Royal Mail has unveiled its 2019 Christmas Special Stamps, designed by Charlie Smith Design. The London studio worked with paper-cutting artist duo Hari and Deepti to craft this year's Nativity-themed collection.
"Charlie Smith Design not only has the creativity and expertise required for this type of project, but their extensive experience collaborating with illustrators and artists ensured an interesting interpretation of the brief," commented Catharine Brandy, Design Manager at Stamps & Collectibles, Royal Mail.
This year's Christmas stamps feature traditional Nativity scenes. The 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 Design was to keep the design bold and contemporary but differentiable from previous years, whilst 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," stated Charlie Smith, Founder and Creative Director at Charlie Smith Design. "Hari and Deepti were the perfect fit with their intricate paper-cut lightboxes, meticulous and beguiling compositions which create stylistically unique rich, jewel-like scenes wholly appropriate for the festive season."
Charlie Smith Design together with Hari and Deepti developed compositions that allowed an element of creative freedom, whilst keeping within Royal Mail's guidelines to ensure legibility of The Queen's silhouette and the value of the stamp.
In addition to working on the Christmas issue, the studio also designed the accompanying collectible products, including the Presentation Pack and First Day Cover.