL BV

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