"Happy Postcrossing"



PostNL’s stamp sheet, issued on 29th March 2016, is a tribute to Postcrossing.com, the leading platform for postcard fans around the world. Postcrossing.com’s registered members (known as ‘Postcrossers’) have sent tens of millions of physical postcards to each other since the site was founded in 2005 by Portuguese native Paulo Magalhães. The website he created allows its members to receive random addresses from other registered members all over the world and send them postcards. When a member receives a card they register this on the website, after which the site makes the sender’s address available to other members looking to send cards. This way, Postcrossers only receive cards if they send one themselves.



  The Postcrossing.com stamp sheet includes 10 stamps with the denomination ‘International 1’ and the international ‘Priority’ logo. Each stamp contains a colourful image of a noted Dutch tourist attraction, including the Delta Works in the southwest of the Netherlands, Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Binnenhof complex of government buildings in The Hague, the Alkmaar Cheese Market, the tulip fields, the towns of Giethoorn and Marken, the Zaanse Schans collection of classic windmills and houses, and Rembrandt’s painting The Night Watch.
The sketches are based on photos which a software application has transformed into colourful planes which extend across the perforations. These planes change colour from the top down, morphing from pink into yellow and green, while the details are dominated by red, light blue and dark blue. The objects and people depicted are separated from the colour planes by white outlines where necessary. A curved line runs across the sheet from top to bottom, symbolising the journey completed by Postcrossing cards all over the globe, with both the cards and the line changing colour in each stamp. Three handwriting fonts were used for the typeface: Populaire (created 2011), Undersong (created 2013) and Daft Brush, all three designed by Ricardo Marcin and Erica Jung and released by PintassilgoPrints.


The postage stamps in more detail and information










The Delta Works (Dutch: Deltawerken) is a series of construction projects in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dykes, levees, and storm surge barriers. The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised.

  The Frisian Islands, also known as the Wadden Islands or Wadden Sea Islands, form an archipelago at the eastern edge of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, stretching from the northwest of the Netherlands through Germany to the west of Denmark. The islands shield the mudflat region of the Wadden Sea (large parts of which fall dry during low tide) from the North Sea.  










  Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe (English: The Hoge Veluwe National Park) is a Dutch national park in the province of Gelderland near the cities of Ede, Wageningen, Arnhem and Apeldoorn. It is approximately 55 square kilometers in area, consisting of heathlands, sand dunes, and woodlands. It is situated in the Veluwe, the area of the largest terminal moraine in the Netherlands. Most of the landscape of the park and the Veluwe was created during the last Ice Age. The alternating sand dune areas and heathlands may have been caused by human utilization of the surrounding lands. The park forms one of the largest continuous nature reserves in the Netherlands.   The Binnenhof (English: Inner Court) is a complex of buildings in the city centre of The Hague, next to the Hofvijver lake. It houses the meeting place of both houses of the States General of the Netherlands, as well as the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Built primarily in the 13th century, the Gothic castle originally functioned as residence of the counts of Holland and became the political centre of the Dutch Republic in 1584. It is counted among the Top 100 Dutch heritage sites. The Binnenhof is the oldest House of Parliament in the world still in use









  Cheese Market Alkmaar. There are five cheese markets operating in the Netherlands. Woerden is a modern working commercial cheese market. Four, Alkmaar, Gouda, Edam and Hoorn, are like traditional merchant cheese markets as operated in the post-medieval period, re-enacted during the summer months for tourists. The shows are today surrounded by stalls selling all things traditional to the Dutch culture, including cheese.  

The Duin- en Bollenstreek (Dutch for "Dune and Bulb Region") is a region in the western Netherlands, that features coastal dunes and the cultivation of flower bulbs. Situated at the heart of historical Holland nearby the city Leiden, South Holland, and boundered by The Hague and Haarlem, the combination of beaches, flower fields, lakes and history makes this area attractive to tourists.










Giethoorn used to be an auto-free zone, but nowadays exceptions are made. It became locally famous, especially after 1958, when the Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra made his famous comedy Fanfare there. In the old part of the village, there were no roads (though a cycling path was eventually added), and all transport was done by water over one of the many canals. The lakes in Giethoorn were formed by peat unearthing.


The Paard van Marken (English: Horse of Marken) is a lighthouse on the Dutch peninsula Marken, on the IJsselmeer. It was built in 1839 by J. Valk. A primitive lighthouse had been on the location since the early 18th century; the current lighthouse is a Rijksmonument since 1970.











  Zaanse Schans is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk in the Netherlands. It has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses; the ca. 35 houses from all over the Zaanstreek were moved to the area starting in 1961. The Zaans Museum, established in 1994, is located in the Zaanse Schans .The Zaanse Schans is one of the popular tourist attractions of the Netherlands and an anchor point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The neighbourhood attracted approximately 1,6 million visitors in 2014.
  Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, also known as The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch, but commonly referred to as The Night Watch (Dutch: De Nachtwacht), is a 1642 painting by Rembrandt van Rijn. It is in the collection of the Amsterdam Museum and is prominently displayed in the Rijksmuseum as the best known painting in its collection. The Night Watch is one of the most famous Dutch Golden Age paintings.




About the designer

Graphic designer Reinier Hamel did not have to think twice when he was asked to design the new Postcrossing.com-themed stamp sheet. “It’s a subject that’s near to my heart, as I like the fact that Postcrossing.com establishes global, spontaneous connections between people. Its members, called Postcrossers, use a traditional, ‘old-school’ medium to reveal something of themselves to others. It’s a form of contact that’s slower than email and other modern communication tools. It requires more work – you actually have to make a bit of effort, but you do get something special in return.”

In issuing the Postcrossing.com stamps, PostNL seeks to support the Postcrossing initiative while at the same time showcasing some of the Netherlands’ most celebrated tourist sites. The idea behind the website is that Postcrossers not only reveal something about themselves, but also send postcards including images of their country or hometown. The design boasts images of some signature Dutch tourist attractions, as nearly all cards sent by Postcrossers are sent to international destinations and this is a way of drawing attention to some of the country’s most interesting and attractive sites. Reinier Hamel: “PostNL gave me a list of highlights to choose from. I wanted to avoid using classic tourist office-style images and add a personal touch. I used existing photographs and added a graphic layer so I could create my own images. These different images are essentially ‘pulled together’, literally across the stamps’ perforations.”


Technical Details

Stamp size : 36 x 25mm
Sheet layout : 10 landscape-format stamps
Perforation : 14½ : 14½
Paper : regular with phosphor print
Adhesion : synthetic
Printing technique : offset
Distribution : 156,000 sheets
Printer : Cartor Security Printing, France

Item number 360461
Type of stamp: sheet containing 10 stamps
Printing colours used for stamps : yellow, magenta, cyan and black

Value International 1 : Delta Works
Value International 1 : Wadden Sea
Value International 1 : Hoge Veluwe National Park
Value International 1 : Binnenhof complex of government buildings
Value International 1 : Alkmaar Cheese Market
Value International 1 : Tulip fields
Value International 1 : Giethoorn
Value International 1 : Marken
Value International 1 : Zaanse Schans
Value International 1 : 17th-century art: The Night Watch


References and reading suggestions

1. The major part of the above text is from  Philatelic News: Postcrossing.com, Marketing PostNL, Koninklijke PostNL BV (29th March 2016).

2. Photographs, Illustrations and adjacent texts are from Wikipedia.com.

Other interesting websites with postage stamps on this subject include:

1. Delta Works: http://people.zeelandnet.nl/acoomens/1953ramp.htm (in Dutch)

2. Rembrandt: http://people.zeelandnet.nl/acoomens/rembrand.htm (in Dutch)

3. Dutch UNESCO sites: http://www.filavaria.nl/UNESCO.htm (in Dutch)

4. Postcrossing Sheet: http://www.postzegelblog.nl/2016/03/27/postcrossing-verbindt-mensen-internationaal-kaart-en-postzegel/ (in Dutch)



Thank you for visiting!

Toon Oomens (April 2016)


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