Vancouver, B.C. (January 16, 2018) – In a long-running tradition, Canada Post honours the beginning of each lunar New Year with the release of a set of stamps, celebrating the transition from one animal cycle into the next. Subplot Design Inc. was commissioned to create an international and domestic stamp, along with a range of supporting material such as Postcards, First Day Covers, Booklets, Souvenir Sheets and a limited series Uncut Press Sheet.


This “Year of the Dog” set is part of the tenth issue in Canada Post’s Lunar New Year series, which began with the Year of the Ox in 2009.


Inspired by the colourful and brightly-illuminated decorations that mark this holiday, Subplot’s Jacquie Shaw came up with the concept for the stamps.


“The lantern is such a quintessential symbol of the Lunar New Year celebrations. We wanted it to play a pivotal role in the design of these stamps, hence the idea of beautifully illuminated lanterns with elaborate dog illustrations on them”, says Subplot Founder and Creative Director, Roy White. 


Chinese illustrator Meimei Mao created two delicately-crafted dog illustrations that are reminiscent of traditional Chinese paper cutting. One of each of the two characters is featured prominently on the domestic and international stamp. The dogs are inspired by Shih Tzu and a traditional Chinese native dog. Subplot worked with local photographer and long-time collaborator Raeff Miles to create the lantern scenes.


Designer Liz Wurzinger remembers, “Meimei’s intricate dog characters were translated onto lanterns and then shot by photographer Raeff Miles, bringing a warmth, richness and depth to the final images.”


All products are additionally graced with Order of Ontario recipient Albert Ng’scalligraphy, who crafted multiple blessings that were then embossed in gold foil by Toronto printer Lowe Martin. Both gold and red are auspicious colours in the Chinese tradition, symbolizing prosperity and good luck.


All products are available for purchase at selected Canada Post offices and online here.


Subplot and the rest of the creative team were on hand at the launch event on January 15th at the Main Vancouver Post Office, where the stamps were officially revealed (yes, we even got to pull the string). An official signing event followed the unveiling ceremony.


The Year of the Dog begins on February 16, 2018, and lasts until February 4, 2019. Those born under this sign are said to be loyal, happy, and playful but sometimes stubborn. Driven by a sense of duty and justice, and disinterested in wealth or power, these sympathetic people put the well-being of others above all else.


Happy New Year from everyone at Subplot! 


Concept & Design: Subplot Design Inc.
Creative Director: Roy White, Matthew Clark
Lead Designer: Liz Wurzinger
Illustration: Meimei Mao
Photography: Raeff Miles Photography
Calligraphy: Albert Ng
Client: Canada Post
Printer: Lowe Martin