Canada Post challenged Signals to push the boundaries of stamp production when they asked us to create Canada’s first fabric stamp in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, a symbol cherished at home and widely recognized and respected abroad. Signals’ principal, Kosta Tsetsekas was inspired by his own family history: “The opportunity to design two stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of our flag, on the 50th anniversary of my family’s immigration to Canada, is as good as it gets for any Canadian.” He continues, “The flag very quickly came to symbolize Canada for me and most Canadians — despite the controversy that surrounded its launch.”
Creating a stamp on a 3D fabric surface was an ambitious undertaking—ink behaves much more predictably on smooth paper. For example, many metallic inks lose much of their metallic lustre while strangely, certain non-metallic inks look metallic on the fabric-like material. The Signals team worked closely with the printer and conducted numerous tests before arriving at something that could be achieved consistently during the final production run. In addition, the relatively coarse fabric texture meant that the very fine type sizes normally used for information such as the ‘hidden data’ and credits, had to be adjusted considerably to be legible.