Postage Stamp Design: In-house Creations for National Use

Postage stamp design is an art form that blossoms on a tiny area of space. A postage stamp is not just a voucher of postage. It is a piece of artwork exquisitely designed and printed. Outstanding postage stamp designs usually present not only the unique charm of folk culture, but also the spirit of their times.

Postage stamps are mostly designed by artists to display distinctive local features. There are also commemorative stamps issued in memory of historic personalities and events. Though small in size, postage stamps bring the majesty of history and the diversity of culture to everyone who appreciate them. This article introduces some postage stamps designed by faculty members, students and alumni of the Academy of Arts & Design of Tsinghua University (formerly the Central Academy of Design and Arts).

Special stamps Panda, designed by Han Meilin,


The J-1 commemorative stamps issued on October 8, 1949, to celebrate the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, feature a big lantern and the Tiananmen gate tower. They are the first postage stamp set issued after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

J-1: In Celebration of The first plenary session of the CPPCC,

designed by Zhang Ding and Zhong Ling,

platemaking by Sun Chuanzhe,

issued on October 8, 1949.

The J-69 commemorative stamps issued on October 1, 1959, in 10 million sets, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, display scenes of agricultural and industrial production in China within round mirror-shaped peripheries.

J-69: The 10th anniversary of the People's Republic of China,

designed by Zhong Ling, Qiu Ling, Chen Hanmin, Zhang Ding, Zhang Guangyu and Zhou Lingzhao,

platemaking by Sun Chuanzhe, and engraved by Gao Pinzhang,

issued on October 1, 1959.

Folk residences of varied styles are architectural gems of the Chinese nation. The serial stamps, Chinese Folk Houses, present the most representative residential buildings across China, each displaying their distinctive features. For example, there are the wing rooms of houses in Hunan, the hidden courts of houses in Jiangxi, the primitive bricks and tiles of houses in Jiangsu, and the piles upon piles of houses in Sichuan.

Postage stamps Chinese Folk Houses,

designed by Chen Hanmin, Li Zhongfa, Hua Jianxin and He Jie,


The 6-piece commemorative stamp set, The XXIX Olympic Games: Emblem and Mascots, draws inspiration from traditional Chinese culture. The emblem features Chinese brushwork, and the freehand technique in traditional Chinese ink-wash painting renders the lively mascots.

Commemorative stamps, The XXIX Olympic Games: Emblem and Mascots,

designed by Han Meilin, 2005.

The special stamp New Year Greetings for 2018, the Year of the Dog, features the two figures of Huanhuan and Xixi sending New Year greetings to the whole country from where the Zhuang people live. This stamp is particularly meaningful as 2018 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Stamp New Year Greetings, designed by Wu Guanying, 2018.

2020 is the Year of the Rat. The first of this year's "Year of the Rat" postage stamp series below is titled "The Rat Opens Heaven Up" (子鼠开天). It features a lovely rat jumping up into the air, which is a metaphor for a new round of development towards a higher level. The second one of the series, titled "Rats Promise a Good Harvest" (鼠兆丰年), shows three small joyful rats with some peanuts, figuratively indicating a bumper harvest and family happiness for the year.

Special stamps, The Year of the Rat, designed by Han Meilin, 2020.

Resource: "Create for China, Create for People" preparatory group;

Han Meilin Art Foundation

Editor: Ruohan Zhao

Visual Designer: Jiaqi Feng