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Unique postage stamp with images of Olympic Champions issued by Atos Origin and TPG Post crowned with International design award


Dutch skating legends Ard Schenk and Yvonne van Gennip “Going for Gold”
Paris/The Hague, 28 September 2006 - TPG Post and Atos Origin commemorated the pinnacle of athletic achievement by immortalizing two outstanding athletes on the ‘Going for gold’ postage stamp sheet. These stamps, featuring unique, moving images of Dutch skating legends Ard Schenk and Yvonne van Gennip, were issued on 10 February 2006. These special postage stamps were developed by TPG Post in cooperation with Atos Origin, Worldwide IT Partner for the Olympic Games through to 2012. The design, by Solar Initiative, has been awarded the prestigious, international Red Dot Design Award in the category of Corporate Design.

Red Dot Design Award
The jury considered a total of 3,708 submissions from 31 different countries, making this annual competition one of the largest and most important international design prizes in the world. The Red Dot Awards will be presented on 8 December of this year at the Design Zentrum in Essen, Germany, where the award-winning work will also be exhibited.

Collaboration between TPG Post and Atos Origin
To honour both the two greatest Dutch skating legends – they each won during one edition of the Olympic Games three gold medals - and to mark the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, TPG Post and Atos Origin took the opportunity to issue a special postage stamp, a stamp on which both skaters are seen in action through the use of an innovative ‘lenticular’ technique. In this way, the stamps fit in perfectly with the complex technological work done by Atos Origin at the Olympic Games. Atos Origin has primary responsibility for Information Technology, relating to IT consulting, systems integration, operations management, information security and software applications development for the Olympic Games.

Moving images
To achieve the impression of movement on the stamps, TPG Post had to print the stamps onto plastic for the first time. Lenticular technology makes it possible to have Ard and Yvonne skating around the stamps. There is a sequence of twelve film stills taken from the winning races at the Sapporo (1972) and Calgary (1988) Olympic Winter Games, to portray Ard and Yvonne skating in full flight over four square centimetres. The snowy images of Ard in 1972 and those of Yvonne come from the early years of colour TV, presenting the designers with a major challenge. The stamps were printed at a specialist printing-press in Australia. As these stamps printed onto plastic were new for TPG Post, they were tested thoroughly at sorting offices.

Austere design
Apart from its moving images and the subject-matter chosen, the stamp is also striking for its crisp, austere design. “Solar Initiative is noted for its clear, conceptual designs, with discriminating use of the smallest possible number of graphic elements”, says Miguel Gori, art director at Solar Initiative. “In order to approach the atmosphere of the competition as closely as possible, the time-indicator moves with the camera, just as in TV broadcasts. Another special feature is that the movement of the film image can also be seen in the lettering of the stamp. This produces a surprisingly spacious effect.”

The stamps are somewhat larger than usual at 52 x 30 millimetres, resulting in a clear image of the greatest Dutch skating champions. All other Dutch gold-medal winners at Olympic Winter Games are also honoured on the stamp by displaying their names below the two stamps.

About TPG Post
TPG Post processes 17 million pieces of mail daily and delivers to more than 7 million addresses in the Netherlands. The company is also working to broaden its horizons internationally with acquisitions in Europe and Asia. A growing area of importance is services converting electronic data into physical mail. TPG Post’s primary activity is mail-related services: collection, sorting, transport and delivery of letters and packages. The company also specialises in data and document services, direct mail, e-commerce and international mail. TPG Post employs over 65,000 people, and its sales in 2004 were € 3.9 billion.

About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company’s annual revenues are EUR 5.5 billion and it employs over 47,000 people in 40 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international blue-chip companies across all sectors. Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market and trades as Atos Origin, Atos Euronext Market Solutions, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.

About Solar Initiative
Solar Initiative’s hallmarks are clear, graphic and multimedia designs and expertise in photographic technology. Partners and founders Miguel Gori, Marieke Muskens van Bemmel and Jeannette Zuurbier work with their team for a wide variety of organisations, from major multinationals to small cultural project organisations. Their clients include Delta Lloyd Group, CBK Dordrecht, Stichting Utrecht Biennale, BNP, the Bijenkorf and paper wholesaler Modo VanGelder. Art director Miguel Gori and Remco van Bladel, Bart de Baets and Tobias Schaub of Solar Initiative developed the design for the “Going for the Gold” postage stamps.


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