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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slovakia 2015 Stamp Issue
Valentine´s Day Card




:: SLOVAKIA
 :: THEME: Valentine´s Day Card
  :: NOMINAL VALUE: 0.45 €
   :: ISSUE DATE: 30 January 2015
    :: STAMP DESIGN: Adrian Ferda  




The motif of a Valentine postage stamp was selected on the grounds of an opinion survey of the general public, interconnected with the publisher’s intention to address especially the young teenage generation, who prefer the virtual world of electronic media, by issuing a stamp with a personalised coupon. Taking into account the postage stamp was designed in the form of an illustrated QR code with a link to a video clip about love. 

The QR (Quick Response) code was originally developed by the Japanese company Denso-Wave in 1994 to monitor manufacturing processes in the automobile industry. As the company published code specification without claiming patent protection, the QR code became freely available to different types of both commercial and non-commercial activities all over the world. The principle of QR code usage is based on reading a code via a mobile device by means of freely downloadable software (QR code reader) designed to decode text information included in a code, which takes the form, for example, of a  web address. However, a QR code on a postage stamp is not a novelty of the world. 

Two Valentine postage stamps with QR codes and individual perforations in the shape of a heart were issued by Taiwan in 2011 with the text messages “Happy Valentine’s Day” and “I Love You!”. The QR code design also became inspiring for other countries, e.g. the United States of America, which issued several postage stamps in an illustrated QR code design, e.g. with a motif of a monkey or a toy, or discography of Milles Davis and Edith Piaf in 2012.European countries having used the code include Germany, Croatia, Ireland and Russia, which issued stamps with QR codes of web addresses either linking to saleable goods or information on postage services or a significant event, e.g. the Olympic Games in 2012. 
The Australian post office entered the postal market with a QR codes generator in 2013. It allowed insertion of own video in a personalised stamp, however with a range of limiting factors related to the time of saving on a server or length of video duration. The new Slovak postage stamp incorporates all current achievements of QR code postage stamps. 

It is not only in the shape of a heart, i.e. an illustrated QR code, but can also be identified as the first music video-stamp in the world issued for Valentine’s Day, as the QR code comprises a link to the video from the mega concert of the band Elán in Prague on September 20, 2003 with sequence of the song “Čakám Ťa láska” (I am Waiting for You, My Love) from their debut album “Ôsmy svetadiel” (The Eighth Continent). The classical postage stamp has thus become not only an interactive expression of love between the two in love but it is for all who would like to express their love in an untraditional way. 




author: Martin Vančo
stamps images thanks to: Slovenská pošta and Pofis



ISSUE DATE: 30 January 2015
NOMINAL VALUE: 0.45 
CIRCULATION: 220 000
STAMP DESIGN: Adrian Ferda
ENGRAVER: -
STAMP SIZE: 26.5 x 33.9 mm
SHEET LAYOUT / STAMPS PER SHEET: UTL / 8
PRINTER: Postal Printing House of Securities, Prague
PRINTING PROCESS: Offset
SLOVAKIA POST, POFIS PRODUCT NO.: 581




SINGLE MINT STAMP

PRODUCT # 581

PRICE: 0.45
    





SINGLE CANCELLED STAMP

PRICE: 0.23



STAMP SHEET




FIRST DAY COVER

PRODUCT # FDC 581


PRICE: 1.35€




PICTORIAL POSTAL CARD

PRODUCT # 015 CP 581/15


PRICE: 0.85€