Design: GPO Posters, a new book by Dr Paul Rennie, has just been published. Dr Rennie is Head of Context in Graphic Design at Central St Martins College of Art, and a past contributor to the BPMA podcast.
Design: GPO Posters
Featuring over 100 posters commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) from 1930-1970, the book showcases the work of artists such as Edward McKnight Kauffer and Tom Eckersley.
The book is part of the award winning Design series produced by the Antique Collector’s Club and designed by Brian Webb, another past contributor to the BPMA podcast, and also a noted stamp designer. Other books in the Design series include Design: David Gentleman.
Design: GPO Posters and Design: David Gentleman are both available from the BPMA online shop for £12.50.
Eric Gill’s un-adopted design for the British Empire Exhibition stamp of 1924
In May, stamp designer Brian Webb and independent fine art consultant Peyton Skipwith spoke at the BPMA about the work of some of the artists who have been employed by GPO and Royal Mail over the years. Their talk is now available as a podcast.
Well known names such as Bertram Mackennal, Eric Gill, Edward McKnight-Kauffer, Edward Bawden, Eric Ravillious and David Gentleman produced some of their earliest work for the GPO, designing stamps, posters and other items. Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith discuss these designs, as well as other works by the same artists.
Bertram Mackennal’s “Seahorses” stamp design, issued 1913
David Gentleman’s role in revolutionising British stamp design is well known and has been discussed on this blog before, but Peyton Skipwith notes that many of the design difficulties highlighted by Gentleman in Essays in Stamp Design were also encountered by earlier artists. The problem of how to include the monarch’s head and the value of the stamp into the design was anticipated in Bertram Mackennal’s “Seahorses” stamps, he argues.
Other artists discussed include some of those who worked on the Millennium stamps, such as David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Blake and Craigie Aicheson.
The podcast The Design is in the Post: Artists and the GPO is free to download. While we couldn’t include the designs discussed within the podcast, many of them can be found by searching our online catalogue.
Posted in Archive, Catalogue, Collection, Philatelic, Podcast
Tagged Alan Turing, Bertram Mackennal, Brian Webb, Craigie Aicheson, David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Edward Bawden, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Eric Gill, Eric Ravillious, Essays in Stamp Design, GPO, Peter Blake, Peyton Skipwith, Royal Mail, seahorses, stamp design
Artists and writers Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith, who have penned a series of books exploring the work of notable British designers of the 20th Century, will speak at the BPMA on 20th May. The focus of their talk will be the many artists who have worked for the GPO, and how those artists helped to shape the GPO’s image.
The ‘pre-war’ artists Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Barnett Freedman and Eric Gill will be covered in some length, along with well known stamp designers such as Edmund Dulac and Bertram Mackennal. Present day artists who worked on the Millennium stamps, David Hockney, Peter Blake, Craigie Aicheson, David Gentleman, Claire Melinsky and John Lawrence, will also be examined.
Brian Webb has kindly sent us some of the images he will show in the talk:
Magazine cover by Edward Bawden
Eric Ravilious’ un-adopted design for the Adhesive Stamp Centenary, 1940
One of David Gentleman’s illustrations from The Swiss Family Robinson, 1963
Millenium stamps: Freddie Mercury, 2000, designed by Peter Blake
Further information and booking details for The Design is in the Post – Artists and the GPO can be found on our website.
David Gentleman Design by Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith is available from the BPMA Shop.
Posted in Events, Philatelic
Tagged adhesive postage stamp, adhesive stamps, Barnett Freedman, Bertram Mackennal, Brian Webb, Claire Melinsky, Craigie Aicheson, David Gentleman, David Hockney, design, Edmund Dulac, Edward Bawden, Eric Gill, Eric Ravilious, General Post Office, GPO, graphic design, John Lawrence, Peter Blake, Peyton Skipwith, Philatelic, philately, stamp design, Swiss Family Robinson
Our 2010 Events Guide has just arrived in the office and is now available online.
As usual the BPMA are hosting an exciting programme of Exhibitions, Walks, Discover Sessions, Talks and Tours. Many of our exhibitions and events next year will also be part of London 2010: Festival of Stamps and relate to the theme of George V, the philatelist King. Highlights include:
Treasures of the Archive
An exhibition of unique treasures from the BPMA, including a sheet of penny black stamps and the original die, among many other items of unparalleled significance in UK postal history.
Empire Mail: George V and the GPO
A major exhibition looking at the passions of King George V, the ‘philatelist king’ and the extraordinary period of design and innovation in the General Post Office during his reign.
Speakers include Vice President of the National Philatelic Society Dane Garrod, designer and illustrator Ronald Maddox and Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection Michael Sefi. BPMA Curator of Philately Douglas Muir will speak on stamp designer Bertram Mackennal, and designers and authors Brian Webb and Peyton Skipworth will speak on artists who worked for the GPO, including Barnett Freedman, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravillious.
This year we are introducing a shorter highlights tour, taking you through the heart of GPO London in just 90 minutes.
We hope to add new events throughout the year, so keep checking the What’s On page for more information.
If you receive our Newsletter by post you will be sent a copy of the Events Guide in the New Year. Contact us on email@example.com if you’d like one sent to you, or download the pdf version from our What’s On page.
Posted in Events, Exhibitions, Talks
Tagged Barnett Freedman, Bertram Mackennal, Brian Webb, Dane Garrod, Douglas Muir, Edward Bawden, General Post Office, George V, GPO, London 2010: Festival of Stamps, Michael Sefi, National Philatelic Society, penny black, philately, Postal History, Ronald Maddox, Royal Philatelic Collection, stamp design, stamps
Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution
On 31st March graphic designer Brian Webb will be speaking at the BPMA about Royal Mail’s latest stamp issue Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution. Brian is the Director of Webb and Webb, who have designed these and many other stamps for Royal Mail.
Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution celebrates the work of eight individuals whose innovations and inventions changed society forever:
- Matthew Boulton, who with John Fothergill set up Soho Manufactury, one of the pioneers of the assembly line.
- James Watt, inventor of the steam engine.
- Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning frame which radically improved the production of textiles.
- Josiah Wedgwood, founder of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, the famous pottery works in Burslem, Staffordshire.
- George Stephenson, builder of the first public railway line.
- Henry Maudsley, a pioneer of machine tool making.
- James Brindley, an engineer who was commissioned to build the Bridgewater Canal from Worsley to Manchester.
- John McAdam, an engineer who introduced the use of tar in road construction (the word “tarmac” derives from tar and McAdam).
Brian Webb’s talk ties in with the development of a reconstructed Victorian Post Office at Blists Hill Victorian Village by the BPMA and the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust.
For further information on the talk Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution, and for booking details, please visit the event page.
Posted in Ironbridge, Philatelic, Talks
Tagged assembly line, Blists Hill Victorian Town, Brian Webb, Bridgewater Canal, George Stephenson, Henry Maudsley, Industrial Revolution, Ironbridge Gorge, James Brindley, James Watt, John Fothergill, John McAdam, Josiah Wedgwood, machine tool making, Matthew Boulton, philately, Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution, pottery, railway, Richard Arkwright, Soho Manufactory, spinning frame, stamp design, stamps, steam engine, tarmac, The British Postal Museum & Archive, Webb and Webb, Wedgwood