A kiss was the inspiration for The Art of Greeting, Newell and Sorrell’s latest greetings stamp collection for Royal Mail.
Consultancy director John Simmons used Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Kiss as the original basis for the stamp designs. `Kissing is one form of greeting, the next step was looking at waving, dancing and someone raising a hat,’ he says.
The hat-raising was the premise for the clown concept, which is a papier-mÃ¢ch sculpture by Emily Firmin and Justin Mitchell. `Papier- mÃ¢ch gives the photograph a three-dimensional quality,’ says Simmons. He and designers Sally Skerrett and Nicola Sergent spent `quite some time’ searching for a linking theme. `It’s quite restricting, as you’re not allowed to show anyone living (on the stamps) except the Queen,’ he explains. Subjects and locations are expected to be British, although Royal Mail relaxed the rule for the Renoir image. `The Rodin is from the Tate, a British gallery after all,’ Simmons says.
Renoir, Peter Brookes, Eric Gill, Beryl Cook, Alice Hughes, LS Lowry, Mughal Aurangzeb, Andrew Mockett, Rodin and Firmin and Mitchell’s clown all feature on the stamps. The designers cropped the images and made minor adjustments using Quantel Paintbox. A set of sticky labels accompany the collection, and each one relates in visual style to a particular stamp, `but they’re mix ‘n’ match too,’ adds Simmons.
Messages range from a balloon-strewn Happy Birthday and a formally ornate Write Soon to a theatrical Bravo and insistent Yo! All label fonts are specially designed or hand-drawn to fit different periods and themes.
The book of stamps goes on sale on 21 March and will cost Ãº2.50.