Studio Job's design references the country's first ever stamp, issued in 1852, which depicted an image of King Wilhelm III in profile, shaded to give the impression of depth. The new stamps show King Willem-Alexander face-on, in a pose intended to be less formal.
An image commissioned specially from photographer Rineke Dijkstra was used as the basis for a three-dimensional portrait, which the artists told Dezeen was "digitally sculpted layer-by-layer using different computer programs, resulting in a 3D effect."
"The advantage of digital modelling is that the image becomes timeless. Or better put: ageless," they added. "This makes it hard to tell how old or young the king is pictured and that increases the period the stamp can be used. Also, the three-dimensional character of the stamp makes it more accessible and informal, which we also think is more appropriate for this king."
The three colours of the Dutch flag, which were also used in the original 1852 stamps, differentiate stamps for two classes of domestic mail (light blue for up to 20 grams and light red for up to 50 grams) and international mail (silver-white).
When asked what appealed to them about this opportunity, Studio Job told Dezeen: "Our work is based on iconography. The permanent king stamp has a double iconic value: the stamp is an icon, as is the king. It was a challenge for us to design an unlimited functional product because mostly we design expressive unique pieces or small editions."
The Dutch post office issues a new permanent stamp when a new Head of State takes office. The stamps designed by Studio Job are currently on show at a special exhibition at the Museum for Communication in The Hague, which continues until mid-2014.
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