The UK’s National Parks were founded in the same post-war rebuilding effort as the NHS, and as the outcome of decades of public effort to open up the countryside. The 15 parks cover a range of natural environments including sea cliffs, chalk hills, mountains and marshy wetlands.
To commemorate the founding of the UK’s first four National Parks: the Peak District, the Lake District, Dartmoor and Snowdonia, Royal Mail has worked with Colchester-based design and branding agency Silk Pearce to develop the Presentation Pack, First Day Cover, Filler Card and hand stamps for its latest stamp issue honouring these breathtaking locations.
Since 1985, Silk Pearce has gained a reputation for strong ideas-based design across branding, print and digital. For this project, the creative team developed a visual language that would complement the 10 stamps designed by Studio Mean while representing and celebrating the natural beauty of all 15 of the UK’s National Parks.
The design draws on the traditional activities of hiking, cycling, rambling and climbing. To evoke a sense of adventure, the design team incorporated treated and modified typography and wood textures to mimic recognisable footpath signage found across the parks. The textured graphics provide a background against which each stamp stands out.
Rob Steer, Creative Partner at Silk Pearce, said: “We wanted to develop a presentation pack that would highlight the contrasting landscapes of each of the National Parks depicted in the stamps. The imagery of the footpath and idea of movement created a natural link but one that wouldn’t detract from the beauty of each location. While we initially wanted to physically create the signage, lockdown meant we had to explore other digital routes to bring our creative idea to life. The graphics that we developed used a number of wood textures and fonts that were digitally manipulated and modified, resulting in visuals that are reminiscent of footpath signs and that everyone in the UK will recognise and emotionally connect with.”
Catharine Brandy, Design Manager at Royal Mail, said: “The products designed by Silk Pearce serve as an engaging visual invitation to explore the beauty of the UK’s National Parks.”
Silk Pearce has a longstanding relationship with Royal Mail, working on a range of design projects over the last 25 years which includes stamps, Presentation Packs and Year Books, as well as a photographic project archiving the Royal Mail pillar boxes. This project comes at a time of significant change for the agency, as it enters an exciting new phase of business with a relaunch and new leadership team.
This year saw the company take a new direction, with long-term team members Rob Steer, Ian Coote and Anthony Blease taking over from the founders Peter Silk and Jack Pearce as Creative Partners with the aim of expanding the core offering for existing and future clients alike.