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Theme: hobbies and work

We spend a lot of time at work, and hobbies fill our free time. Both aspects of life relate to our identity and show what we consider important in life. Personalised stamps are a nice way to surprise customers, and they can be used for marketing purposes and to highlight a company and the person behind it.
They can feature a hobby or advertise a hometown and be used to raise funds. Philatelic societies, for example, commission personalised stamps to delight their members, as a symbol of the society or as a collectible.

Work and hobbies

Sender Päivi Pärssinen.
Company logos and greetings


The sender drew this work while she was studying calligraphy in 1996–1998. It shows the letter P in Lombardic style, coloured in gouache, on parchment. The golden colour is genuine gold leaf. The work became the logo of the sender’s company, kirjansitomo Pikkusitomo Kirjanen, and the personalised stamp is used on both personal and business correspondence.

Sender Tatu Järvinen.

Story by a golf ball

This personalised stamp combines work and hobbies through symbols in a compact way. The stamp depicts a square and compasses – the tools of a civil engineer – on the surface of a golf ball, and with the added letter G it becomes the emblem of Freemasonry. This stamp has also been used on letters sent by the sender’s engineering office.

Stamp 2009. Sender Simo Kettula, designer Ulla Vehviläinen.

Persononalised Christmas greetings

The series of personalised stamps was designed for a company’s Christmas greetings in 2006–2014, and the stamps were also accompanied by a suitable, customised card every year. The sender came up with the ideas for the stamps, and the graphic designer Ulla Vehviläinen created the series. The company logo, a fox, which comes from the sender’s surname Kettula, was always included with current topics. These Christmas greetings were sure to impress the recipients, and they form a wonderful continuum in the history of both the company and the personalised stamps.

Sender Simo Kettula, designer Ulla Vehviläinen.

Christmas card for year 2009

Cards, personalised stamps and envelopes are designed to be compatible every year.

Sender Simo Kettula, designer Ulla Vehviläinen.

Package card 2009

Every year there is also a compatible envelope to accompany the stamps and cards.

Sender Markku Saarinen, Posti- ja telefilatelistit.
Collecting as a hobby

Cards and stamps for a philatelic society

The Posti- ja telefilatelistit society has commissioned personalised stamps every year and used them on maximum cards, for example. Maximum cards, on which the motif, the postage stamp and the postmark repeat the same theme, have been made to mark various events, such as the Stamp Day or the Night of the Arts. Maximum cards have also been made that feature buildings such as Vapriikki in Tampere and Helsinki Cathedral.

Sender Markku Saarinen, Posti- ja telefilatelistit.

Maximum card for 70th anniversary exhibition

The maximum card that celebrated the society’s 70th anniversary had a personalised stamp with the society’s symbol: a sculpture of a nude woman. A naked body can be considered a subject of a stamp when it is a work of art.

Sender Erkki Tuominen.

Exlibris as a hobby

The bookplate and the personalised stamp with the bookplate depict the sender’s two collecting hobbies: stamps and bookplates. Erkki Tuominen has also written articles on the subject for the Exlibrisuutiset magazine. Tuominen says that the symbolism on bookplates reflects the activities of postal services in many ways, most clearly on philately-themed bookplates.

Sender Erkki Tuominen.

Original exlibris

Original print made by the sender is an etching and aquatint with two plates.

Sender Seppo Pohjaväre, photographer Terttu Ala-Heikkilä.

Model railway

Building a model railway requires pattern-drawing skills, and who better at this than a former craft teacher and current pottery enthusiast. The Alps, Switzerland and France, in an imaginary form, were chosen as the environment for the railway. The scale is H0 or 1/87, which is the most popular scale of model railways. Various stories were included in the structure, such as the Festival of Finnish Film in Switzerland, in which ‘Peter von Pugh’ directs a new film. The railway was put on personalised stamps as soon as this became possible in 2003.

Another model railway made by the same creators is set in Mänttä-Vilppula, Finland, and it can be seen in the potter’s workshop in Putikko, Punkaharju. The third and fourth model railways are under construction!

Sender Lauri Poropudas, photographer Ari-Pekka Sarjanto.
Judo-themed stamp, that almost did not happen

This action-packed Judo-themed stamp shows a tomoe nage throw that scores an ippon, i.e. it’s a perfect throw. This stamp almost did not happen because the name of the sport, Juudoo, was written in Japanese characters in the first version of the stamp. Personalised stamps, however, may not contain any text in a foreign language unless the text has been translated by an authorised translator and a certificate to that effect is attached to the application. The stamps were eventually ordered without the text – after all, ‘judo’ means ‘a path of flexibility’.

The issue provoked some debate in the Filatelisti magazine. Posti’s policy is understandable: stamps must not contain any provocative slogans or other inappropriate text. Even if many symbols, such as the swastika, have different meanings in different cultures, Posti must have some clear policy regarding symbols and text.

Sender Lauri Poropudas, photographer Ari-Pekka Sarjanto.

Japanese characters

This version with japanese characters wasn´t printed.

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