Canada Post’s new ghost-themed stamp series designed by Context Creative’s Lionel Gadoury has an eerily perfect launch date: today is Friday the 13th and there is a full moon rising. Called Haunted Canada, the collection depicts some of the country’s most famous ghost stories, including the Ghost Bride that supposedly lurks at the Fairmont Banff Springs, and a group of spirits from the War of 1812 that are said to moan and lurch at Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Gadoury said the horror hook reeled him in. “I can’t think of anything that unites us all more. Especially all those memories of sitting around the campfire and swapping ghost stories as kids, there’s this huge popular appeal that strikes some sort of primal memory for all of us,” he said.
The images were illustrated by Sam Weber, a Canadian artist living in New York known for his solemn, unsettling imagery. “Without Sam’s absolutely magical skills we’d be nowhere with this particular theme,” said Gadoury.
“He has this ability to interpret some of these more surreal aspects, and he’s got this almost hyperrealism in the way that he renders his pieces that really worked out well for us.”
Fonts used are distorted versions of Gotham, Friz Quadrata and Historical Fell Type Roman. Gadoury says Friz Quadrata was chosen for its boldness and “thorny” serifs. Historical Fell Type Roman was chosen for its aged, distressed look.
He notes that there are unique challenges when designing for stamps. The audience includes both the lay person and the collector: “One of the challenges is how do you make a design work at a very small size so that there’s a certain instantaneous appeal, and then also hold up to careful scrutiny.”
Each piece sports a holographic foil highlighting key areas–like the fire devouring the Phantom Ship that perpetually burns along the Northumberland Strait, or the glint in the Ghost Bride’s eyes–adding to the spooky atmosphere.
The collection also includes postcards (as seen above), souvenir sheets and gift set packages. A limited edition Ghost Bride coin goes an extra creepy mile, using lenticular printing to make it seem like her eyes are opening and closing.