Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Animail - 17 May 2016

Royal Mail's stated "Reason and Inspiration"

"We have tried to have some fun with this stamp issue, designing stamps and stamp products that are particularly children-friendly and reminiscent of the highly popular Fun Fruit & Veg stamps issued by Royal Mail in 2003. Featuring six endearing animal characters that will wrap around an envelope or cling on to a postcard, these are perfect for adorning a piece of mail and making someone smile before they have even open the envelope.

"Andrew Osborne who designed the stamps was challenged to devise interactive stamps that particularly appealed to children and encouraged them to brighten up their letters and cards. He wanted to ‘push the envelope’ whilst working within the constraints of the technical requirements around postage stamps including the need for them to be easily read by Royal Mail’s sorting machines. Inspired by a character from Aardman Animations he came up with the idea of engaging, friendly and fun animal characters that could ‘cling’ to the top or side of envelopes. He wanted to create a variety of shapes and colours to generate interest but was mindful that each character had to sit comfortably alongside each other and have a degree of consistency so that they clearly looked like they were part of a set."

It seems that the leaders of Royal Mail's Stamps and Collectibles team don't have aged under-10 children or grandchildren.  Even if these designs might appeal to that target audience, I know several of that age group who use smartphones and tablets to communicate with their friends and family within the UK and across the world, and even to send 'thank yous' to their older relatives.  The use of email even is being overtaken by things like WhatsApp and Skype. 

Whatever the intention, it isn't going to work, and this will go down as another one of Royal Mail S&Cs desperate failures.  

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The Miniature Sheet

Animail miniature sheet - front.
Animal miniature sheet - back.

From left to right: 1st class Woodpecker, Snake; £1.05 Chimpanzee, Bat; £1.33 Orangutan, Koala.

Technical details:

The stamps were designed by Magpie Studio with original illustrations of the animals by Osborne Ross and paper-cut scenes by Owen Gildersleeve.  Printed by International Security Printers in lithography on self-adhesive paper.  The sheet is 192 x 74mm, with all-over phosphor.

Products issued (we will not be stocking these): 

Miniature sheet -- First day cover -- Presentation pack - Stamp Cards (7)

Special Postmarks

Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown in Royal Mail's Postmark Bulletin (pdf download) - editions of 15 & 29 April 2016 and possibly later.  

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This page created 5 May 2016

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