The Dinos of Canada stamp series isn’t extinct just yet.
Canada post issued stylish dinosaurs stamps depicting each animal as a reflection in the eye of a predator or in the eye of one of their own species.
This exciting sequel breathes new life into five more fossilized finds that are part of Canada’s wealth of paleontological discoveries.
This rock-solid issue took shape with the help of team from Vancouver-based Subplot Design Inc. that included Roy White, Matthew Clark, Steph Gibson and Liz Wurzinger.
Dinos of Canada : five fossilized stamps
Not all of the 5 prehistoric animals featured on this year’s stamps are actually dinosaurs, but 2 fit the bill.
The first is the Acrotholus audeti, which roamed Alberta’s Badlands about 84 million years ago.
The second, the small, feathered Troodon inequalis, inhabited the same area some 9 million years later.
The creatures on the 3 remaining stamps are the Comox Valley elasmosaur, Cypretherium coarctatum, and Dimetrodon borealis.
The elasmosaur hunted in the waters off what is now Vancouver Island more than 80 million years ago.
Cypretherium, nicknamed “Terminator Pig”, bared its menacing teeth to stalk prey on the floodplains of Saskatchewan some 35 million years ago.
Dimetrodon lived on the arid landscape of Prince Edward Island about 270 million years ago.
Two traditional dinosaurs unearthed at Alberta: the tiny, bird-like Troodon inequalis and the boneheaded Acrotholus audeti.
In British Columbia, found the Comox Valley elasmosaur, a vicious marine reptile, while in Saskatchewan, dug up the relatively recent Cypretherium coarctatum, one of a group of mammals nicknamed “terminator pigs.”
Moving east, to Prince Edward Island, came across an ancient, mammal-like reptile called Dimetrodon borealis.
Stamp Design Challenge
“We knew this project would be illustration-heavy and the subject matter would be very specific,” says White. “Our first challenge was to find an engaging illustrator – one who was also an expert in the subject.”
The search for such a specialized artist led the team to Ukrainian Sergey Krasovskiy who, as one of the world’s best paleo-artists, specializes in the illustration of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.
Although Krasovskiy’s work has graced the pages of many textbooks and popular magazines, including National Geographic, these are his first stamps.
“When I start an illustration, I visualize it in a magazine,” explains Krasovskiy.
“I couldn’t do the same with a small stamp, so I printed a stamp-sized frame to actually see the size I was working with.”
“Steph [Gibson] came up with the idea of showing the reflection of the creature through the eyes of another.
Each eye is a unique frame, so it helps to create an interesting storyline for the stamp.
Who’s watching? Predator? Prey? They inspire the imagination without having to depict an entire scene,” says White.
The captivating design of Dinos of Canada stamps presented some unusual challenges.
The creature needed to appear as a reflection on a curved surface, making it difficult to balance the distortion in the perspective with the very technical – and scientifically accurate – details.
“The repeating eye motif comes roaring back on the uncut press sheet as the eye of a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex and as the frame for a single stamp among seven other souvenir sheets.”
“It’s not just an illustration to me,” adds Krasovskiy, “I enjoy the process. I hope that it reflects in my work, and that the audience feels that passion.”
Title: Unearthing Dinos of Canada stamp
Date of Issue: 26 May 2016
Denominations: Permanent™ (domestic rate) x 5
Source: Canada Post