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Typically Dutch - Windmills

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About Typically Dutch - Windmills

On February 13, 2023, PostNL will release the stamp sheet Typical Dutch – Windmills.

The issue is the 2nd of this year in the Typically Dutch series. The multi-year series started in 2020 and will be devoted in 2023 to various sights that are important and typical of the Netherlands.

The design of Typically Dutch – windmills is the work of senior graphic designer Adam Lane and creative director Edwin van Praet, of Total Design from Amsterdam.

The stamp sheet about museums in the Netherlands was published earlier this year (January 2) in the series. Stamps about flower fields (March 20), cheese markets (May 15) and Wadden Sea (August 14) will follow later this year.

In the 19th century there were still about 10,000 windmills in operation in the Netherlands. Of these, fewer than 1,200 now remain. The decline was the result of the rise of alternative energy sources such as steam and electricity. While the number of traditional windmills has shrunk, modern wind turbines have increased in number in recent decades. Most traditional mills in our country are windmills, in addition to about 100 watermills. Most are in South Holland, none in Flevoland. Mills come in all shapes and sizes. For example, windmills work with blades that are driven by the wind and watermills are equipped with a water wheel or turbine that rotates when the water flows. Another distinction is by function. There are flour mills to grind grains into flour, polder mills for water management, sawmills for wood, oil mills, peeling mills and paper mills.

The Association De Hollandsche Molen distinguishes about 20 types of windmills according to shape, ranging from ground sailers, seesaw mills and tower mills to undershot mills, standerd mills and paltrok mills. The most famous windmills in the Netherlands are those of Kinderdijk: 19 windmills in the northwest of the Alblasserwaard in South Holland. These windmills are on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the area is also a protected village view. The Kinderdijk windmills were built to pump up the water from the low-lying polder. At the bottom of each mill is a paddle wheel that raises the water, often with a height difference of 140 centimetres. Except for 1 seesaw mill, all Kinderdijk mills are ground sailers. The mills were built from the end of the 15th century, the current mill buildings almost all date from 1738 and 1740. The mills of Kinderdijk can only be viewed on foot, by bicycle or boat.

Design and designers:

The stamp sheet Typical Dutch – windmills contains 24 identical illustrations of stylized windmills. A diagonal blue strip runs behind the windmills, as a reference to the water that the windmills pump up. The iconic shapes of the windmills are grouped in a tight pattern over the stamps. The pattern is broken on the sheet edge. The background color of the stamp sheet and stamps is a soft green. The other colors match: 3 red-brown shades for the windmills and their blades, light blue for the water. At the bottom of each stamp are the sorting hook, the year 2023, the country designation Netherlands and the value indication 1. At the top of each stamp is the logo of the Typically Dutch series, with a folded Dutch pennant on the left and right. The logo of Typically Dutch is again depicted on the top edge of the sheet, on the edge of the sheet on the right is a short explanatory text. Between the large logo at the top of the stamp sheet and the stamps, the title of this issue about the windmills in the Netherlands is written on the edge of the sheet in light blue.

The stamps for 2023 from the multi-year series Typically Dutch have been redesigned by Total Design from Amsterdam. We go back in time for the design concept behind the latest stamp sheets. In 2021, Total Design made presentations for the Typically Dutch of 2022 series, with Dutch sports and Dutch festivals as possible themes. “The choice then fell on sports,” says creative director Edwin van Praet. “Also because almost all festivals were canceled due to the corona pandemic. Our design proposal for the festivals featured all kinds of iconic shapes, something to which PostNL had responded very positively. Everyone was therefore enthusiastic about the proposal to apply this iconic design language for the theme of Typically Dutch in 2023: the diverse sights that our country has to offer.”