British postal service Royal Mail has unveiled its Christmas Special Stamps for 2019 with a new Nativity theme. Created by London studio Charlie Smith Design and paper-cutting artist duo Hari and Deepti, the collection is both contemporary and classic, fresh and traditional.
This year’s Christmas 1st class stamp focuses on Madonna and Child, while the other images include an angel, Joseph, shepherds, Three Wise Men and a manger scene.
A challenge for Charlie Smith was to keep the design bold and contemporary but differentiable from previous years, while always ensuring the detail holds when reproduced at such a small size.
Part of the brief was to achieve a three-dimensional quality. “We explored a variety of mediums from tapestry to wood to engraving, but paper cut art proved to be the most suitable to retain the most amount of detail”, says Charlie Smith, founder and creative director at the studio.
“Hari and Deepti were the perfect fit with their intricate paper-cut light boxes, meticulous and beguiling compositions which create stylistically unique rich, jewel-like scenes wholly appropriate for the festive season.”
The design studio and Hari and Deepti developed compositions that allowed and element of creative freedom, while keeping within Royal Mail's guidelines to ensure legibility of the Queen's silhouette and stamp value.
The resulting range comes with accompanying collectible products, including the Presentation Pack and First Day Cover.
Charlie Smith previously designed Special Stamps to commemorate Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday, as well as the collectible products to accompany the Songbirds issue in 2017. The new Christmas stamps are available in the UK now. Buy them here.