Dance sport on a stamp
Twice a year or so I get mail from the Ministry of Finance and then the joy is great. The Federal Ministry of Finance regularly invites artists to participate in design competitions for new stamps.
Seven or eight designers take part in each competition, and each of them can submit up to three designs. A jury reviews the entries, and three designs are awarded prize money.
So far, I’ve taken part in five competitions and won second place three times. Not a bad average, I think. It’s just a pity that only the first-place design is actually published as a stamp. So, unfortunately, the designs you see on this page will not grace your letters.
By the way, my colleague Katrin Stangl won the design competition for »100 years of the German Dancing Federation« and very deservedly, too. The stamp was released on Nov. 2, 2021, you can take a look at it on the website of the Ministry of Finance.
Designs for an 80 cent stamp
Theme »100 years of the German Dancing Federation«
44,20 x 26,20 mm und 33 x 39 mm
German Federal Ministry of Finance
Design 1: Dancing letters
Dancers of very different dances are organized in the German Dancing Association. For this design, I drew the names of the most popular dances so that the shape of the letters expresses the character of each dance.
The letters move on curved baselines, as colorful as the dresses of the ballroom dancers. The expressive forms of the lettering on the smallest space of a stamp emotion and joie de vivre–like dancing.
Surely you realized right away that all these ideas are already contained in the first sketch, which I drew a few centimeters large with colored pencils.
Design 2: Swinging
In my research on the subject, I learned: Most standard dances are swing dances. I was not entirely sure what this technical term meant, but I thought that a connected script with flourishes could be the graphic equivalent of a swing dance.
I drew the stamp’s theme in a connected script font and worked it out with lots of flourishes to create an overall decorative composition. Flourishes emanate from the initial and final letters and the ascenders and descenders of the lowercase letters and flow around the lines, lighter decorative lines frame the text.
The narrow, somewhat angular forms of the script and the cool, monochrome color scheme in two shades of blue counterbalance the dynamic composition and emphasize the athletic aspect of dancing.