Although stamps are a form of graphic design that we interact with daily, it is rare that we ever get to see the faces of those that have created them. This makes a recent commemorative miniature sheet of stamps particularly significant, for it bears the face of Arnold Machin, the artist behind the iconic image of the Queen that has graced the UK’s stamps since 1967. The stamps were released last week on June 5, 40 years after the first stamps went on sale.
“Arnold Machin created probably the world’s most reproduced work of art with his classic sculpture of the Queen,” says Julietta Edgar, head of special stamps at Royal Mail. “Like many examples of great design, simplicity was the key to its success. We wanted to celebrate this important milestone in the life of a true British icon.”
Accompanying the stamp bearing Machin’s portrait is a new ruby red £1 stamp, to mark the ruby anniversary, and also a stamp showing the very first Machin stamps to be issued in 1967. Both are shown below.