Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Have you ever been to a stamp show? It’s a bit like being in a magic wonderland, filled with (postal) treasures to be discovered! Although we are not collectors ourselves, browsing the stands brimming with old postcards or curated sets of stamps is irresistible, and we are always pleasantly surprised by how knowledgeable and patient the vendors are… even to clueless newbies like ourselves. 😅 There are also exhibitions on interesting philatelic topics or rare stamps, and often also talks or seminars on different themes.

The biggest stamp show in Europe is Stampex International, which takes place in London twice a year… but, in this atypical year, they’re doing something new and turning its Autumn edition into a virtual show! Everything will happen online: the talks, the exhibitions, the perusing of catalogues and even the chatting with the vendors. This is unprecedented but definitely good news, as it gives everyone the possibility to safely participate no matter where they are in the world.

A virtual auditorium filled with people looks onto a screen

Which brings me to the topic of this post: October 1st is both World Postcard Day and the first day of Virtual Stampex — and we will be there!

Paulo and I will be participating in a Stampex talk, in which we will talk about Postcrossing, the World Postcard Day and why we love postcards. We’ll be joined in this conversation by Constanze, who is both a postcrosser and a philatelist, and Graham Winters, chairman of the Association of British Philatelic Societies, who will show us some special postcards from his collection.

We’ll then open the mic to everyone who would like to show their favorite postcards… which means YOU can participate too, if you’d like! We invite everyone to register for Stampex and join us there on October 1st at 4pm (London time, GMT+1), on the Spink Auditorium for an hour or so filled with postal fun.

Don’t forget to bring your favorite postcard to show & tell! 😍

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It’s no secret that we have a huge soft spot for children writing and enjoying postcards. There’s something about their awe at the mysteries of mail, the delight at checking the mailbox, and the effort they put into each word that just never gets old. 😊

Child writing postcards

This year for the World Postcard Day, we thought it would be a good idea to do something for the little ones, and after some thinking, we hatched a plan try to help teachers give a class about postcards. Because we’re not teachers ourselves, we enlisted the help of Kristin (aka volvomom), who is an educator in the Boston area. She introduced us to the idea of Understanding by Design, a backwards education concept that focus on the results before considering which learning activities will best meet those goals.

The goals are simple: we want students to understand how mail works, and invite them to send a postcard on October 1st! So we’ve laid out a few ways of achieving this result, listing videos on mail topics as well as tasks that teachers and students can try. We’ve done our best to make the lesson plan flexible enough to accommodate different grades and also different subjects, in order to fit as many classrooms as possible.

We’ve also enlisted the help of some postcrossers to translate the lesson plan into different languages, and so in addition to the English version, there are now versions in French and Russian (by michelle_2012), Dutch (by avanesdonk), German (by frewen and killewips) and Spanish (by Loli-ts) — you can find them on the World Postcard Day page. Thank you ladies, you’re awesome! 👍

If you’re a teacher, feel free to grab the World Postcard Day lesson plan and use it in your classes on October 1st! And if you’re a parent of school children, we invite you to send it to your child’s teachers — it’ll be a great way for them to participate in the celebrations, and be a part of this global movement.

PS – 22 days and 12 hours until the World Postcard Day!

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Today, we’re happy to introduce the official postcard for the World Postcard Day event! It’s the winning postcard in a design competition that Postcrossing run together with Finepaper, a neat printing and design company based in Lisbon.

One of the goals of the initiative was to introduce postcards to a young generation of designers, so the students were taught about the postcard format, types of paper as well as possible printing techniques, before going about imagining a postcard that would represent the World Postcard Day. The submissions poured in throughout July, after which the juries had the difficult task of picking just one winner. And now, without any further ado, I give you the selected design!

A colorful and quirky illustration of postal-related themes, featuring a big red 2020 in the center, and several characters and postboxes with mail flying between them.

Isn’t it super cute? 😍 The chosen postcard was designed by Leandro Ferreira, a 3rd year student of Design & Multimedia at Universidade da Beira Interior. Congratulations, Leandro — the coveted Pantone catalogue is yours! If you’re curious about the other submissions, you can see some of them on the contest page (Portuguese-only, sorry!). This year’s competition was mostly a small scale trial run, which we plan to expand to other countries next year, doing it earlier in the year as well.

If you’d like, you can download a high resolution version of this postcard (front and back) to print on a local printing shop or online service (like Vistaprint or MOO) — the files and details are available on the World Postcard Day page. If you use it or receive it, do share it online with the hashtag #WorldPostcardDay! We’d love to see this postcard reach all corners of the world.

Special cancellation mark by Portuguese Post, featuring the World Postcard Day logo and dateIn other exciting news, the Portuguese Post (CTT) has created a special cancellation mark with the World Postcard Day logo to celebrate the day! We’re very excited about it and planning to use it on all the postcards we write on October 1st! If you’d like to receive the official World Postcard Day postcard from the “headquarters” with the special cancellation mark, leave a comment below — we’ll randomly pick a few postcrossers to be the lucky recipients of these postcards, written by us on the day! 😊

29 days and 14 hours until the World Postcard Day!

PS – A few postcrossers have asked us how they can get this cancellation mark on their postcards, given that they don’t live in Portugal. If you have access to IRCs in your country, here’s how you can get it.

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

We’re slightly anticipating September’s writing prompt as we have some exciting stuff to share in the coming days. 😊 So, without further ado…

In September, write about your plans for the World Postcard Day!
World Postcard Day logo

The first World Postcard Day will take place in just one month, and we want to hear all about your plans to celebrate this special day! Are your postcards and stamps ready? Have you made a list of nice people or good causes to whom you will be writing?

Our plans so far include mailing as many postcards as possible, mostly to postcrossers out there! We’ve also bookmarked a page that promotes writing to old people’s homes in Portugal, to offer some much needed cheer in these troubled times. Is there perhaps a similar initiative in your country?

Beyond writing postcards, some other ways to celebrate the day include teaching a lesson about mail and postcards, visiting a postal museum, helping set up a library event, or simply spreading the word!

What will you be up to, on October 1st? Share your plans with the community on the comments below, and also on the postcards you write this month. Let’s get this party started! 🎉

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Remember Audrey (aka audreyyung), the little girl from Macao that we featured on the blog some years ago? Audrey is now 8 years old, and has received so many postcards through Postcrossing and other swaps that she made her own postcard exhibition!

Audrey cutting a red rope, at the opening of her postcard exhibition Visitors at the exhibition Visitors at the exhibition Audrey's classmates visited the exhibition

The exhibition took place last month at the Fundação Rui Cunha, in Macao. The postcards were hanged around the room in thin wires within reach so that the visitors could interact with them, and there were also posters in 3 languages explaining Postcrossing. Despite the current circumstances, lots of people visited (including her classmates and teachers!) and Audrey was even interviewed for the local TV and radio stations, as well as the Macao Daily newspaper!

Audrey being interviewed about the exhibition

All the images on this post came from the Fundação Rui Cunha website, where you can browse more photos from the exhibition and even see a video of the event. We love how the exhibition turned out, and are super proud of Audrey and her dad Alan’s achievements — well done! 🎉

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