Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

British Design Classics - 13 January 2009

The UK has produced some of the world's most iconic design work of the 20th Century and the 2009 Special Stamp Programme starts with a celebration of ten British design classics.

Classic design included the distinctive lines of RJ Mitchell's Spitfire fighter and the stylish chic of Mary Quant's daring mini skirt, the calm of the Penguin Books jacket and the practicality of Robin Day's Polypropylene chair.

But one brilliant design remains close to millions of people's hearts - the Mini car. In 1959 the first Minis rolled off the production lines at the British Motor Corporation's plants at Longbridge, Birmingham and Cowley in Oxford. Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, the revolutionary small car remained in production until 2000 and is the most popular British designed and built car ever. Not only that but its stylish design made it a hit with the trend setters of the swinging sixties with everyone from John Lennon and Marianne Faithfull to Peter Sellers and Steve McQueen owning one. Minis were also a key element in the hit film The Italian Job.

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The Ten Stamps

This set of 1st class stamps is issued in a colourful block of 10. (Note the design of the Underground map has changed from that shown when this page was created.

Royal Mail British Design Classics stamps .

The stamps

Supermarine Spitfire - The superlative Battle of Britain fighter with its distinctive elliptical wings was designed by RJ Mitchell who sadly died before the plane went into production.

Mini Skirt - Mary Quant rewrote the fashion rules for women forever with her daring design.

The Mini - Sir Alec Issigonis made use of every available space in the small car that was as much a fashion statement as a means of transport.

Anglepoise Lamp - flexible design brought light wherever it was needed.

Concorde - Aeropatiale and BAC's supersonic jet was capable of twice the speed of sound and beautiful to look at too.

K2 Telephone Kiosk - Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's design was once a common sight on the streets of the UK.

Polypropylene Chair - Found in public buildings throughout the world, almost everyone will have sat on a Robin Day chair at some time.

Penguin Books - Edward Young's book jacket design was instantly recognizable as a Penguin edition.

London Underground Map - Harry Beck's easy to understand design was based on an electrical wiring diagram.

Routemaster Bus - Once a symbol of London to visitors from all over the world now only a few of Douglas Scott and Colin Curtis's remain on London's streets.

Prestige Stamp Book

Accompanying the miniature sheet illustrated Prestige Stamp Book has been written by design writer Jim Davies. Inside he takes a look at the each of the design icons and the designers who created them. Click on each pane to see a large image in a new window/tab.

pane 1 from Machin Anniversary prestige stamp book. pane 2 from Machin Anniversary prestige stamp book.
pane 3 from Machin Anniversary prestige stamp book.pane 4 from Machin Anniversary prestige stamp book.

Stamp details:
Pane 1: a mixed Machin (four 16p and four 50p surrounding a label featuring a crown from a Gilbert Scott Phone Box;
Pane 2: a pane of four consisting of two Routermaster bus stamps, one Spitfire and one Mini stamp;
Pane 3: a pane of six featuring one of each of the London Underground Map, K2 Telephone Kiosk, Penguin Books, Anglepoise Lamp, Polypropylene Chair and Mini Skirt stamps;
Pane 4: a pane of four featuring two Concorde stamps from this Issue together with two Concorde stamps from 2002 Airliners Issue.

Smilers Stamps

A Generic Sheet consisting of 20 x 1st Class Mini Stamps looks at moments from the iconic small cars history and some of its many variants.

Royal Mail Machin commemorative Smilers Sheet 5 June 2007.

Technical details:

The design icons to be featured were selected after consultation with a panel of experts from the world of design. Designers HGV sourced examples of each of the objects, which were then photographed by Jason Tozer. The images were then digitally manipulated to remove any background clutter and a drop shadow added where appropriate. Finally captions, values and Machin heads were added. The 35mm square stamps were printed by Cartor Security Printers of France in lithography, perf 14, in sheets of 30/60.

The PSB was written by design writer Jim Davies, designed by HGV and printed by Cartor. The Smilers Sheet designed by Magpie and printed by Cartor in litho.
All stamp and other images are copyright Royal Mail 2008/09.

Design classics first day cover.Products:
Set of 10 on Royal Mail First Day Cover
Presentation Pack
Set of 10 Stamp Cards
Set of 10 Special Edition Cards - stamps against the background of a Union Flag
Smilers sheet -
Prestige Stamp Book

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here - others will be added when they are published.
These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.

postmark showing Concorde supersonic airliner.

postmark showing Mini steering wheel.

non-pictorial Longbridge postmark.

postmark illustrated with Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane.

postmark illustrated with Routemaster double-decker bus.

Ref FD901
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark, Concorde

Ref FD902
Longbridge Official Postmark - mini steering wheel.

Ref FD902NP
Longbridge Official non-pictorial Postmark

Ref L11203
British Design Classics, Duxford, Cambs. (Spitfire)

Ref L11202
British Design Classics, Trafalgar Square London WC2

postmark showing mini-car, front on.

postmark with text as below.

postmark showing mini-car, side on.

postmark illustrated with Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane.

postmark illustrated with Union flag.

Ref M11206
Austin Rise, Longbridge, Birmingham

Ref M11208
Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Ref M11207
British Design Classics, Longbridge

Ref L11200
Spitfire Way, Hounslow Middx.

Ref L11201
British Design Classics, London

postmark showing Concorde supersonic airliner.

postmark showing Concorde supersonic airliner.

postmark illustrated with lady on polypropylene chair.

postmark illustrated with 'Phil Stamp'.

postmark illustrated with Concorde.

Ref W11209
40th Anniversary, Concorde, Filton Bristol

Ref W11210
British Design Classics, Filton, Bristol.

Ref L11205
Strand, London WC2

Ref L11206
Strand, London WC2.

Ref W10920
Concorde Anniversaries, Filton, Bristol

postmark illustrated with mini-car with union flag on roof.

postmark illustrated with telephone box.

postmark illustrated with Concorde.

postmark illustrated with 3 mini-cars.

postmark illustrated with mini-car.

Ref L11214
British Design Classics, Cowley Oxford

Ref L11215
British Design Classics, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes

Ref L11216
British Classic Design, Rainham Kent

Ref M11217
50th Anniversary of the Mini, Longbridge, Birmingham

Ref M11218
British Design Classics, Longbridge, Birmingham

postmark showing Concorde.

Ref W11235
40th Anniversary Year, First Flight, Concorde 002, Filton Bristol.

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This page updated 1 December 2009

2007 - 2008
2009 stamp issues
Visit our online shop!
Design Classics
22 Robert Burns
Charles Darwin
17 Machin Definitives with Security Features I
26 Dathlu Cymru - Celebrating Wales
2 Design Classics Concorde Smiler Sheet
10 Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution
10 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Phone & Bus
17 Northern Ireland Castles Smilers Sheet
31 Machin Definitives with Security Features II
31 New Rate Machin & Country Definitives

Kings & Queens II (Tudors)
21 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Mini-car
23 Castles of England Smilers Sheet
30 Smilers for Kids II

Endangered Plants & Kew Gardens MS
21 Flowers retail booklet

Mythical Creatures

? Possible pre-Olympics Issue
21 40th ann of Moon Landing Commemorative Sheet
3 Thaipex Smilers Sheet
18 Wall Mounted Post Boxes MS & Smilers Sheet
18 Treasures of the Archive PSB
18 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Concorde
1 Fire Service
17 British Military Uniforms (III - Royal Navy)
17 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Mini-skirt/Quant
18 Commemorative Sheet - Big Ben 150th Anniversary
7 Commemorative Sheet - Cambridge University 800th anniversary
8 Eminent Britons (Europa)
21 Italia 2009 Smilers Sheet
17 Machin Definitives - Signed For

30 Castles of Scotland Smilers Sheet

4 MonacoPhil 2009 Expo Smilers Sheet


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