The role of design at Royal Mail has been thrown into question after the departure of its head of design for stamps, Jane Ryan, who leaves without a replacement.
Ryan, who has overseen stamp design for almost four years, took voluntary redundancy at the end of December, with no job to go to and no successor lined up by Royal Mail.
Voluntary redundancies are being offered to staff as part of a programme of managerial downsizing at Royal Mail. An external replacement for Ryan is unlikely, with an ‘internal shuffle’ of the five-strong design team expected, says a Royal Mail spokesman.
A member of the Royal Mail Stamps design team for 14 years, Ryan took the head of design position in 2002 when stamp programme director Barry Robinson left the company after a 25-year tenure. She oversaw award-winning projects including the Johnson Banks-designed Fruit & Veg interactive stamps (DW 3 June 2004) and brought in CDT Design to commission 48 external designers under Royal Mail’s millennium programme.
‘I think I had gone as far as I could designing stamps and was looking to move on to new ventures; to take a different design perspective,’ says Ryan.
Ryan reported to head of philatelic sector Julietta Edgar, who will continue to oversee the design team. Other marketing staff have also taken or elected to take the redundancy package, although the spokesman declines to reveal numbers. Ryan is the only member of staff to leave the specialist philatelic sector due to redundancy.