Royal Mail Stamps – Racehorse Legends
Capturing the thrill of the chase with a set of racehorse stamps
Designing a new set of Royal Mail stamps is always an honour and a pleasure, and we were delighted to be commissioned to create the Racehorse Legends stamp issue.
Celebrating the racehorses that achieved their greatest wins on UK race courses, the eight champions were selected by experts at the Racing Post, Great British Racing and Royal Mail.
Designer Nicola Robson, Together’s very own in-house horse racing expert, was champing at the bit to get up and running with the project. And after sourcing reference photographs of these iconic horses racing in their unique style, we commissioned specialist equine artist Michael Heslop to create a series of watercolours and gouaches. His graphic yet painterly style is the perfect match to the subject matter, and is reflected in the beauty and dynamism of the final imagery.
Featuring a presentation pack, first day covers and hand stamps, the special issue celebrates such household names as Red Rum, Shergar and Kauto Star, to the delight of racing fans everywhere.
What we did
Royal Mail Stamps – British Prime Ministers
Bringing together eight greats of No. 10
How can you do justice to some of the most prominent prime ministers from hundreds of years of British political history?
We were honoured to be chosen to design this much talked-about collection, and intrigued by the challenge of working with the very limited number of likenesses for the earlier incumbents. By sheer necessity we used a variety of source materials including paintings, etchings and photography, and worked hard to carefully, subtly and naturally turn them into a unified and coherent series.
From blurring and colouring the backgrounds, to retouching black and white images, we dug deep into our box of techniques. The result? A collection of iconic portraits with a common visual language, that worked beautifully as a set and sparked plenty of debate about who should/ shouldn't have been included and why...
"We've worked with Royal Mail for many years on a number of collections but this was certainly one of the most rewarding."
What we did
Royal Mail Stamps – Eminent Britons
Capturing the mood of a country and the feel of a century
Celebrating ten eminent people from 20th Century British life, this stamp issue required us to transform varying source material into a consistent and detailed series of portraits.
Bringing together characters as diverse as Bill Shankly, Elizabeth David and Benjamin Britten, Royal Mail’s Great Britons stamp issue celebrates the anniversaries of ten people who achieved greatness in their lifetimes, and left behind a lasting legacy.
Stamp design is all about fantastically detailed image-making, and we used archive portrait photographs for each of the Britons, before creating backgrounds relevant to key points in their career using illustration, collage or other photographs. Our colour combinations not only evoke the 20th Century and create a very British atmosphere, but also give the whole set an engaging coherence.
What we did
Royal Mail Stamps – Christmas
Designing a festive icon
For a designer, being asked to create the Christmas stamp issue is both an honour and a responsibility. How would we rise to the challenge?
Without doubt the biggest selling Royal Mail stamp issue is the Christmas series, which adorns millions of cards and letters across the festive season, and becomes a leitmotif within the fabric of daily life. We were delighted to design the Christmas issue in 2011.
The issue celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the Authorised King James Bible – the most famous and celebrated of English translations. Working closely with illustrator Peter Malone’s joyful colours and narrative detail, our designs struck a traditional note that was very well received. Phew! It certainly gave that Christmas an added frisson of excitement to see our work coming through the letterbox each morning.
What we did
Royal Mail Stamps – Women Of Distinction
Commemorating six of history’s most influential women
How could we pick just six women from the many influential individuals throughout history? Then how to create a uniform look and feel using imagery from different centuries and backgrounds?
The Royal Mail’s ‘Women of Distinction’ stamp issue brought together six women for their pioneering roles in politics, medicine, civil rights and social reform. The first challenge was choosing who to honour; we helped Royal Mail draw up the shortlist. The chosen six featured members of the Suffragettes, as well as Marie Stopes, whose inclusion caused a controversy in some sections of the press.
The project involved working with vastly contrasting source imagery. Our task was to create a unifying visual theme that would enable them to work as a set, as well as reflecting the dignity of these six women who so radically changed history. As the client remarked, “Together has managed to achieve this beautifully in a suitably dignified, visually engaging manner”.
What we did