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The “final” postage stamps dedicated to the Olympic Games of 2014 18 апреля 2014 года, 16:59

The “final” postage stamps dedicated to the Olympic Games of 2014

Two variants of souvenir sheets dedicated to the medals of the winners of the 22nd Olympic and 11th Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi have turned out to be really unique.  
A. Drobyshev, a designer of Publishing and Trading Centre "Marka" developed them in the same style with different decoration details – various mountain reliefs at different times are depicted on the souvenir sheets. The awards of the Olympic Winter Games are shown against the background of snow-capped mountains and bright blue sky. The medals of the Paralympic Games are depicted against the background of mountains with distinct relief against the southern evening sky.
Each of the two souvenir sheets is issued in two variants – with and without overprinting. The overprinting was carried out after the Olympic Games were closed and the number of medals won by the Russian sportsmen was announced.
The craftsmen of the Moscow Printing Factory applied offset printing in four ordinary inks and three metalized inks (according to the colours of medals – gold, silver and bronze) for the manufacture of the “final” Olympic souvenir sheets. For the image on the medals to be readable, it is emphasized with the black ink on top of the metalized ones.
There is another additional ink in which the text is applied on the souvenir sheets with overprinting.  
Work upon these complicated projects was started in advance upon agreement with the customers (Publishing and Trading Centre "Marka") the technology was mastered and variants of execution were worked through.  
During the preliminary work the main task was to find the best method of designing the medals. At first it was assumed that the medals could be designed with foil stamping, variants of selective varnishing, combination of the bronze ink with foil were considered. But after the trial tests together with our customers we came to the conclusion that the medals should be depicted with metalized ink, for the souvenir sheet to look reserved and dignified.  
Perforation of the souvenir sheets was carried out on “Fisher” machine one at a time. Relief stamping was carried out the same way, one at a time – the stamping details were very small, and the Olympic rings were very thin.  
The smallest and thinnest details were printed with the black ink, and it was necessary to get into the printing area during the relief stamping.  
There were difficulties with such a popular printed element as the QR-code too. It contains a lot of tiny details.
Preparation works for the manufacture of the Olympic souvenir sheets was started as early as last summer; it took a few months to produce the lot itself, 300 thousand pieces (100 thousand pieces of souvenir sheets without overprinting and 50 thousand pieces with overprinting of each kind). One can say that the craftsmen of the Moscow Printing Factory accomplished a manual, jewelry work.  

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