16 March 2023

Typical Dutch

Iconic tulip takes center stage on stamps about flower fields

The Netherlands is a country of flowers and flower fields. The most Dutch of all flowers – the tulip – takes center stage on the stamps issued today in the ‘Typically Dutch’ series.

The issue of PostNL with flower fields as subject is the 3rd of this year in the series ‘Typically Dutch’. Earlier stamps about museums (January 2) and windmills (February 13) were issued. Later this year it will be the turn of cheese markets (May 15) and wadden (August 14). In 2023, the multi-year series will be dedicated to a variety of attractions that are important and typical of the Netherlands.

Important economic sector
The first flower fields emerged around 1850 between Leiden and Haarlem on the geest grounds. Bulb fields can also be found elsewhere in the Netherlands, including near Venlo, on Texel, in the Northeast Polder and on the islands of Zeeland and South Holland. The blooming of the fields attracts many tourists, some 2 million a year. Floriculture of flowers and plants is an important economic sector in our country, with an export value of 7.3 billion euros in 2021.

Clean pattern
The stamp sheet ‘Typically Dutch – flower fields’ features colorful illustrations of stylized tulips. On each stamp 3 tulips are depicted side by side. The stem and leaves of the tulip on the left and right continue on the stamp below. The iconic shapes of the tulips are grouped in a tight pattern across the stamps.

Typical Dutch flower
The stamps for 2023 from the multi-year series “Typically Dutch” were once again designed by Total Design of Amsterdam. This year, creative director Edwin van Praet collaborated with senior graphic designer Adam Lane. For Van Praet, the choice of tulips on the stamps was obvious. “It is a typically Dutch flower. In fact, the tulip is the most Dutch of all flowers. Moreover, the tulip lends itself easily to making it an iconic shape.”

Art of omission
Designer Lane used the simplest geometric tulip shape in the design of the flower field stamps. “It’s the art of omission,” he says. “The balance between just too much and just too little detail. Just by putting more of these tulip shapes in a pattern, you recognize them the quickest. What also helps is colors that are reminiscent of a bouquet. Or rather, of a field of flowers.”

Long straight furrows
The pattern on the stamps reflects the way bulbs are planted in the ground. This is always done in long straight furrows pulled by tractor. That way it is possible to grow the most tulip bulbs per square meter.

Purple, yellow and pink
The tulips on the stamp have the colors purple, yellow and pink. The order of the colors has no specific meaning, but was important to the design. Says Lane, “We wanted to place the brightest color in the center on the stamps to separate the more subdued tulip colors. Moreover, yellow keeps the text in the Typically Dutch logo most legible. In contrast, the colors of the Dutch flag stand out strongly thanks to the green of the leaves.”

The stamp sheet “Typically Dutch – flower fields” has 6 equal stamps, with the value indication Netherlands 1, intended for mail up to 20 grams with a destination within the Netherlands. The stamps will be available from March 20, 2023 at Bruna stores and through the webshop.