KINGS AND QUEENS
This is a set for the real philatelist; 37 stamps issued over a five-year period, covering a time span of more than 600 years. Planning began in 2007 and the series concluded, with perfect timing by the Royal Mail, to mark Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
The stamp design was intentionally kept simple because we anticipated using a wide range of painting styles over six centuries. This, we thought, should be the most interesting feature of the whole set. Atelier's design template provided continuity over a very big series. Our responsibilities also included sourcing all of the royal portraits and checking provenance. To ensure quality reproduction we also travelled across Britain to see as many of the paintings as possible — to ensure an even colour balance over the complete set. We were privileged to meet head curators of a number of national collections who freely gave their time to help with our research. A lovely project and a splendid way to while away five years.
Stamp format/size: portrait 27mm x 37mm. Print process: lithograph. Perforation: 14 × 14. Phosphor: bars. Gum: PV. Number of stamps: 37
Related project: Royal Mail Age of Monarchs
Special handstamps for each royal issue incorporated a crest from each royal household. Atelier had to source contemporary references, then have the crests redrawn, simplifying the line work to ensure that they would reproduce well with a basic printing method. Our crest designs were checked for accuracy by the Royal College of Arms — every detail is significant when working with royal insignia.