The Royal Mail are planning a 2010 launch of a new set of 1st class stamps designed by Studio Dempsey. The set which feature the artwork for various British album covers is sure to raise the odd eyebrow in the ever hard to please design community.
In what must have been a fairly daunting task, the Royal Mail researched reader polls and ‘best of’ lists as well as consulting with music journos and designers to come up with the final line up. It has already been mentioned that the work of Peter Blake, Klaus Voormann and others for The Beatles are notable by their absence, possibly due to a similar and arguably better executed set dedicated to the Fab Four designed by Johnson Banks. One inclusion that will cause few arguments is London Calling by The Clash. A stamp based on the sleeve of a seminal punk album based on the sleeve of Elvis Presleys debut? What’ll be next on the foodchain?
The Stones’ Let It Bleed features although personally (regardless of the music on the record) I would have thought the controversial Warhol sleeve for Sticky Fingers to be more iconic visually and in terms of popularity Joy Divisions Unknown Pleasures would’ve been a more obvious choice from than New Orders Power, Corruption and Lies but to be fair, Mr. Savilles Factory work alone could easily offer up enough classics for it’s own set of stamps.
I suppose that’s partly the point, the set is a celebration of classic album covers, not a definitive list of ‘the ten best’ and will definitely not please everyone. I could certainly think of what I would consider to be ‘better’ covers and I’m sure every designer would have strong opinions on what’s been included and more to the point, what hasn’t. Another thing that’s worth bearing in mind is that this collection is meant as a celebration of the artwork, not the music on the record. If it was about the quality of the music, would Coldplay have been invited to the party? Really?
The complete set can be viewed here.