Stamps 2 and 3 Join Subplot's Canada 150 Set

May 5, 2017


Stamp #2 in the Canada 150 set celebrates the Canadian Constitution


Two more stamps have been released in the Canada 150 set designed by Subplot that we wrote about last week, and you can see them here!


Each stamp in the 10-piece set for Canada Post commemorates an important Canadian milestone in the last 50 years. Stamp number two in the series marks Canada’s patriation from Britain with the passing of the Constitution Act of 1982, ratified by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth II. It was the moment that Canada became a fully sovereign nation. It was also when the government debuted the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the cornerstone of our country’s political and civil rights.


Because Subplot worked with an image of the actual Constitution, it presented some challenges in the final design of both the stamp and the Official First Day Cover (OFDC), above.


“The original constitutional document featured on the stamp and signed by Her Majesty was hand drawn with a quill pen onto parchment paper, specifically created for the ceremony,” explains Matthew Clark, founder and creative director at Subplot Design. “Therefore, we found the quality not to be the greatest and there are many small imperfections [in the image]...including raindrops on the document from that rainy afternoon in Ottawa!”


Jean Chretien, who was instrumental in the constitutional negotiations leading up to 1982 before becoming prime minister himself in 1993, helped set the stage for the stamp unveiling in the video below.



For the third stamp in the series, the team at Subplot got to have a bit more fun with the design. The stamp celebrates Canadian innovation with a picture of the Canadarm, a robotic arm used since 1981 in the space shuttle program, which shuttered in 2011.


Stamp #3 in the series celebrates Canadian innovation 


But it’s the OFDC that gave the designers a chance to recognize the breadth of Canadian inventions, from the snowmobile to the pacemaker, in a quirky way.


“The challenge with the OFDC was how to convey the diversity of all the very different technological advances that Canada has played a part in over the years,” says Clark. “The solution: create a “Mr. Roboto” out of all these amazing things from the Blackberry, and the Walkie Talkie, to the Pacemaker and the Flight Box Recorder.”



Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen launched the stamp at a Toronto school’s robotics club, below.



Stay tuned for the remaining 7 stamps over the next few weeks! To see stamp #1, click here.


Leave a Comment

* required field

Name: *

Optional URL: (include http://)

Comment: *

Verification: 1 + 5 = *

NOTE: Comments are moderated and should appear on the site shortly, pending approval.


Are you a designer, ad exec, copywriter, illustrator, interactive designer, or photographer with a flair for the written word? We're always looking for guest columnists and contributors on theĀ Applied Arts website! Email editorial[at] to introduce yourself.