Exhibition contract for design agency

ESSEX brand and design consultancy Silk Pearce has designed and produced one of the largest and most important exhibitions for London 2010: Festival of Stamps, a year-long programme of activities across the UK celebrating stamps, stamp design and postal heritage.

“Empire Mail: George V and the GPO” charts key milestones in the development of the postal and communications industry during the reign of King George V, the “philatelist king”, and celebrates the centenary of his accession in 1910.

The exhibition, which runs until July 25 at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London, showcases treasures from the British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) and the Royal Philatelic Collection.

Colchester-based Silk Pearce has designed the entire exhibition including the typography and graphics, as well as working in partnership with the BPMA to develop the narrative, producing the panels and helping with the installation.

Visitors will see posters, vehicles, war time memorabilia and some of the UK’s rarest stamps brought together into a number of themed, interconnecting rooms. The central display area chronicles the critical role played by the GPO during an era of great change when the organisation handled all UK telecommunications and established an airmail service.


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“Silk Pearce has designed the exhibition using colours and fonts to reflect the period, while allowing us to combine the graphics and historical artefacts on display into an informative and contemporary event,” said Jennifer Flippance, exhibition and project manager at BPMA.

“We are all delighted with the overall result and look forward to welcoming visitors and getting their feedback,”

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In addition to Empire Mail, Silk Pearce has also designed a number of items for Royal Mail associated with London 2010 including a prestige stamp book featuring an expert commentary on King George V with four special stamp panes for use on first day covers and an exhibition sheet of 20 first class stamps depicting London landmarks and the festival logo.

Other London 2010: Festival of Stamps events are taking place during the year at venues including Bath Postal Museum, Twickenham World Rugby Museum, Aberdeen Maritime Museum, and Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes.

Silk Pearce is a design-led communications consultancy which offers everything from brand development and identity through to literature, packaging and websites. Clients range from Aldeburgh Music and Essex law firm Birkett Long to Historic Royal Palances and Italian fashion house Allegri.

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