Christmas stamps feature work by Gruffalo illustrator

Webb & Webb has worked with Axel Scheffler, illustrator of children’s book The Gruffalo, to design The Royal Mail’s 2012 Christmas stamps.

The Royal Mail's £1.28 stamp
The Royal Mail’s £1.28 stamp

The consultancy began work in August 2011, according to Webb & Webb founder James Webb, who says, ‘Initially we looked to use different illustrators for each stamp and drew up a set of likely candidates with a shortlist of 10-15.’

The Royal Mail's 87p stamp
The Royal Mail’s 87p stamp

‘Theoretical stamps’ were presented based on the work of these individuals, according to Webb, who says ‘collage and photographic sculpture’ was considered.

The Royal Mail's £1.90 stamp
The Royal Mail’s £1.90 stamp

After working with the Royal Mail Stamp Advisory Committee, Scheffler’s design was chosen over that of another candidate after both sets were worked up to ‘near artwork stage’ says Webb.

‘Scheffler’s style is quite loose and The Royal Mail’s is very tight,’ says Webb, ‘so we got him to do all the components and characters on blank water colour card.’

The Royal Mail's large 1st class stamp
The Royal Mail’s large 1st class stamp

Webb and Webb then built up a composition by layering and setting all the elements of each design.

A set of five stamps has been designed, alongside a first day cover which features another Scheffler design, and a presentation pack which includes a commissioned poem by children’s author Tony Mitton featuring all the stamps’ characters.

The Royal Mail's standard 1st class stamp
The Royal Mail’s standard 1st class stamp

A ‘smiler-sheet’ in the style of the illustrations allows people to upload their own photographs which can be embedded into the design and printed says Webb.

The Royal Mail's Large 2nd class stamp
The Royal Mail’s Large 2nd class stamp

The Royal Mail releases stamps along the story of Nativity and a festive theme in alternate years. ‘To provide choice for customers’ the Royal Mail says it will also be reissuing its Madonna and Child 1st and 2nd class stamps first issued in 2007.

The Royal Mail's Standard 2nd class stamp
The Royal Mail’s Standard 2nd class stamp

The set of five Webb & Webb designed stamps goes on sale from 6 November.

Latest articles