Preston agency puts its stamp on the Christmas post

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Christmas greetings have a special significance for a Preston design agency this year. For it’s no exaggeration to say they have put their stamp on them.

The Chase, which is based on East Cliff Gardens, landed the contract for the 50th anniversary edition of the Royal Mail’s Christmas Special stamps.

So this year, as all those cards drop through your letterbox, know that the seasonal robin, snowman, lantern, stocking, pudding and tree designs were homegrown in the north west.

Creative Director Richard Scholey explained the stamps, which feature paper sculpture, had been a long time in the making. The creative consultancy, which also has offices in Manchester and London, created stamps including the recent Great Fire of London and the commemorative Shakespeare stamps, was invited to pitch for the Xmas contract.

Richard and senior designer Stuart Mitchell commissioned paper artist/illustrator Helen Musselwhite and photographer Jonathan Beer to help deliver the project.

Richard said:“We were fortunate enough to be selected. Every year the Royal Mail alternates between a religious and secular set. We started out on it at least 18 months ago. We came up with different approaches and they particularly liked one where we suggested paper sculptures and Helen was the person we thought would be the best person to do that.”

Manchester based Helen created the A3 sized designs and Richard said the next challenge was to photograph them to show off their 3-dimensional design:“Initially to photograph them you could get the shadow right in one part of the stamp and not right in another.”

The answer was to dismantle the images and rebuild them, with meticulous photography throughout the process by Jonathan, ensuring the final image would do the paper creations justice.

Knowing the stamps will be viewed and used by millions is a special accolade and Richard added: “To see your work out there in front of everybody is great.”

The Queen approves all stamp designs and the Royal Mail has put a gallery of all its Christmas stamps on line at www.rmspecialstamps.com.

Christmas stamp 2016

Christmas stamp 2016

Christmas stamp 2016

Christmas stamp 2016

Stuart Mitchell (left) and Richard Scholey of The Chase put their stamp on the Royal Mail's Christmas post.

Stuart Mitchell (left) and Richard Scholey of The Chase put their stamp on the Royal Mail's Christmas post.