Beautiful Netherlands 2019 - Texel - Miniature Sheet
Beautiful Netherlands 2019 - Texel - Miniature Sheet for only GBP £4.01
On 2 January 2019 PostNL will issue the postage stamp sheet Beautiful Netherlands 2019: Texel. The series Beautiful Netherlands has highlighted local history, cultural wealth and scenic beauty since 2005. For example, stamps were issued in recent years about traditional costumes, historic country houses, fishing villages, stream and river valleys and towns with town gates. With Beautiful Netherlands PostNL shows how much the company is rooted in Dutch society. The following sheets will still be issued this year after Beautiful Netherlands 2019: Texel, four postage stamp sheets about the Dutch Wadden Islands (on 25 February about Vlieland, on 25 March about Terschelling, on 23 April about Ameland and on 20 May about Schiermonnikoog). Op 20 May a collector's sheet with stamps of these five islands will be issued.
Like the other Dutch Wadden Islands, Texel is separated from the mainland by the Wadden Sea. This sea is the world's largest interconnected system of sand plains and mudflats which dry during low tide. The nature conservation area has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since June 2009. When viewed from the west, Texel is the first of the five inhabited Dutch Wadden Islands from the series Beautiful Netherlands 2019. The island was separated from the main land during the All Saints Flood in 1170. The Texel landscape differs very much from that of the other Wadden Islands, which mainly consists of sand and dune areas. On Texel a thick boulder clay layer remained behind in the ice age, so that the soil is more fertile and a more varied landscape developed. In the course of time fishing and farming on Texel were replaced by tourism as the most important sector. Texel is an independent municipality in the province of Noord-Holland with almost 14,000 inhabitants (figures mid-2018).
The design of the postage stamp sheet Beautiful Netherlands 2019: Texelwas made on the basis of the well-known design and perforation of the series Beautiful Netherlands. On the stamp with a light orange background there is a huge black 1 in the middle. This value is connected with a blank island map of Texel with an orange contour line. All around photos have been placed with typical Texel images: the lighthouse of Eierland, the iron sea cape near the village of Oosterend, a Texel sheep pen and a Texel lamb. The country name Nederland (the Netherlands) is shown in orange on the left of the stamp and the island name of Texel is in white at the top right. The year of issue 2019 has been placed at an angle in the sorting symbol on the left.
On the sheet edge there is a large island map of Texel which extends under the stamps. On the map there is a panorama photo of the salt marsh landscape de Slufter. Around the island map there are eight circles with orange contour lines, including photos of striking places and objects on Texel. The flag of the island is pictured at the bottom right. All photos are explained through brief captions. In and around the large island map there are three small icons (a wind surfer, parachuter and a cyclist) as a symbol of the tourist activities for which Texel is known.
Several fonts have been used for the typography: the Baro Plain (Julie Soudane, 2018) for the country name Nederland, the Baro Line three (Julie Soudane, 2018) for the island name of Texel, the design agency and the item number identification, the TT Tricks Stencil (Sofia Yasenkova, Philipp Nurullin, Vika Usmanova and TypeType Team, 2018) for the captions and the barcode font OCR-B (1968, Adrian Frutiger) for the design identification and the item number.
The postage stamp sheet Beautiful Netherlands 2019: Texelwas designed by the design agency Birza Design from Deventer. In the summer months of 2018 Carla and Ingmar Birza made a working visit to the five inhabited Dutch Wadden Islands to find inspiration and make photos for the series Beautiful Netherlands 2019.
More than 100 gigabytes
Ingmar Birza: “We obviously prepared ourselves well, although we had already visited most islands before. Certainly Texel, we have been there often. But it is always different when you transform your impressions into a design. And you also see many things which were not on your list. We made very many photos with two different cameras. We returned with in total more than 100 gigabytes of visual material. For some objects we used stock images or previously taken photos from our own archives when they were more suitable for the design. But most photos were made during our wanderings in the beautiful summer last year. So the postage stamp sheet has become an actual summary of our visit, our impression of Texel.”
Strong island culture
Carla Birza describes Texel as “a mini-Netherlands in terms of landscape”, with polders, a hill, bulb fields, meadows, woods, stream landscapes, farming villages and harbours. “So very varied. There is a strong island culture with an accompanying sense of community. At the same time people from Texel are open to outsiders because of tourism. It is a very special island of which they have every reason to be proud. Highlights? For example, the sloping roads at the Hoge Berg across the garden walls, the beautiful views, the special vegetation of de Slufter where the sea enters the land, the clay pits with water where the sheep can drink. Or the slightly higher church in Den Hoorn, which you can clearly see from almost all sides in the flat farmland.”
Pictures with a story
The postage stamp sheet Beautiful Netherlands 2019: Texelmainly focuses on the nature and architecture of the island. “When selecting the photos we were looking for pictures with a story in an associative way”, according to Ingmar Birza. “We included most stories in a caption, sometimes in a few words. The stories match the concept that we devised for these stamps during our working visit to the Wadden Islands. In this concept the shape of the island is highlighted, this is why the map of Texel can be found on the stamps as well as on the sheet edge. On the stamp the shape of the island has been connected to the huge value 1 as a separate slice of the Netherlands. We made this 1 as large as the lighthouse alongside. The lighthouse photo was changed into duotone to prevent other photos being pushed to the background. As a result the sea cape, sheep pen and the Texel lamb are as prominent as the lighthouse. The island character of Texel is shown in several ways in the design. For example, because no photo has been placed in a descending order, because of the circular shape of the photos on the sheet edge and also because of our choice of typography. The font of the captions is a so-called case letter, consisting of elements which are placed apart.”
Highlighting the north
At the bottom left on the sheet edge there is a compass rose which indicates the north. Carla Birza: “We had to tilt the island map of Texel, because it would otherwise not fit on the postage stamp. The compass rose shows how the island is actually placed on the map. It is also an indication of the special character of Beautiful Netherlands this year. With other issues the aim was always to have a balanced coverage of the Netherlands. However, this year the north is highlighted. This is shown by the place of the year of issue 2019 on the stamp. It is not for nothing that it forms an arrow on the stamp pointing upwards together with the sorting symbol.”
About the design agency
Ingmar and Carla Birza together run the design and communication agency Birza Design in Deventer. Carla Birza studied textile work forms at the Tilburg Art Academy, Ingmar studied graphic design at the Den Bosch Art Academy between 1991 and 1995. After a short period at agencies in Breda and Amsterdam Ingmar worked together with his father Be J. Birza in his studio in Deventer. In 2005 Ingmar continued the agency together with his wife Carla, whereby design assignment were carried out for many different clients. Birza Design has already carried our various stamp-related commissions for PostNL since 1998, including prestige stamp booklets, envelopes, postage stamps and fair sheets. Birza Design designed the stamps the Dutch Wad In 2003, on the basis of a concept which had won the first prize in a design competition for the Dutch public. The agency was also responsible for the design of the stamps for 10 x Orange at the 2014 Football World Cup, the 2013 Europe stamps (Dutch post cars) and the new frame for the personal stamps in 2013. Ingmar Birza previously designed the Day of the Stamp 2012 (Juliana 'head-on'/Sem Hartz), 2013 (Wilhelmina in profile/Piet Zwart), 2014 numerical stamps/Jan van Krimpen), 2015 Liberation stamp/Bernard Romein), 2016 (Jubilee stamps/ Karel de Bazel), 2017 (Wilhelmina with hanging hair/Heinrich Raeder) and 2018 (Crouwel stamps). Birza Design also designed the series Beautiful Netherlands about fishing places and the postage stamp sheet about Dutch chicken strains, both in 2016). Birza Design has made many Yearbooks for Dutch stamps and many different philatelic publications with Uitgeverij DAVO.