Sunday 14 August 2016

Innovative Britain stamps win Asagio 'Best Design' award for 2015

Royal Mail has won the Asiago International Award for Philatelic Art 2016, for the Innovative Britain set of 8 stamps.  Often tagged in the media 'for the most beautiful stamps' the awards are considered the Oscars of Stamp Design and are awarded annually in Asiago Italy.  

This year the jury included a stamp designer, journalist, philatelist and film critic.  The awards are presented under the patronage of the President of Italy and Circolo filatelico Sette Comuni, the Seven Towns Philatelic Circle.

CIFO, the Italian equivalent of the ABPS reported this on 5 July.  The judges were favourably impressed, "the present boldly treatment of a difficult subject as the latest inventions of British scientists in the fields of optical fibers, stainless steel, DNA, electronics, bionics, road safety, through striking images and visually perfect, and concise captions but easily understood. "  (Google translation).  The stamps were designed by GBH and printed by International Security Printers in lithography.  Royal Mail said, "GBH created original visual interpretations of the inventions' key functions for six of the stamps, while two were designed using existing imagery and computer generated imagery illustration."

Portugal won the prize in the Ecology category, for four stamps, with a Polish stamp for World Blood Donation Day taking an award from the Italian Academy of Philately and Postal History. Spain received the award of the Palladian Axademy of Vicenze fo ra miniature sheet promoting Exfina, the Spanish national stamp exhibition.


  1. The lot of 8 is very beautiful and interesting, indeed. The prize is deserved! Thanks for share! Catalin

  2. I note that a "philatelist" was included on the panel which selected the winner. This is refreshing as usually these design awards seem to be judged by professional designers who are there to congratulate each other on how clever they've been.

    Art is a matter of personal taste - I like my stamps to have a design which is agreeable, straightforward and comprehensible. These stamp designs, for me, do not fulfill these criteria. If I had been a stamp collector judging these awards then I wouldn't have given them a second glance. No doubt many others will disagree with me and praise the judges for their discernment.

    1. Design is a very difficult thing. Given that most of the stamps these days are created using stock or library photos, anything which isn't, is refreshing although I accept that you can't please everybody all of the time. The forthcoming Agatha Christie stamps have very many design elements and I liked them the moment I saw them (back in February) as one of the best designed sets for years. But they won't be to everybody's liking.

    2. "Great Fire of London" are also highly controversial in my opinion. Don't like stamps with such many colours.


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