Bitter Grounds

espresso, stamps & conversation

Swiss stamps for 2021

Written by catpaw

November 13, 2021

There’s a lot to see with Switzerland’s 2021 stamp designs. As a Canadian collector, I have to confess, I wish Canada Post would show the innovation other post offices are using in their stamp designs. Austria and Switzerland both issued stamps on none stamp material, creating unique mementos of specific themes/events. This stamp, Commitment to Art, was printed on linen, representing a blank canvas for the art under construction theme

kleinbogen kunstenga post 1872x1053

Scan the little QR code on the sheet and you’ll be taken to Swiss Post’s web page that explains why the stamps are blank.   

Two more stamps are worth special mention because they utilize augmented reality.  Both the 100th anniversary of insulin and 150 years internment of Bourbaki’s army  unlock secondary images when scanned with the Swiss Post app. With the Insulin stamp, the app reveals the insulin structure in 3D.  The Bourbaki stamp reveals the rest of Edouard Castres’ painting.  

I had a discussion with another collector a few months back who dismissed this as “gimmicky” and cheapening the hobby. I have to disagree. I love this type of innovation in design. It reaches out to a young, digitally aware audience who just may become hooked on stamps. As well, using augmented reality allows designers to pack more information into the stamps. With a quick scan, info is unlocked and ready to be examined.  

Annual themes & new ideas

Swiss Post issues a number of re-occurring themes. Collectors can look forward to scooping the popular Pro Patria and Pro Juventute  issues as well as this year’s EUROPA  competition. Jürg Glauser’s Taxis and Thurin  entry score a second place finish in 2020. This year’s EUROPA focuses on 2 endangered butterflies, with some spectacular artwork. 

Late November will see Switzerland’s first entry into the Crypto Stamp category. It’ll be interesting to see where Swiss Post goes with cryptos. They could be nothing more than a flash in the pan, but given how quickly the Austrian crypto stamps sell out, I wouldn’t take any bets on this.  


A mail and B mail

 A and B mail stamps


2 stamps, FDC, cancel

The aim was to make the small format look maximum. The letters “A” and “B” are reduced to their hallmarks, i.e. the letter interiors. These prominent internal forms created a formal relationship between the two tokens. The warm red and orange tones of the A-Post brand stand for liveliness and urgency, while the cooler blue and green tones of the B-Post brand convey peace. Portfolio | Gerhard Blättler, graphic designer

Designer: Gerhard Blättler Portfolio | Gerhard Blättler, Grafiker | Bern (

Release date: March 4, 2021

Animals in the City

Animals in the city cancel 

 Animals in the city 4 stamps stoat wood mouse, mole and fox

animals in the city FDC

4 stamps, FDC, cancel

  • stout
  • wood mouse
  • mole
  • red fox

StadtWildTiere Schweiz

Designer: Lucille Solomon

Release date: March 4, 2021

100 years Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Friedrich Dürrenmatt FDC cancel 

Friedrich Dürrenmatt single stamp 

 Friedrich Dürrenmatt FDC 

1 stamp, FDC, cancel

A special art print, Battle of Sempach, was also sold 

Friedrich Dürrenmatt special print

100 Jahre Dürrenmatt 2021 (

5 January 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of Switzerland’s greatest authors. Friedrich Dürrenmatt reached an audience of millions with his darkly satirical plays and crime novels, which continue to be read and performed all over the world. He was also a towering moral authority who turned a critical lens on his homeland, and left behind a significant body of paintings which are on public display in beautiful surroundings at the Dürrenmatt Centre in Neuchâtel. Friedrich Dürrenmatt – from Emmental to Broadway | House of Switzerland

Designer: Stephan Schmitz
Schmitz is a Zürich based artist. His distinctive style can be seen on his Instagram page. If you scroll down his list of posts, you will find an interview he did about his Dürrenmatt design. He has also designed a number of magazine covers including June 2021 New Scientist and July GEO, to name a few. His work often provokes conversations about science and social media. 

Release date: March 4, 2021

100 years of Insulin

Insulin FDC cancel Swiss post 2021

Swiss Post 2021 insulin 

Swiss Post 2021 Insulin FDC 

1 stamp, FDC, cancel

When stamp is scanned with the Swiss post app a 3D image if the insulin structure will appear. .

The three-dimensional model visualized on the stamp shows the tertiary structure of an insulin molecule and at the same time resembles a garland. Because: there is something to celebrate. Happy Birthday Insulin. TIMBRE INSULINE | Emphase

Designers: Fabienne Kilchör and Sébastien Fasel, Team | Emphasis (
Kilchör and Fasel co-edited the book  Beyond Design Ethnography: How Designers Practice Ethnographic Research

Release date: March 4, 2021

50 years women’s suffrage

50 years women’s suffrage FDC cancel swiss post 

50 years women’s suffrage Swiss Post 2021 

 50 years women’s suffrage swiss post 2021 FDC

50 years women’s suffrage swiss Post 2021 sheet 

1 stamp, sheet of 8, FDC, cancel

Designer: Fabienne Angehrn, anhrngrafik Design & Illustration – Grafik, Lucerne (
Angrehrn also designed the classic 2018 175th anniversary of Swiss stamps set and the NABA Lugano stamp.

Release date: March 4, 2021

150 years internment of Bourbaki’s army

150 years internment of Bourbaki’s army FDC cancel 

 150 years internment of Bourbaki’s army 2

150 years internment of Bourbaki’s army FDC

1 stamp, FDC, cancel

In 1871, 87,000 soldiers and 12,000 horses of the French Bourbaki army fled across the border into Switzerland in Les Verrières. Switzerland carried out a unique, humanitarian mission, in which the recently founded Swiss Red Cross had its first large-scale operation. The internment was captured a few years later by the artist Edouard Castres on a 112 meter long and 10 meter (originally 14 meters) high circular painting. Special stamp «150 years of Bourbaki» — Accomplices for visual communication (

This stamp uses augmented reality. Part of the panorama image can be seen by scanning the stamp with the Swiss Post app.

This page has an excellent, brief explanation of the event: The arrival of Bourbaki’s army at Les Verrières – ICRC

Artist: Edouard Castres. Castres was Red Cross volunteer who marched with the doomed General Bourbaki’s Eastern Army during the Franco-Prussian War.
Castres, Edouard ( use Google translate. Page is in French, Italian and German. 
Designer: Tobias Lauber

Release date: March 4, 2021


75th Anniversary of International Handball Federation

75th Anniversary of International Handball Federation cancel 

75th Anniversary of International Handball Federation 

75th Anniversary of International Handball Federation FDC

1 stamp, FDC, cancel

Designer: Martin Alexander Moser, Interlaken

Release date: May 6, 2021

125th Anniversary of Touring Club Switzerland

125 years Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) cancel 

Touring Club Swizerland 2021 

125 years Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) FDC 

1 stamp, FDC, cancel

Designer: Vito Noto, Lugano
Noto has designed a number of stamps for Swiss Post, including the 2018 Pope Francis visits Geneva, 2015 Swiss Cars, 2013 Pro Patria, and 2011 Alternative Energy series. 

 Release date: May 6, 2021

Summer Olympic Games – Tokyo, Japan

Summer Olympic Games 2021 FDC cancel f 

Summer Olympic Games 2021   stamps 

 Summer Olympic Games 2021 sheet of stamps

 Summer Olympic Games 2021 FDC

closeup of FDC image. You can super size it to see details

Summer Olympic Games 2021 FDC cancel

1 stamp, sheet of 8, FDC, cancel

Designer: Kasper Kobel, Burgdorf

Release date: May 6, 2021

150 years Rigi Railways

Rails Switzerland 2021 FDC cancel 

150 years Rigi Railways 

 Rails Switzerland 2021 sheet

Rails Switzerland 2021 FDC Rails Switzerland 2021 FDC cancel postcard 

1 stamp, sheet of 10, FDC, cancel, pre-stamped postcard

This pdf from Rigi Rail includes the history and of the rail. Rigi rail runs a couple of live cams Webcams | Rigi

Designers: Philip Bernhard and Kilian Suter. Büro Nord GmbH | Agentur für visuelle Kommunikation | Büro Nord (

Release date: May 6, 2021

Pro Patria − Craftsmanship and cultural heritage

Pro Patria Swizerland 2021 FDC cancel 

Pro Patria − Craftsmanship and cultural heritage

Pro Patria Swizerland 2021 FDC

2 stamps, FDC, cancel

This year’s Pro Patria set focused on conservation and restoration of medieval objects. The two images show restoration work on two artifacts from the Bern University of the Arts.

  • Fresco from a church in the Alps 
  • Gothic wooden sculpture

Designer: Daniel Peter

Release date: May 6, 2021


Summer FDC cancel 


Summer Switzerland 2021 FDC

4 stamps, 4 sheets of 10, FDC, cancel

Designer: Patrick Oberholzer

Release date: May 6, 2021


Sustainablity Switzerland 2021 Cancel

Swiss Post 2021 Sustainability  

Sustainability Switzerland 2021 stamp FDC 

 Adriana Fabbricatore postcard 2021 Anaïs Boogman postcard 2021 

Hannah Boldt postcard 2021 Aaron Aebi Postcard 2021 

1 stamp, FDC, cancel, 4 postcards

Swiss Post held a design competition at Bern University of the Arts with the theme Sustainability. 22 second year students competed with Carole Kiechl winning the over-all competition with her 24 Words stamp.  There are 24 German, French and Italian words hidden in the stamp. 

Swiss Post also issued 4 post cards featuring the designs from students Adriana Fabbricatore, Anaïs Boogman, Hannah Boldt and Aaron Aebi.

Designer: Carole Kiechl

Release date: May 6, 2021

EUROPA: Endangered National Species 

EUROPA: Endangered National Species

EUROPA – Endangered national wildlife, Special Sheet woodland brown EUROPA – Endangered national wildlife, Special Sheet Large blue butterfly

EUROPA – Endangered national wildlife, Special Sheet FDC

 EUROPA – Endangered national wildlife, Special Sheet

Yellow-ringed butterfly (Lopinga achine) and the scarce large blue (Phengaris teleius).

2 stamps, block of 4, sheet of 16, souvenir sheet, FDC, cancel 

Designer: Nina Schwarz
Don’t miss Schwarz’s page on  her butterfly design.  Europe – Endangered Wildlife  includes some great close up details of the butterfly illustrations, draft views and variations. 

Release date: May 6, 2021


2022 World Stamp Exhibition

World stamp exhibition Swizerland 2021 cancel 

 World stamp exhibition Swizerland 2021

Helvetia World Philatelic Exhibition 2022 FDC

1 stamp on a souvenir sheet, FDC, cancel

Designer: Frank Baumann, Belp

Release date: September 2, 2021

Commitment to Art

fdc kunstenga post cancel 

kleinbogen kunstenga post 1872x1053 

 kleinbogen kunstenga post 1872x1053

fdc kunstenga post 1053x1053

1 stamp, sheet of 8, FDC, cancel

This stamp is part of a series that explores “art collection, art in construction and the desired partnership with art events in the periphery”. The stamp is printed on linen canvas.

Designer: Amadeus Waltenspühl 
Waltenspühl Grafik-Design+Architektur (

Release date: September 2, 2021

Swiss Inventions – Menzi Muck “The Walking Spider Excavator”

fdc menzi muck cancel 

 Swiss inventions Swizerland 2021

 fdc menzi muck 1053x1053 Swiss inventions Swizerland 2021 maxi card

1 stamp on a souvenir sheet, FDC, cancel, maxi card

The Menzi Muck was designed by Ernst Menzi in 1966 and has undergone improvements over the decades. It’s an amazingly innovative bit of heavy machinery, specifically designed to work on inclines and difficult to excavate areas.  If you watch a video of the Muck at work, the nickname “walking spider” makes sense. Take a look at some of the photos on the Menzi website, showing off its nimbleness Mobile Menzi Muck walking excavators – Menzi Muck AG

The nickname Muck is taken from an old fairy tale Little Muck by Wilhelm Hauff

Designer: Jürg Glauser, Bern
Glauser designed the 2020 EUROPA stamp that placed second in the competition House of Thurn and Taxis. You can see it, and all entries here: Fantastic EUROPA 2020 – Old Postal Route

Release date: September 2, 2021

Animal Messengers

Animal messengers FDC cancel 

Animal Messengers Animal Messengers 

Animal messengers sheets 

 Animal messengers FDC

Animal messengers cards

2 stamps, FDC, cancel, 2 souvenir sheets of 8, 2 cards

This set was issued to encourage people to write and send letters.

Designer: Nina Binkert, Eglisau

Release date: September 2, 2021

Tourism – Swiss Parks

Swiss Parks cancel 

Tourism - Swiss Parks Tourism - Swiss Parks 

Tourism - Swiss Parks Tourism - Swiss Parks 

 Swiss Parks FDC

Swiss Parks postcard 2 Swiss Parks post card 4

Swiss Parks post card 3 Swiss Parks card one 

4 stamps, FDC, cancel, 4 postcards

Designer: Pierre-Abraham Rochat, La Sarraz
The illustrator feeds on simplicity and | nature 24 hours (

Release date: September 2, 2021

Focus on Nature – Trees

Trees FDC cancel

Trees Larch Trees Oak Trees Swiss stone pine Trees Sycamore  

Trees handmade paper

4 stamps, 1 FDC, cancel, limited edition print.

The images in each stamp is based on an actual ancient tree. 

  • 900 year old larch from Valais.  
  • 430 year old Oak from the south of Delsberg. Nicknamed Chêne des Bosses or Boss of Oaks
  • 500 year old sycamore living on the Stanserhorn at 1,200 metres.
  •  450 year old Swiss stone pine at 2,000 above sea level on the north face of mount Eiger. 

A special limited print of 200, printed on handmade paper was sold to go with this set. 

Designer: Michel Brunner who based the stamps on his photographs. Brunner is a scientific illustrator. 
This is an older article about Brunner’s passion for trees, Michel Brunner’s passion for giant trees – Vivamost!. 

Release date: September 2, 2021


UNICEF – education for boys & girls

unicef fdc 1053x1053 

75 years UNICEF stamps 

unicef_75_Jahre_Briefmarke_006  unicef_75_Jahre_Briefmarke_005

75 years UNICEF FDC

2 stamps, 2 sheets of 10, FDC, cancel

Designer: Max Henschel, Bern

Release date: November 11, 2021


Domino FDC cancel 

 domino kb 1872x1053

domino fdc 1053x1053 

4 stamps on a souvenir sheet, FDC, cancel

Designer: Thierry Gobalet, Steffisburg

Release date: November 11, 2021

Pro Juventute – Children Assume Responsibility

Pro Juventute FDC cancel 

 Pro Juventute

Pro Juventute FDC

2 stamps, 1 FDC, cancel

Pro Juventute was formed in 1912 as a non-profit to help combat childhood tuberculosis.

Pro Juventute supports children, adolescents and young adults so that they can develop an authentic identity, healthy self-confidence and an awareness of values. We fight to ensure that young people have a say in issues that affect them and that they have fair opportunities. Elternwelt Pro Juventute

Designer: Martina Friedli, Bern
Friedli’s Instagram page is a great resource for seeing her work, and reading some of her thoughts on design. Martina Friedli (@carrierbird) • Instagram photos and videos. The Pro Juventute is her first design for Swiss Post. 

Release date: November 11, 2021

Joint Issue with Thailand

Joint issue Switzerland–Thailand FDC cancel 

 Joint issue Switzerland–Thailand Swiss stamps

Joint issue Switzerland–Thailand FDC

2 stamps, FDC, cancel

Thailand issued the following stamps:

Joint issue Switzerland–Thailand thai stamps

Designers: Jessica Wernli and Amaru Eslava, Basel Team | kreisvier communications ag, Basel

Release date: November 11, 2021

Day of the Stamp – Horgen

 Stamp Day 2021 Horgen

 Stamp Day 2021 Horgen postcard

Stamp Day 2021 Horgen FDC

2 stamps on a souvenir sheet, FDC, cancel, pre-stamped postcard

Ferries on Lake Zurich in the Horgen region

Designer: Raphael Schenker, Zurich
Schenker will sign the mini-sheets on Saturday, 27 November 2021 at Kirchgemeindehäuser, Horgen (ZH). 

Release date: November 11, 2021

50th Anniversary of Doctors without Borders

Doctors without borders cancel 

 50th Anniversary of Doctors without Borders

 50th Anniversary of Doctors without Borders

Aerzte ohne grenzen fdc 1053x1053

2 stamps, 2 sheets of 20, FDC, cancel

Designers:  1.00: Lea Tschirren, Bern | 2.00: Carmen Meyenhofer, Bern

Release date: November 11, 2021

Christmas 2021

 Switzerland Christmas 2021 single stamps

Switzerland Christmas 2021 FDC one Switzerland Christmas 2021 FDCs single stamps 

 Switzerland Christmas 2021 St Nicholas 

Switzerland Christmas 2021 Ifflen carriers Switzerland Christmas 2021 Christmas tree 

4 stamps, 4 sheets, 5 FDC, cancel

Christmas Traditions

Designer: Anita Dettwiler and Dani Pelagatti

Release date: November 11, 2021

Crypto 1.0  

Switzerland's 1st crypto stamp showing moon

Off to the moon – Matterhorn and the moon

175,000 copies with 13 possible designs
65,000 will have most common design
50 will have the rare design

Details coming

Release date: November 25, 2021

Finished? Need another stamp fix? Try Sweden Stamps from Sweden 2021 | Bitter Grounds Magazine

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