Live and Let Die-Cut

Apparently, 2007 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first time John Lennon met Paul McCartney. We’re not sure exactly what happened at this momentous event, but the Royal Mail have deemed it significant enough to warrant a special set of commemorative stamps.

Johnson banks were briefed way back in summer 2005 to come up with ideas for the project. Originally, they were asked to concentrate on doing something with all the memorabilia associated with The Beatles, which has been turned into the sheet of stamps shown.

However, johnson banks wanted to try something more interesting for the main set of differently priced stamps. After rejecting ideas such as having the band walk across the sheet a la Abbey Road, or using their lyrics, they finally decided simply to let The Beatles’ album covers speak for themselves. Six stacks of albums were shot, with a die-cut edge tracing the irregular outline of each pile.

According to Michael Johnson, this process proved to be the most demanding part of the project: “Because this has never been done before we spent weeks designing the ‘cutter guides’ to look suitably perforated but not look like a small philatelic mouse had been nibbling at the corners,” he says. “We then had to go into several rounds of testing to make sure that the machinery could die-cut the stamps and then pull away the remaining paper without pulling the stamps off the sheet.

“Since our Fruit and Veg stamps came out in 2003 we think the stamp designs have been a bit ‘safe’ so we’re please that we’ve managed to produce a set that pushes the boundaries again,” adds Johnson. The stamps come out on 9 January.


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