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An Post Saorstát Éireann Stamp Commission in partnership with Business to Arts 

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How do I apply?

To apply, please complete the online application form here.

How many artworks will An Post select for the Saorstát Éireann Stamp Commission?

Only one artwork will be selected.

Can an artist submit more than one entry?

Entries are limited to one per artist. A gallery can submit an entry on behalf of a represented artist, but must ensure permission is received from the artist to submit on their behalf and that no other submission is being made by or on behalf of the artist. Artists submitting more than one entry will be disqualified.

Can a collective of artists enter a collaborative artwork?

Yes, artists can enter a collaborative artwork for consideration.

I am an Irish artist living abroad, can I apply?

This open call invites applications from artists that are Irish residents and who are based on the island of Ireland. All entries must provide a residential address in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. 

When uploading image attachments, what file type should I submit?

We require image files in JPEG format. TIFF and PNG format can also be submitted. Files size must be between 1MB and 3MB.

What format, size and colours should the artwork be?

If people are portrayed, should they be recognisable figures?

Artworks that depict people do not need to be recognisable figures. The information webinar, which provides a general overview of the stamp commission, provides a range of previous artworks that have appeared on An Post stamps.

Should the artist submit a physical copy of the artwork or just an image of the artwork?

The application process for this competition is conducted entirely online. We do not require a submission of physical artwork at this stage.

The terms and conditions state that an artist must meet [3] of the professional working artists guidelines set out by Visual Artists Ireland, why is this?

The terms and conditions for this open call were developed by An Post, members of the Stamp Design Advisory Committee and Business to Arts. Artists entering must be a professional artist, and meet a minimum of three [3] of the below criteria, which are guidelines used by Visual Artists Ireland and can be viewed here. They include:

I do not meet [3] of the professional working artists guideline criteria set out by Visual Artists Ireland, am I eligible to apply?

Entrants must be professional working artists, and meet a minimum of three [3] criteria according to the professional status criteria guidelines set by Visual Artists Ireland.

Does an artist need to meet all [7] criteria set out by Visual Artists Ireland to be eligible to apply?

No, entrants must meet a minimum of three [3] criteria according to the professional status criteria guidelines set by Visual Artists Ireland, which can be viewed here.

Does the artwork need to be completed by the application deadline or would a concept proposal be acceptable?

Our preference is for a completed artwork to be submitted for consideration by the application deadline.

Is it appropriate for the artist to sign the front of painting or do they avoid on this occasion?

Artists can sign the front of their painting. A signature on the front of the painting will not impact the eligibility of the artwork.

Will the winning artist or An Post own the original artwork?

An Post will own the original artwork. The selected artist will be required to sign and agree to the An Post Commissioning Agreement, which states the fee applicable for the commissioning and purchase of the artwork, and the terms and conditions connected to the copyright of the artwork design for the stamp.

When will the entrants be informed about the selection? Will there be a shortlist?

Entrants will be notified by Friday July 30th, and there will be no shortlist – one artist will be selected.

Content & Medium

Can a submission be a previously published, or currently public piece?

Ideally, An Post would prefer an original piece, however, the submission can be a previously created artwork.

Are there any themes An Post wish to promote/ embrace with this commission?

This stamp commission aims to commemorate the centenary of Saorstát Éireann in December 2022. There are no prescriptive themes that an artist must adhere to with their entry. Our objective is to open this commission to the widest breadth of artists’ responses we can receive.

Will artworks created in digital medium (e.g. graphic design) be accepted, or must the artwork be in a physical medium?

Applications are welcome in the form of fine art painting, sculpture, prints, graphics, illustration and photography.

If the artwork is in a digital medium, will it need to be printed or manifest physically to be added to the An Post collection?

An Post would prefer to receive a physical artwork, and they hope to exhibit artworks in their collection at a future date.

Should decorative finishes (e.g. gold foil, gold leaf) be avoided due to the CMYK print process?

Gold foil and other decorative finishes can be added to the final artwork, as the photographs of the artwork should pick up the detail.

Can graphic designers enter?

Artworks that are created in the medium of graphic design are eligible for this commission, however entrants must be professional working artists, and meet a minimum of three [3] criteria according to guidelines set by Visual Artists Ireland, which can be viewed here.

If submitting a photograph should it be printed and framed in advance of submission or will a digital image suffice for the application process?

A photograph does not need to be printed and framed in advance of submission. A digital submission of the photograph will suffice.

If the chosen artwork is an editioned print (for example a screen-print), what happens to the remaining prints in the edition?

An Post would prefer submitted artworks to be unique in nature, such as a monoprint, edition of 1, etc., rather than editioned artworks.

Can an artwork be submitted in the medium of glass?

Yes, sculptural works are eligible for entry, and glass sculpture is included in this.

Is photographed street art created by the applying artist a viable entry?

Yes, photographed street art is a viable entry.

Design and Practicalities of the Stamp

Does the artist need to add the stamp border, text ("Éire”), and the year to the artwork?

No, this will be completed by graphic designers once the successful artwork has been selected.

What denomination will the stamp be?

The stamp will be one National (N) stamp.

How will An Post print the stamp, and will this influence the design?

An Post will print the stamp according to their usual processes. Depending on the artwork selected, the graphic designer may position the artwork within the overall stamp area in a suitable orientation: stamps are either landscape or portrait orientation. 

Does the artwork have to be in a specific ratio?

It is preferred that the artwork is in ratio to the minimum size of 200mm x 300mm.

Will a white border be added to the design within those dimensions listed?

Yes, a white border will be added to the design within the stamp dimensions listed, which are 30mm x 51mm (portrait orientation) or 51mm x 30mm (landscape stamp orientation).

If there are a variety of colour options for the artwork, should images of this be submitted in the application?

Yes, if there are a variety of colour options this should be indicated in the online application form and images of the colour options uploaded in the attachments section.

Will there be a way for a shortlist of unsuccessful entries to be shown, on the Business to Arts or An Post website?

There are currently no plans to display a shortlist of unsuccessful entries, but should this change, we will update the information.