The set of ten first class stamps depict a mix of endangered and more common types of butterfly, including the Purple Emperor, Swallowtail, Comma and Red Admiral.
Wildlife illustrator and expert Richard Lewington drew the butterflies in flight for the stamps, as Marc&Anna were keen to make the butterflies look ‘really alive.’
Marc&Anna was originally appointed to the project in October 2010. It initially designed the stamps, which had no set release date, and later worked on the presentation packs once Royal Mail decided the release date.
Anna Ekelund, Marc&Anna co-founder, says, ‘It was really lovely having time to do all the research and really explore it.
‘Butterflies are often shown quite flat or dead and specimen-like, but we really wanted to get away from that.’
The types of butterfly were chosen from a long-list provided by Royal Mail, and were chosen to reflect a range of butterflies from across the UK. The last Royal Mail stamp butterfly series was released in 1981, and Ekeleund says the consultancy was careful not to replicate any species shown on the previous series.