The Eye

The U.K. Created Adorable “Animail” Stamps to Make Kids Fall in Love With Snail Mail

RM Animail landscape 16.5.16

Royal Mail

The U.K.’s Royal Mail asked Andrew Ross of London-based design company Osborne Ross to design a set of stamps that would make British kids fall in love with snail mail.

So he designed a charming half-dozen self-adhesive “Animail” stamps in the shapes of cheerful little creatures, which include a woodpecker, snake, chimpanzee, bat, orangutan, and koala bears. The die-cut stamps set the animals free from the cage of a standard rectangular stamp template, allowing their respective hands, feet, or tails to be folded over the edges of the envelope, as if they are clinging to it for dear life.

Advertisement
Animail Chimpanzee stamp 400%

Royal Mail

Advertisement
Advertisement
Animail Koala stamp 400%

Royal Mail

Advertisement

“We were looking to design something which emphasised what makes sending and receiving a piece of post so special,” Ross told me in an email. “To the best of our knowledge there hasn’t been a stamp which wraps around an envelope before. The thought of a simple fold in a piece of paper bringing the creature printed on it to life appealed to us; we thought that this was an idea which would appeal to children and would achieve something which e-mail and texting couldn’t do.”

Animail Orangutan stamp 400%

Royal Mail

Advertisement
Animail Woodpecker stamp 400%

Royal Mail

Ross said they tried “a lot of variants” before settling on the final roster of animals—six stamps that had variety of colors, shapes, and types of animals. “Not too many birds nor too many mammals,” Ross said. “This ruled out several creatures which may have been liked but didn’t make up a coherent set, either for colour reasons or because we had too many hanging from the top of the envelope and not enough clinging to the side.”

Advertisement
Animail Snake stamp 400%

Royal Mail

Advertisement
Animail Bat stamp 400%

Royal Mail

Advertisement

Once they decided on which critters to feature, they worked over the designs “to conform with the technical requirements of a stamp,” Ross said, “how far down the stamp should be on an envelope, how far in, which colours to use to enable a good phosphor reading for sorting. This required sending trial stamps through the system and resulted in several stages of adjustment.”

Animail minisheet

Royal Mail

The playful stamps make a nice change from standard rectangular Royal Mail stamps plastered with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, though the Royal Mail notes in a press release that “Her Majesty the Queen approves all UK stamp designs before they are printed.”

Advertisement