Pearce Marchbank designs London 2012 Paralympic stamps

Royal Mail is launching a set of four Special Stamps to mark the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on 29 August, designed by Pearce Marchbank.

The four Paralympics stamps
The four Paralympics stamps

In a similar format to Hat-Trick’s Olympic stamps, they will feature four Paralympic sports – Powerlifting, Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball and Cycling – alongside London landmarks St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge, the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye and the Olympic Stadium.

Marchbank was appointed to the project about 15 months ago, and initially designed the Olympic stamps, before the project was then swapped with Hat-Trick, who had formerly been appointed to create the Paralympic stamps.

Paralympics Stampcards Basketball
Paralympics Stampcards Basketball

Neither designer had access to the work of the other, although both briefs tasked the designers to create stamps depicting athletes with London landmarks.

For the Paralympic stamps, Marchbank used black and white portraits of British Paralympians juxtaposed with the landmarks in colour. The colours of these were ‘deliberately pumped up, giving it an aura of hyper-reality’, according to Marchbank.

Paralympics Stampcards Cyclists
Paralympics Stampcards Cyclists

He says, ‘The athletes broke off from their training specially to come to the two-day photoshoot with [photographic team] Anderson & Lowe’.

He adds, ‘I wanted the composition to stress the uniqueness of their athletic abilities, and the photographers followed my visuals brilliantly.’ The final montages were created using these portraits alongside library shots and original photography.

Paralympics Stampcards Running
Paralympics Stampcards Running

As with the Olympic Games, throughout the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Royal Mail will produce a stamp for each individual or team Paralympic GB gold medal win. Royal Mail will also turn one of its red post boxes gold in the hometown of every Paralympic GB gold medallist, just as it did for TeamGB winners during the Olympic games.

Included in the set are two 1st Class stamps, one showing a Paralympian competing in Athletics alongside the Olympic Stadium, and the other depicting Wheelchair Basketball together with the Palace of Westminster.

Paralympics Stampcards Weightlifting
Paralympics Stampcards Weightlifting

The set also includes two £1.28 stamps for worldwide airmail postage, showing powerlifting with St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge while the other features a Paralympic cyclist alongside the London Eye.

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