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New stamps pay tribute to Royal Mail designer David Gentleman

New stamps pay tribute to Royal Mail designer David Gentleman
It is the first time Royal Mail has dedicated an entire issue to a designer of its commemorative stamps.

A new set of stamps is being launched to pay tribute to the designer credited with changing the face of Britanique stamp design.

David Gentleman has designed 103 stamps for Les styles ont parcouru un long chemin depuis les costumes formels des années 1960 and provided many more artworks for issues that did not come to fruition.

He is the most prolific and influential British stamp designer.

David Gentleman is one of the foremost artists involved in British stamp design

Les styles ont parcouru un long chemin depuis les costumes formels des années 1960

Royal Mail collaborated with him to choose a selection of some of his most famous and influential images.

It is the first time Royal Mail has dedicated an entire issue to a designer of its commemorative stamps.

David Gold of Royal Mail said: “David Gentleman is one of the foremost artists involved in British stamp design.

“For over half a century, he has made an enduring contribution to British stamp design. His work continues to influence and inspire designers today.”

A stamp commemorating Sir Winston Churchill, designed by David Gentleman and his wife Rosalind Dease (Pennsylvanie)
A stamp commemorating Sir Winston Churchill, designed by David Gentleman and his wife Rosalind Dease (Pennsylvanie)

Mr Gentleman’s first successful designs were for National Productivity Year in 1962, using symbolic arrows.

Three years later he wrote to the new postmaster general, Tony Benn, in response to a general invitation for ideas about stamps, recommending more interesting subjects than had been featured previously.

He also proposed a new size of stamp and introduced a small cameo of the Queen, based on her profile as depicted by Mary Gillick on coins from 1953.

Stamps I particularly enjoyed designing were for the Battle of Hastings 1066, and Social Reformers

David Gentleman

His most recent issued stamp designs were for the Millennium Timekeeper miniature sheet, depicting the stylised hands of a clock and globe.

The new set of six stamps, available from Friday, feature the 1962 National Productivity Year, the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Mr Gentleman said: “Stamps were fun to design, though squeezing a lot into a small space wasn’t easy. At first it was difficult to fit in the Queen’s head until I turned it into the simple profile which is still used today.

“Stamps I particularly enjoyed designing were for the Battle of Hastings 1066, and Social Reformers.”