GB Designs by Trickett & Webb - Dynamic Duo

The British stamps designed by Trickett & Webb between 1984 and 2003 exuded clarity and class. We asked them for an insight into the creative process

Report by Peter Marren


Brian Webb and Lynn Trickett, pictured in the 1980s, headed one of the new breed of design studios which had a positive effect on British stamp design towards the end of the 20th century

 

In retrospect, at least, the 1980s and early 1990s seem to have been a golden age for British stamps. The designs were eclectic, often ingenious, and had a clarity and beauty often lacking in more recent issues.

A good illustration of how creative ideas can be turned into high-quality miniature art can be found in the sets designed by the team of Trickett & Webb. The studio’s work was always painstakingly well-researched, their design solutions interesting and often novel, and they collaborated closely with illustrators and photographers to achieve finely-crafted results.

The New Breed

Brian Webb and Lynn Trickett were among a new generation of artists trained in graphic design, more concept-based than the commercial art which preceded it. Their London-based partnership, set up in 1971, produced designs for a wide range of purposes and clients, winning many awards. Stamps were just one part of its portfolio. ‘We specialised in not specialising,’ says Brian.

Philately, though, was always an attraction. ‘When I was at college,’ Brian remembers, ‘every student wanted to design a postage stamp.’

Both partners collected stamps as children, and admired the work of designers such as Abram Games, Tom Eckersley and, especially, David Gentleman. Brian says one of his favourite stamps is the 5p from Gentleman’s 1972 Broadcasting Anniversaries set, illustrating a horn loudspeaker; Lynn nominates the 10p from Gentleman’s 1976 Social Reformers set, honouring Robert Owen.

With Andy Thomas and Colin Sands also in the creative team, Trickett & Webb’s earliest philatelic work involved presentation packs and first day covers. Then, in 1984, they won their first commission to design a set of stamps.

 


Today Webb and Trickett work in separate design agencies, with the former still active in stamp design

 

Read the full article in Stamp Magazine September 2017

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