The Republic of San Marino is, perhaps, not as well-known as its famous boot-shaped neighbor, Italy, but it quietly boasts some pretty impressive statistics — the micronation is the world’s oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic, maintains a level of per capita GDP on par with those of wealthy nations like Denmark, has no national debt, and is the only nation in the world to have more vehicles than people. Among the tiny state’s claims to fame, though, is that about 10% of the national revenue comes from its famous postage stamps, which are sold to collectors (philatelists) around the world.
Stamp collecting as a hobby is still alive and well, despite the bite electronic communications have taken from posted pieces. Stamps are valued for designs honoring individuals, events, and technologies that have impacted a society — and one of the latest sets in San Marino’s postage offerings celebrates the impact that 3D printing is having.
Andy Rementer, the designer of the new stamp collection, is a US-based artist who produces innovative commercial, editorial, cartoon, painted, and animated pieces. He worked for Fabrica in Treviso, Italy for two years prior to becoming a full-time artist back in the US, and one of his former colleagues from Fabrica contacted him about the stamp design project. Omar Vulpinari, the former colleague, is a San Marino native now working as a crossmedia creative director, and with his help, Rementer was able to fit the standards expected of these highly collectible pieces.
The Philatelic and Numismatic Bureau of San Marino (Azienda Filatelica e Numismatica di San Marino — AASFN) offers hundreds of designs that all adhere to high standards of quality and work as cohesive sets. With Vulpinari’s assistance, Rementer was able to solidify his designs’ place in the collection.
Rementer’s collection comprises three designs, each with a different valuation for posting. Each of the three designs represents a different application of 3D printing technology, honoring “La Rivoluzione della Stampa 3D,” the 3D Printing Revolution.
“The 3D printer is an advanced technology that produces tridimensional objects, made of plastic or other materials, from a computer 3D model,” the AASFN notes. “Rementer designed three virtual scenes that forerun the times with his original and visionary comic strip style. The set represents the production of food (€0.10 value), more complex and elaborate objects (€0.80 value) and a provoking ‘duplicate’ of a human being (€2.15 value).”
This collection is the first of its kind for Rementer, whose designs have appeared in magazines, art installations, and comics — and now also grace envelopes and philatelic collections.
His 3D printing-inspired designs are available in sheets of 20 stamps, all with different production runs. For the food design, 70,000 pieces are in the print run, with 50,000 available for each of the other two designs (complex/elaborate objects and human). The official issue date for the collection was yesterday, March 10th.
“I tried to find a way for the stamps to communicate with each other visually, as well as respond to various aspects of 3D printing,” Rementer said. “San Marino is highly regarded for its stamps, so it was a true privilege.”
By choosing to honor 3D printing, these stamps showcase the strong foothold the technology is gaining throughout the world. While the micronation currently has the world’s highest level of vehicles per capita, perhaps one day it will also shine out as having the most 3D printers relative to its population. That remains to be seen, but choosing to commemorate additive manufacturing in one of the state’s most treasured and well-known industries is a certain sign of its place.
Will you purchase any of these stamps for your own philatelic collection? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the Stamps Honoring 3D Printing forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out more images of the stamps below.