STAMPS | Mach 2 :: When the Future Was Ultramodern > British Concorde Stamps

I purchased the Museum of Modern Art’s magnetic stamp holder years ago and I like it. It was a great but unpractical design that I didn’t know what to do with until I thought to myself “Hmm … I love those Concorde stamps — that’s their new home.”

So for years, these beautiful stamps commemorating Concorde’s first flight have languished in their magnetic holder. I thought it time to bring them out, photograph them, and show the world how beautiful they are.

I like all three designs, but David Gentleman’s designs for the 9d and 1s 6d stamps are remarkable — they have aged beautifully and still look fresh forty years after they were launched.

Mr. Goaman’s (why two designers?) stamp fits into the set somehow but is banal in comparison with Gentleman’s bold use of colour and form.

(As an aside, Concorde was originally due to fly for the first time on 28 February 1968 and so the new stamps were ready for that date. However, the plane’s first actual flight was on 2 March 1969 and the British stamps were issued on Monday 3 March 1969.)

These are, in my humble estimation, some of the finest stamp designs, ever. They make the subsequent British Concorde stamps (below) seem mediocre at best.

As for the French design from 1969, well they got the year right mais il est typique des timbres francais — the etching is fine, the colours are great and the design implies thrust, but it is certainly not cutting edge like Gentleman’s two takes on Concorde’s design elements.

A leading-edge machine needs an avant-garde graphic treatment, something the French failed to take note of at the time.

Photo > Larry Rosenblum




Gentleman is Royal Mail’s most prolific designer, with more than 100 stamps to his credit. Click on the first link below to view more of his beautiful stamp designs.




collectGBstamps | 1969 > First Flight of Concorde

collectGBstamps | 2002 > 50th Anniversary of Passenger Jet Aviation Airliners

collectGBstamps | 2009 > Design Classics

The Guardian | Gallery > Stamps of approval: British Design Classics

Royal Mail | British Design Classics

Royal Mail | British Design Classics Preview PDF

The British Postal Museum & Archives | Concorde stamp issue 1969