For the past 27 years, Australia Post has been issuing stamps for greetings and special occasions that portray love and affection. These stamps provide mail users with something special with which to adorn their envelopes for invitations and greetings.

In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, Australia Post is releasing its latest Special Occasions stamp issue on 7 February 2017, simply titled “Love”. This stamp issue introduces new designs for love-related occasions, such as a wedding or Valentine’s Day, or simply for heart-felt greetings.

The stamp designs are based around two iconic love symbols: the rose and the heart, both of which will also be available as part of the Personalised Stamps™ service.

In addition to the stamps, a Weddings stamp pack is released, which includes 30 Heart stamps, together with matching envelope seal stickers that will add a stylish touch to your envelopes. The pack contains two exclusive sheetlets of 15 – one featuring a satin silver foil and the other featuring a blind embossed finish.

Love on Australia Post stamps

Between 1990 and 1994, Australia Post released a series of Thinking of You stamps. The first three issues were based around a simple and fairly traditional illustration of Australian wildflowers, which could be used to express both love and friendship. The fourth design featured brightly coloured photographs of flowers in reds and yellows, including the red rose – an iconic symbol of romance.

The red rose theme continued in dedicated St Valentine’s Day issues released in 1995, 1996 and 1997. These combined the red rose with a heart and in a more modern and striking graphic style.
Whether illustrative or photographic, modern or classic, love-themed designs through the years have been unified by a desire to convey emotion and serve as an attractive (and functional) envelope adornment. The most common themes have, unsurprisingly, been flowers, the red rose and the heart (or a combination of these).
Some designs have also included the clever use of typography, for a more whimsical touch. This allows the designs to easily cross over between romantic and platonic love.
Continuing the whimsical approach are illustrative love heart designs featured in Special Occasions (2014) and Love Is in the Air (2015), the latter of which features designs that really do convey the ‘uplifting’ nature of love!

Today, love-themed stamps continue to be released in the lead-up to St Valentine’s Day or on an ad-hoc basis as part of the Special Occasions series.

The interesting thing about love as a theme is that it is both incredibly personal and individual and yet also timeless and universal. Plus, there are many forms of love across a spectrum – from platonic and romantic love, as well as the specific love bonds that occur between parents and children, for example. Even romantic love can evolve or change, from the early stages or romance right through to long-standing relationships that are celebrating milestone anniversaries.

These factors mean that the theme of “love” can pose challenges to stamp designers. As Manager of the Philatelic Design Studio, Lynette Traynor explains:

“The main challenge is to come up with a beautiful design that appeals to a wide audience without being too cute and clichéd. As love is a recurring stamp issue for us it is always a challenge to find new ways to express it.”

While the Philatelic Design Studio create many stamp designs in-house, they also commission external creatives from around Australia.

“This ensures Australian stamp design remains fresh and varied, particularly with a recurring theme like ‘love’, and showcases the huge range of creative talent around our country,” says Lynette.

“This year’s designs, for example, have been created by Gary Domoney of VISUA. The 2017 designs are elegant and sophisticated. They convey the message of love simply and speak to a broad range of ages and backgrounds,” adds Lynette.


The Special Occasions: Love stamp issue is available from 7 February 2017, online, from participating Post Offices and via mail order on 1800 331 794, while stocks last.

View the gallery of stamps and technical details for this issue.

*This article was produced at the time of publication and will not be updated.

Philatelic Team