Thursday, 14 January 2021

United Kingdom: A Celebration - 26 January 2021 - a discussion.

From Royal Mail:

United Kingdom: A Celebration

In celebration of the United Kingdom’s greatest strengths & accomplishments, we explore just some of
the ways in which Britain leads the way. From sporting achievement to technological innovation, and
creative excellence to our strong sense of community spirit, the UK excels in a host of different ways.

 


The four stamps are captioned:
1st class  - Great Sport, Great Creativity;
£1.70 - Great Community; Great Industry and Innovation.

Design: background image – illustration of Union flag by hat-trick design; 

1st class - Great Sport stampwheelchair athlete composite image © David Madison/Getty Images and © Image Source/Getty Images; cricket ball © Bootzilla/Getty Images; playing football © Sumetee Theesungnern/EyeEm/Getty Images; racing car © CAIA Image/Science Photo Library; 

£1.70 - Great Community stampVirgin London Marathon 2011 © Oli Scarff/Getty Images; hands making heart shape © martin-dm/Getty Images; nurse reassuring patient © Science Photo Library; rainbow illustration by Daisy James © Royal Mail Group Limited 2021; 

£1.70 - Great Industry and Innovation stamp3D illustration rendering of binary code © MR.Cole _Photographer/Getty Images; carbon fibre material © DaveAlan/Getty Images; 3D illustration of DNA molecules © Design Cells/Getty Images; London skyline composite image © Gary Yeowell/Getty Images and © Davy Larkins/EyeEm/Getty Images; 

1st class - Great Creativity stampmicrophone stand silhouette © ilbusca/Getty Images; office building glass façade © Musketeer/Getty Images; book pages, photograph by Joe Howat © Royal Mail Group Limited 2021; TV studio composite image © AskinTulayOver/Getty Images and © rasslava /Getty Images

Technical details

The stamps are printed by ISP in lithography with all-over phosphor.  The stamps are 60 x 30 mm in a sheet which is 192 x 74 mm.   

 

First Day Cover and Presentation Pack

United Kingdom: A Celebration - first day cover.

United Kingdom: A Celebration - presentation pack.

From Royal Mail's website

Great Sport | Reflecting a proud and passionate sporting heritage

Great Creativity | Highlighting the United Kingdom’s talent in the arts, music, film and TV production, architecture and literature

Great Community | Celebrating a long-held sense of community spirit

Great Industry and Innovation | A tribute to the UK’s accomplishments in science and technology


Discuss!  But remember comments are moderated.  The most pertinent will be reprinted here.

Single stamps alone are less inspiring than the sheet:

Comments received:

- Why?

- Doesn't really look all that celebratory!

- Totally unnecessary issue. 

- It’s nice and an interesting design but for what anniversary?

- Well, that's a surprise, I expected six 1st class stamps: the four country stamps, the Union Jack stamp and a Machin head. 

- this does feel like government sponsored propaganda. Another one for the do not buy list.

-  In terms of a creative design, I think the RM have nailed it. I guess we all collect for different reasons, I prefer this design lead issue to a set of 10 first class stamps celebrating dead people, but each to their own.

- Two people have commented on this being design-led... Why are so many of the images apparently from Getty Images then? Couldn't they even re-use imagery from RM previous issues e.g. the wheelchair athlete could have been David Weir or Hannah Cockcroft from the 2012 Paralympics; the DNA and binary could have come from any previous celebration of science or medicine; the microphone stand even looks like it was borrowed from 1999 Entertainers Tale.

- And the DNA structure is wrong! As with many of these computer-generated images, it is just made to look pretty, but it completely ignores the correct number of base-pairs per turn of the DNA helix (the number of rungs on the ladder). It should be 10 base-pairs for each full turn, and the image shows about 8 per half-turn!




34 comments:

  1. Umm? Doesn't really look all that celebratory!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It’s nice and an interesting design but for what anniversary?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly a Brexit issue in all but name. Presumably celebrating Brexit outright would be seen as too provocative.

      Delete
  3. Good to see that there's yet another Football related stamp this year to add to an ever-growing collection. 2020 had Sensible Soccer (Computer Games), 2019 had Walter Tull (1918 World War One), 2015 had Football from Loos (1915 World War One), 2014 had Bend it Like Beckham (British Films) and Joe Mercer (Remarkable Lives) and 2013 had the Footba11 Heroes issue & Bill Shankly (Eminent Britons) https://www.myfootballfacts.com/england_footy/football-on-great-britain-postage-stamps/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Totally unnecessary issue. Can't see many of these being used on letters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not intending to buy any, but that is mainly because I did a couple of orders with RM last month to beat the postage price rise, so should be OK for postage for a while.

      Delete
  5. Well, that's a surprise, I expected six 1st class stamps: the four country stamps, the Union Jack stamp and a Machin head. The mini sheet gum being self-adhesive so the Scotland stamp could be peeled off in two or three years time (perhaps).

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks like it was done by the same design team as the Dept of International Trade adverts that we get at airports or occasionally in the Sunday papers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As a previous commenter mentioned ,this does feel like government sponsored propaganda. Another one for the do not buy list.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lots of white space on the left for a Stampex overprint - aw shucks, we're not having that are we?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But then a certain dealer known for private overprints in the past could do one for Virtual Stampex.

      Delete
    2. Don't give RM an excuse to do just that when Virtual Stampex arrives, just as they did with Post & Go at the last Virtual event.

      Delete
  9. why oh why Royal Mail, surely we should be celebrating the success of GB's track and trace system on this edition - I would have preferred the National Car Park edition.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was looking at the postcards, the design does look a little not-quite-right if the stamps/postcards are used individually. Perhaps if the four stamps were cut as jigsaw pieces (thinking of the Darwin issue), but interlocking in the miniature sheet, would have looked better.

    ReplyDelete
  11. In terms of a creative design, I think the RM have nailed it. I guess we all collect for different reasons, I prefer this design lead issue to a set of 10 first class stamps celebrating dead people, but each to their own.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It does feel like the GREAT campaign was involved or at least inspired this. I’ll be interested to see if they’re being promoted ‘next door’ at the High Commission or used in some way.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I seem to recall that some MPs and others thought there should be a stamp issue to celebrate the UK's exit from the EU. Perhaps the mini sheet is the Royal Mail's response.

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  14. I expect the Scottish Nationalists are not too pleased with this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Perhaps only Second Class - Extract from RM's descriptions on their website:

    First Class

    Great Creativity | Highlighting the United Kingdom’s talent in the arts, music, film and TV production, architecture and literatur

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only you had used quote marks, given that there is no link to the website anywhere here, it might have been obvious that it was their typo and not yours!

      Delete
  16. Yes it does look like a government campaign but, as someone has already said, I welcome this design-lead approach, especially in comparison to the endless stamps that scream, "Let's just stick The Queen's head on yet another photograph and make it a black-and-white photo, if you can!" The problem with that approach is that, with the UK not being obliged to put its country name on, they end up looking like labels. And if The Queen is in the photo, then there's only the value to give us a clue that it's actually an official stamp!

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  17. if folks want to collect items like this they will; why not? But to see it as a political/nationalist/rhetorical/love-hate the monarchy statement!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Two people have commented on this being design-led... Why are so many of the images apparently from Getty Images then? Couldn't they even re-use imagery from RM previous issues e.g. the wheelchair athlete could have been David Weir or Hannah Cockcroft from the 2012 Paralympics; the DNA and binary could have come from any previous celebration of science or medicine; the microphone stand even looks like it was borrowed from 1999 Entertainers Tale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the DNA structure is wrong! As with many of these computer-generated images, it is just made to look pretty, but it completely ignores the correct number of base-pairs per turn of the DNA helix (the number of rungs on the ladder). It should be 10 base-pairs for each full turn, and the image shows about 8 per half-turn!

      Delete
  19. Many many years ago when I was at school we had an art lesson once a week. No fancy folders or artists bags to hold our artwork. Simply could not afford them even if available. So we all had to buy a very big brown envelope which would now be about A2 size. We then had to personalize it with some form of artwork of our choice. I had no (and still haven't) artistic flair whatsoever. The day before I had to give in my envelope I was in a bit of a panic so I sat down and made four rectangles on each side and did some coloured stripes and shapes. I must admit it was bad compared with the rest of the class. The following week the art teacher announced the marks he had given and in a loud voice to the rest of the class he said of mine - "What was I thinking, it's babbyish, ill thought out, no skill, no colour co-ordination" and so it went on. For a 12 year old in the 1950s it was a bit hard to take. He tore it up and told me to buy another envelope and do better. I think I should have kept it and submitted it as artwork for the Celebration Issue as it certainly had some resemblance. Doug (Enfield)

    ReplyDelete
  20. The stamps - esp. the "Great..." captions - would have made sense if the issue was titled in recognition of 'Great Britain' but there is nothing in the images which is at all UK-specific.

    At least, they have the Union flag(s) the right way up - something even some Govt. departments seem to have trouble with - but a disappointing issue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's not really a "right way up" on an envelope as the hoist side isn't defined. See the false outcry about the Union Jack being "upside down" on the tailfin of Boris's plane, when in fact it is just reversed on one side by convention.

      Delete
  21. Well according to my local sub post office, no one uses stamps anymore! I needed 7p in stamps to add onto a letter to Europe so called in with 7p in change. The postmaster asked me for 10p which I politely queried and was told that people no longer sent letters anymore so he doesn't bother with 1p, 2p and 5p stamps. I know it was only 3p extra but it was the principal of the matter....he wouldn't have accepted 3p less on any payments from me....so will be using a different post office in future....very disappointing attitude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One time, I needed 1p stamp, but the main post office didn't have any but offered me a 2p stamp for 1p instead! The main post office is OK, but they don't get enough of the commemoratives (I think they only had 1 of the celebration miniature sheet when I went to purchase it, excluding what they had in presentation packs...). They do let me raid a few sheets of airmail labels at a time!

      My local little one is quite happy to sell me the small value stamps, but if none in the book, I would have to wait until they get into the safe next (I usually only go when I have only a couple of the small value stamps left - I don't want to run out). However, they don't do the commemoratives (just Christmas 1st/2nd + large). On rainy days, I hand my post over the counter and they smile at the stamps I use.

      Delete
  22. Tried to get some from my local post office today (27th) - they didn't have any, I told them I'd seen the date of 26th January on your website and they said this was a misprint and it should have said the 28th...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Because of my medical condition and also 'lockdown' I have to rely on my daughter and daughter-in-law to post letters, parcels and obtain any philatelic needs. Over the past year I believe I have 'trained them' well!!! However, neither have access to a big Post Office so rely on corner shops etc. but one does have reasonable access to a Post & Go facility if needed. They both live some distance away and we also have to use eMail and Facetime to communicate. However, it is sometimes strange how Counter Staff interpret the 'rules' and how little they know about what they actually sell. Quotes: "They don't do the 1st class stamps in books of 6 with the commemoratives" strange - then sell her the Coronation Street booklet obtained yesterday. "There is no such thing as a £3.25p stamp, (daughter has picture I sent on her phone) - staff look confused but did search the safe. Oh! £3.25p stamps!! Small parcel with correct postage already applied requiring "Signed For" service. Reply, "Next time don't put full value of stamps on the parcel but leave it short of say just 1p. This is so we can print a label with 1p on it for the Signed For service"?! New issue dates are also a pain in the neck. Some POs will only sell tariff change stamps from the day the tariff changes and not before that date as published. All the staff are very helpful and do their best but I don't think they are trained well. I always make sure the good feedback survey is completed and staff do appreciate it. Doug (Enfield)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Doug.

      I think the point of putting a label on is that they get paid for that no matter what the value (although they do get more commission for more postage) and get nothing for a pre-stamped item.

      I believe they get more for certificates of posting so if you ask for one every time (even for normal mail) it may help them. Probably need to check this with the postmaster though.

      Delete
    2. Ian,
      Yes, they get a few pence for each proof of posting. That's why they sometimes give them without being asked.

      Delete

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