Purpose designs new 'Remarkable Lives' stamps for Royal Mail

The new stamp set celebrates British figures born 100 years ago, including graphic designer Abram Games.


Design agency Purpose has created a new set of Royal Mail stamps that celebrates British figures that were born 100 years ago.

The Remarkable Lives series features the portraits of 10 people, all of which were born in 1914 and made an impact on British society within their lives, whether through broadcasting, sport, theatre, economics, film, history, poetry, science, public service or graphic design.

The set, available from today, is accompanies by a presentation pack, first day cover filler card (right) and two 'cancellation' stamps (also shown right), each designed by Purpose.

This is not the first time Purpose has worked with Royal Mail to create a stamp series. Previously, the design agency has created a series of Crown Jewel stamps, a Halley's Comet commemorative pack and more.

Use the slideshow controls above and right to take a closer look at the stamps and find out more about the 10 British figures they celebrate.

Among the challenges involved in designing these stamps was the tiny environment in which the design would be shown. In order to tell each individual's story, Purpose sourced original portraits that, in addition to showing the figures themselves, also reveal more about them through the backdrop, clothing or pose.

Right: The pack and first day cover insert have been designed to look like an Edwardian display cabinet, showing objects such as books, posters, awards and other memorabilia related to the lives of the 10 British figures.


The designers searched archives and visited families to find the perfect portrait of each subject, before experimenting with different processes to create a stamp set that has the appearance of silver bromide photography.

Right: Graphic designer Abram Games.

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Right: Stage and screen actor Sir Alex Guinness.


Right: Economist and broadcaster Barbara Ward.


Right: Writer and poet Dylan Thomas.

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Right: Theatre director and writer Joan Littlewood.


Right: Football player and manager Joe Mercer.


Right: Stage and screen actor Kenneth Moore.

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Right: Molecular biologist and Nobel Laureate Max Perutz.


Right: Special Operations Executive agent in occupied France Noorunissa Inayat Khan.


Right: Broadcaster and writer Roy Plomley.

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