Colchester: Silk Pearce ‘honoured’ to work on Royal Mail Merchant Navy stamps out today

Peter Silk, creative head at Silk Pearce, on the quayside at Harwich with large format artwork for t

Peter Silk, creative head at Silk Pearce, on the quayside at Harwich with large format artwork for the Royal Mail's Merchant Navy commemorative stamps which go on sale today. - Credit: Archant

Creative agency Silk Pearce has worked with Royal Mail to design two sets of stamps commemorating the Merchant Navy.

The complementary sets, which go on sale today, involve six stamps featuring ships from over the centuries and a miniature sheet of four highlighting the role of the Merchant Navy during the Second World War.

Silk Pearce based the main set largely on pictures dating from the eras of sail and steam but commissioned a new painting of the most modern vessel featured, a diesel-powered bulk carrier which entered service in 1986.

The mini sheet uses black and white photographs of the convoys which kept the nation supplied with food and raw materials during the war.

Silk Pearce, which is based in Colchester, has also designed a number of collectors’ products for the issue, including a presentation pack and a first day cover.

Besides showcasing the stamps, the presentation pack unfolds to display an illustrated history of the Merchant Navy and detailed specifications of each of the six ships featured.

The first day cover features the British Red Ensign flag flown by all British-registered merchant ships and two special postmarks, for exclusive use on the day of issue, based on new illustrations of the Titan crane from the John Brown shipyard on the River Clyde and the Merchant Navy badge.

Most Read

Peter Silk, the firm’s creative head, said: “It’s always an honour to be asked to design Royal Mail stamps but we’re particularly excited about this project where we have worked on two complementary sets as well as the associated collectors’ products.”

Catharine Brandy, design manager for stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail, said: “Silk Pearce has worked closely with Royal Mail to design two stunning sets of stamps and a range of collectors’ products that touch on so many different aspects of the Merchant Navy.

“We believe this commemorative stamp issue will be valued by anyone with an interest in Britain’s nautical history, its development as a trading nation or the essential part played by the Merchant Navy during the Second World War.”

Silk Pearce has been working with Royal Mail on the design of stamps and associated products for 25 years, with high-profile issues having included products celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in May 2012.