Within hours of a British gold medal winning performance at London 2012, Royal Mail will set about producing an exclusive Team GB issue to mark their sporting triumph. Here’s how they’ll produce Britain’s first ever ‘next day’ stamps this summer …
Each Team GB Gold Medal Stamp issue will feature a Miniature Sheet of six stamps. To save time, sheets will be pre-printed in gold with common details such as the 1st Class value, the Queen’s head and the official London 2012 logo. The Team GB emblem and the title ‘London 2012 Olympic Games’ will also be printed in advance.
Working alongside Getty Images, the Games’ Official Photographic Agency, Royal Mail will receive a selection of images featuring the winning team or athlete as soon as possible after their win. Designers will have just one hour to choose the best action shot to fit the template and complete the artwork.
On receipt of the artwork from Royal Mail, six regional printers will then digitally overprint the athlete’s image, name and the winning event.
The finished sheets will be collected from the printers and delivered to 500 Post Office branches across the UK for sale the morning after the gold medal win. They range from Aberdeen to Bournemouth, Belfast to Cardiff and include a large number in London.
“All of these branches will be open on Sundays, many for the first time, during the Games to allow customers to buy the stamps as soon as they become available,” Royal Mail spokesperson. Another 4,500 Post Offices will receive the Gold Medal Stamps within the following week.
Royal Mail’s ‘Welcome’ Mini Sheets
To coincide with the opening of London 2012 on 27th July and the Paralympic Games on 29th August, Royal Mail will also issue two special miniature sheets. The four stamps on each sheet portray powerful images of athletes in action alongside an iconic London landmark such as the London Eye or Tower Bridge. There are
two 1st class stamps and two £1.28 stamps per mini-sheet. This is the first time a postal administration has issued a miniature sheet to mark the opening of the Paralympic Games.
Royal Mail released its first Olympic stamps in 1948, when the Games were held in London for the second time (first held in 1908). However, this will be the first time ever it has issued stamps to celebrate gold medal winners.