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Wim Crouwel. Segells de correus | Sellos de correos | Post stamps, 1976

“Crouwel was fascinated by regularity in letters. In 1974 he was working on a proportionally spaced typeface for Olivetti’s electric typewriters, but is was never used for that purpose. However, the studies for these letters now furnished him with the basis for the numerals on the new stamps. The numbers had forty-five-degree angles and were placed asymmetrically. ‘I always have a big problem with symmetry’, he wrote. ‘I find it too easy, it is liable to take on a decorative character, and it usually leads to unwanted monumentality. The three-dimensional feel I was looking for was created by having the background and the numeral and letters gradually fade in opposite directions, so that no devices such as perspective, horizon or shadow were used: they are painterly devices which in my view do not belong on a small graphic postage stamp.’ For the colours he chose a range leaning toward the cool, with grey for the lowest value as this was a stamp that was often used together with stamps of other values and colours. With these colours -grey, blue, lilac, and brown- there was both harmony in the design and contrast against the ground, created by changing hues. In 1979 a fifty-cent stamp in red was added, followed later by new values in green and yellow. Even though in 1982 a poll conducted in the monthly Filatelie the stamps were voted the ugliest ever, they continued in use until 2001.”

Frederike Huygen. Wim Crouwel: modernist. Amsterdam: Lecturis, 2015 (p. 368)


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