Multilateral Duke Post - Miniature Sheet
Multilateral Duke Post - Miniature Sheet for only GBP £1.94
On 25 August 2017, PostNL will be issuing the Multilaterale Hertogpost stamp sheetlet, with two stamps: the first with a Nederland 1 value denomination, and the second with an Internationaal 1 value denomination. The issue marks the occasion of the three-day stamp fair of the same name in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on 25, 26 and 27 August 2017. The fair is an initiative of the Netherlands and six German-speaking countries: Germany, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland. On 25 August, PostNL and Post Luxembourg will also be bringing out a second stamp sheetlet with the same design, with a PostNL stamp (Internationaal 1 value denomination) and a Luxembourg stamp (0.95 value denomination). This joint Multilaterale Hertogpost issue is a scoop: for the first time, a stamp sheetlet will be coming out with both a Dutch and a Luxembourg stamp on it. On the same day, Post Luxembourg will be issuing a similar version with two Luxembourg stamps.
The Multilaterale Hertogpost will take place from 25 to 27 August in the Maaspoort sports hall in Den Bosch. A multilateral exhibition is a category 1 national exhibition with international participation. This stamp exhibition is organised by a partnership of philatelic associations and postal companies from Germany, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland. During the exhibition, there will be stamp traders, auctioneers and postal services in attendance from all seven of these countries. There will also be a place of honour for special collections and collectors who have earned a place of honour in the philatelic world. The multilateral exhibition usually takes place every two years, each time in a different country. It was Germany’s turn in 2015, and in 2019 the exhibition will be held in Luxembourg. It’s the second time that the multilateral exhibition has taken place in the Netherlands; the first time was in 2005 in Kerkrade.
The stamp sheetlet features a series of illustrations of iconic buildings and towers from the countries participating in the Multilaterale Hertogpost. From left to right these are: a windmill on the North Sea, St-Janskathedraal and the statue of Zoete Lieve Gerritje in Den Bosch, the Brandenburger Tor and the Fernsehturm in Berlin, the Wiener Secession building in Vienna, the Landtagsgebäude in Vaduz (Lichtenstein), the Großherzogliche Palast, the Philharmonie and the Gëlle Fra in Luxembourg, the Mariä-Verkündigung-Kirche in Ljubljana (Slovenia), and the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and the Matterhorn, both in Switzerland. On the sheetlet, the illustrations run from left to right over the two postage stamps and the three stamps without value. The background colours of the long horizontal stripes on the stamp sheetlet refer to the four elements: fire (sun), air (sky), water (sea) and earth (farmland). The font used for the typography is Sequel from Phitradesign Fonts, designed by Philip Trautmann. The Multilaterale Hertogpost stamp sheetlet was designed by Linda Bos, a Dutch graphic designer who lives and works in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
Linda Bos has not previously done any design work for PostNL, but has already designed various stamps for Post Luxembourg. “Both postal companies are similar,” says Bos, “in giving their designers a lot of freedom to make the stamps as they see fit. My task was to focus on the seven countries participating in the Multilaterale Hertogpost. Architecture makes this possible because you can use it to establish a relationship between countries that at first glance don’t appear to have a great deal in common with each other.”
All of the countries are equal, but the most attention on the sheetlet will go to the Netherlands (host country in 2017) and Luxembourg (host country in 2019). This is logical since the two countries are covering the cost of this issue. Bos: “Another special thing is that both postal companies dared to give the Dutch stamp a touch of Luxembourg, and the Luxembourg stamp a touch of the Netherlands. I have designed the stamp sheetlet as a whole, based on the idea of an imaginary skyline stretching from the North Sea to the Alps. Of course, that skyline doesn’t exist and the proportions are also nonsensical. But that doesn’t bother me. My aim was to balance the composition, not the individual buildings. The fact that the proportions don’t correspond actually strengthens the imaginary skyline.”
Bos selected the buildings, and after receiving approval from the countries involved, further developed the design. “They aren’t always the best known buildings, but they’re the most recognisable at postage stamp size,” says Box. “I also focused on creating an attractive mix of building styles and periods, from the medieval Gothic Sint-Jan to the hypermodern architecture of the Luxembourg Philharmonie. The golden lady – Luxembourg’s most famous statue – was initially the only vertical accent, but this made her seem very lonely. That’s why I added and enlarged the Berlin TV tower and the Dutch windmill so that they would be well-matched. During the sketching phase, I’d suggested an alternative design with winged envelopes bearing the flags of the seven countries. But both clients unanimously chose the skyline design. I totally agreed with their choice.”
The design is characterised by the use of powerful colours in the background that are eye-catching yet do not distract the viewer from the illustrations. Bos: “There’s so much happening on the stamp sheetlet that I decided to choose a saturated, muted and calm colour palette, but with sufficient contrast to let the buildings stand out well. This reinforces the effect of a view towards the horizon. I designed this fantasy landscape specially to emphasise the cultural and historical ties between the seven countries.”
About the designer
Linda Bos (1982) studied product design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and moved to Luxembourg after graduating in 2005. She developed her graphic design skills there at Atelier Kurth. In 2010, she started up her own agency Pretty Forest, in Esch-sur-Alzette. Bos works for various government agencies (such as Post Luxembourg), the media (such as Radio 100.7), the cultural sector (such as the Musée National d'Histoire et d’Art) and industry (such as the beer brewery Brasserie Simon). Among other things, she designed the 2012 European Stamp and the 2014 Christmas Stamps for Post Luxembourg. Bos won the Luxembourg Design Award for Illustration for the latter.