Loaded with albums, magnifying glass in hand and a more than respectable age behind them. An image that comes to mind when listening to the philatelic word. But that of which appearances deceive is fulfilled perfectly. It is the charm of trompe l'oeil. At first glance they give an impression that changes almost completely upon reaching the bottom. The collection of stamps has found in the new technologies the ideal ally to play with all the false impressions. The living digital revolution allows you to adapt to frantic changes of society in the 21st century and, at the same time, approaching a younger audience.
A letter without a stamp is inconceivable. The problem for this small rectangular element is that physical correspondence has declined exponentially over the years. Your best lifesaver has been to become a collector's item. In Spain, for example, about 400,000 philatelics live together. "Our trick is to give an added value to the seal, which is different. That you like more people than just collectors. That is why technology has helped us to create some completely innovative ones, "reasons Modesto Fraguas, director of postal philately. It is no longer valid with a nice drawing, but it needs to transcend the paper itself.
The augmented reality has had a determining impact on the series for collectors. Apart from attracting attention, the messages between the real and the virtual are intermingled through a mobile phone. As Fraguas explains, the first one who used this technology in Spain was an emoticon that included a QR code to download the app that allowed to see more stamps designed with the same technique. "The additional contents can be from tutorials that tell how a stamp has been mounted in origami to an animation that contextualizes the image that appears from El Greco," he adds.
Never before eight square centimeters had so many possibilities. Philatelics they have to be literally with all the senses in place to increase their collection. Correos elaborated, in collaboration with chef Ferran Adrià, a series of stamps with aroma and almond flavor, in memory of ajoblanco, as a tribute to Spanish cuisine. "It would have been impossible without the current technical improvements and without digital printing systems. It is clear that it increases its price, but also that it does not cost the same to incorporate seeds to a stamp, "says Fraguas. It is clear that trompe-l'oeil has taken it seriously in philately.
Seals also understand 3D
In the eagerness to connect with a younger audience, the stamps in three dimensions have become a kind of claim. Sometimes it will not be so easy to contemplate them without more. Glasses at the ready, the printed dinosaur comes alive almost instantly as if it were coming out of Jurassic Park. If we choose a simpler option, just by turning it and modifying the angle of view, Han Solo will change the companion on the same piece of paper. "We played with different effects and depth of field thanks to the fact that we printed them in 3D. The aim is to modernize the sector and innovate both in topics and in printing techniques, "says the post office philatelic director.
Despite being a more than mature market, it continues to arouse some interest. According to Fraguas, some 90 stamps are issued each year, but up to 600 institutional requests are accumulated to leave their stamp imprint. One of the most important values for collectors is the history behind their hobby. Collect the evolution of a country. "It is the testimony of a society at a certain time. At first only monarchs were printed, but now we are talking about Harry Potter, Star Wars or gastronomy. What we do has to be in tune with the time that we live, "he concludes.
Correos has incorporated new technologies into an element that seems far from disruption. They are aware that, without applying them correctly, the future of philately, despite the 60 million global collectors, may not be the desired even if it is a consolidated business. The innovation in the stamps is not exactly a game of false appearances. It is convenient to review the perception and observe them as one more element of the digital revolution.