NOBEL PRIZE 100TH ANNIVERSARY STAMPS
“The Royal Mail’s new stamp collection for October pushes the boundaries of design and printing technology” – Headline, Financial Times, 25th September 2001
“It has got to be one of the world’s most technologically advanced stamp issues… It’s the first time in the world that a single set of stamps containing all these different printing technologies has been used.” – Mark Thomson, The Telegraph, 12th August 2001
“Children are going to love [the stamp], they will be sticking their mucky fingers all over it.” – Sir Harry Kroto, The Argus, 25th September 2001
When the Nobel Prize turned 100 years old, the Royal Mail provided me with a really special opportunity – to prove that philately could be fun. To honour the anniversary, I designed a series of postage stamps paying homage to the curiosity and innovation that drives the prize’s laureates. Each of the six interactive stamps was dedicated to a Nobel category and printed with a special technique related to the topic.
The Economic Sciences stamp was created using intaglio printing, the same gravure technique used on bank notes. The Chemistry prize stamp featured interactive thermochromic ink; when warmed with the body heat from a finger, an illustration of a buckminsterfullerene C60 molecule changed into an image of an ion trapped within.
The Medicine stamp garnered the most press attention, with the BBC, Design Week and newspapers across the country noting that it was the UK’s first scratch-and-sniff stamp. (The scent was eucalyptus.) Likewise, the Physics stamp was the nation’s first stamp featuring a hologram – of a boron molecule.
Using microprinting, I was able to fit an entire TS Elliot poem onto the Literature stamp, which you would need a magnifying glass to read. Finally, emulating the category’s greatest prizewinners, the stamp for Peace was made with nuanced care and a simple, hopeful message: a subtly embossed image of a dove.
Agency / HGV