Concluding its month-long series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beloved sci-fi TV show Star Trek, Canada Post has issued the final two stamps, these using lenticular printing in homage to the famed “transporter.”
The stamps – issued in lenticular souvenir sheets of varying sizes – were unveiled in Toronto on May 5. Designed by Kosta Tsetsekas, of the Vancouver-based Signals Design Group, these are the first lenticular stamps issued by Canada Post since a 2009 series commemorating the Montreal Canadiens (Scott #2340). The stamps and special commemoratives are now available at canadapost.ca.
Lenticular printing makes images appear, when viewed from different angles, as if they are in motion. The stamps depict Star Trek’s most famous technology – the teleportation machine known as the transporter – and one of its most popular episodes, “The City on the Edge of Forever.” The motion-like effect of lenticular printing brings the beloved series to the “miniature screen,” said Jim Phillips, Canada Post’s director of stamp services.
Lenticular was an opportunity to recognize the show’s futuristic vision as well as the special effects that brought it to life, Tsetsekas said.
“I felt that lenticular, developed in the 1940s, had a bit of a low-tech feel that really mirrored the TV special effects used in the original Star Trek series. Thanks to newer technology, it is now possible to show a lot more motion.”
Jonathan Moon, director of the New Zealand-based lenticular printer Outer Aspect, said he approached the project with “extra care;” that’s not only because millions of fans would be scrutinizing the final product but also because he, too, is a fan.
“I grew up with Star Trek, and I love how science fiction becomes science fact,” he said. “I can play a snippet of video footage from Star Trek on a stamp, with no electricity required. That’s straight out of science fiction to me.”
The Prestige booklet is the first issued by Canada Post in more than 10 years. It’s available in souvenir sheets. Each step of the process, from production to unveil, has been an adventure, said Phillips.
Designed by Tsetsekas and Adrien Horvath, also of Signals Design Group, along with the help of CBS Studios, the booklet includes seven of the series’ stamps (all but the lenticulars). Well aware the show’s loyal fans would be watching closely, Tsetsekas and Horvath ensured authenticity by using actual images of the show from CBS archives. To capture the show’s essence, the booklet’s pages were designed around the key characters commemorated on the stamps alongside some nods to Trekkies with the Enterprise’s infamous 3-D chess board and a tribute to the beloved, albeit doomed, redshirts.
“I have to say, I felt a bit of pressure with this issue,” explained Horvath. “But as a fan, I found the pressure just a little easier to take – and the work a lot more fun.”
Phillips said the booklet offers a nostalgic glimpse into the show’s most memorable moments as well as its then-space-age technologies, such as hand-held communicators, convenient tablets and automatic doors, each of which have since become part of our daily lives.
This final offering joins seven other stamps unveiled by Canada Post since April 6.
The first two Star Trek stamps feature the U.S.S. Enterprise and its Captain James Kirk (played by Canadian actor William Shatner), respectively. A third stamp, depicting Spock (played by the late actor Leonard Nimoy), was unveiled a few days later at a star-gazing event in Vulcan, Alta. On April 22, a fourth stamp featuring Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, chief engineer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, was unveiled at famous locations across Toronto. Another stamp came less than a week later, and it features Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy. Two days later, a fifth unveil, this at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, gave two stamps: one depicts Klingon Commander Kor (played by the late Canadian actor John Colicos) and another shows the Klingon battlecruiser.
The Kirk, Spock, Scott, McCoy and Kor stamps are available together in panes of five; booklets of 10; and uncut press sheets, 10,000 of which
measuring 483 mm by 650 mm each. The Enterprise and Klingon battlecruiser stamps are also available together in souvenir sheets of two; strips of four and 10; and coils of 50.
The series also includes eight official first-day covers as well as five postage paid postcards with authentic imagery celebrating five of Star Trek’s most popular
episodes, including “A Piece of the Action,” “The Trouble with Tribbles,” “Amok Time,” “Mirror, Mirror,” and “The City on the Edge of Forever.”