New Shakespeare stamps feature quotes from The Bard

The stamps, designed by The Chase, “celebrate the power of his language, which continues to influence us every day”.

Hamlet Shakespeare 400%

Royal Mail is issuing a set of special stamps, designed by The Chase and the Royal Mail design team, to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Available from 5 April 2016, the ten First Class stamps pay homage to the dramatist through his words and poetry.

Philip Parker, stamp strategy manager at Royal Mail says: “The stamps celebrate the power of his language, which continues to influence us every day.”


Previously issued stamps have depicted performances of Shakespeare’s plays, a painting of The Bard himself and the world famous Globe Theatre. This set focuses on the power of Shakespeare’s words, using selected lines from his plays and poems.

The Chase worked closely with a design team at Royal Mail to design the stamps. Steve Royle, creative director at The Chase said: “The project was always going to be very type-led and that was the brief we had from Royal Mail.

“They decided on which quotes to use – but the idea was not to use the ones we all know. We wanted to use other key quotes to give a slightly different perspective.”

Emotive flourish

The quotes are black coloured on a grey background, with each quote differing in font.

Royle said: “Each stamp tries to capture the spirit of the quote to give it some emotive flourish. We wanted to express each stamp slightly differently but retain a sense of quality throughout.”

He adds: “There was a no rule approach to colour but we soon decided to use the core colours used in Shakespeare’s folio to match the spirit of the original publications.”

From Tuesday 5 April until Saturday 9 April, a special postmark will also be applied to UK stamped mail. It will say William Shakespeare 1564-1616.

In the last 50 years, William Shakespeare and his work have appeared on 25 stamps, making him the most featured individual on special stamps outside of the Royal Family.

Venus & Adonis Shakespeare 400%
The Tempest Shakespeare 400%
Sonnet 30 Shakespeare 400%
Romeo & Juliet Shakespeare 400%
Richard II Shakespeare 400%
Much Ado Shakespeare 400%
Macbeth Shakespeare 400%.jpg
Caesar Shakespeare 400%
As You Like It Shakespeare 400%
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