Issue Date: 17/02/2016
Issue Name: Celebrating 500 Years of Royal Mail Barcode Miniature Sheet Cover
Producer: Buckingham Covers
On the 17th February Royal Mail will be issuing a miniature sheet to celebrate 500 years since Henry VIII created the first national postal service: 'The King's Post'. This lovely miniature sheet features classic GPO posters. To commemorate this occasion we have produced this fantastic cover.
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Royal Mail 500
The Post Office depends on effective communication to alert the wider population of the whole variety of services that it provides. Before the age of the internet and of television, the post office pioneered the use of graphic design and cinema as tools of public relations. Accordingly, it placed itself at the heart of a global community that spanned the British Empire.
Sir Stephen George Tallents CB, CBE was a British civil servant and public relations expert. He is best known for his work as the secretary of the Empire Marketing Board (EMB) between 1926 and 1933. There he employed the British documentary film maker John Crierson and commissioned artists including Clive Gardiner, E McKnight Kauffer, and Frank Newbould to produce a series of large posters, promoting British and Empire produce. Following the demise of the EMB in 1933, Tallents moved to the GPO transferring the EMB’s film unit (best known for the 1936 film Night Mail) with him.
As Public Relations Officer for The Post Office, he sent out a huge programme of change that included ventures such as the introduction of the Valentine’s day telegram, the mass production of Giles Gilbert Scott’s red telephone kiosk and the nationwide search for a ‘star’ to be the voice of the speaking clock. Bringing his experience of the Empire Marketing Board, Tallents also commissioned many of the period’s exciting graphic designers and in doing so he established The Post Office as a leader and trend setter in poster design.
Tallents’ later career took him to the BBC and the second Ministry of Information. After the Second World War he became founder President of The Institute of Public Relations and served with the Royal Society of Artists, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Society of Industrial Artists and the Design Industries Association in various capacities.
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Dr Paul Rennie contributed to a series of design titles published by the Antique Collectors Club.