Hat-Trick designs 150-year London Underground stamps

Hat-Trick has designed a set of stamps for the Royal Mail celebrating 150 years of the London Underground.

The set of ten stamps was commissioned in 2011 when Hat-Trick came through a three-way pitch against NB Studio and one other group according to Hat-Trick director Gareth Howat.

NB Studio went on to design a miniature sheet of four stamps – released along with the main set – which is a study of poster art on the Underground.

The Hat-Trick designed stamps present a chronology of the Underground ‘showing as much variety as possible’ and with ‘a good mix of photography, graphics and illustration – we were spoilt for choice,’ says Howat, who used the London Transport Museum for picture research.  

Images include a lithograph of the first passenger train and a photograph of Canary Wharf commissioned by Hat-Trick to photographer Paul Grundy.

Two second-class stamps reveal that the Metropolitan line was the first underground service in the world.

One marked 1863 shows a train in motion, and the other dated 1898 shows the conditions for workers excavating a tunnel.

An Edwardian commute is captured on one of two first class stamps. The other shows the Art Deco style tower of Boston Manor, rebuilt in 1934.

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