Royal Mail’s largest stamp commission since the Millennium series will be completed on July 27 with the issue of the third and final set of Olympic & Paralympic Games stamps illustrating the whole gamut of Olympic sports.

The release of the 10-stamp set has been timed to take place exactly one year before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.

Studio David Hillman was commissioned to direct the whole 30-stamp series, each of which has been designed by a different artist. Like the previous two sets, this one is printed in litho by Cartor in two sheets, each comprising se-tenant strips of five different designs.

All designs feature the official London 2012 logo.

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   
London 2012 is fair game, but have three issues induced fatigue with a year to go?

QUALITY OF DESIGN   
All were commissioned from leading illustrators, but with variable results

WOW FACTOR    
Most of the designs capture the colour and momentum of live sport well

1st class Paralympic Sailing
The illustration by Lara Harwood is reminiscent of the 1975 Sailing issue, but a little more abstract.

1st class Field Athletics
An illustration by Anthony Pike shows a black-and-white figure of a high-jumper doing the famous Fosbury flop.

1st class Volleyball
Ben Dalling digitally edited sketches and photos to show two-person beach volleyball, rather than the indoor six-person game which is also an Olympic sport.

1st class Wheelchair Rugby
Matthew Hollings illustrated the Paralympic version of the game, which has a round ball and just four players on each side.

1st class Wrestling
Daniel Stolle, who drew the wrestling image, is thought to be the first German to design a British stamp.

1st class Wheelchair Tennis
David McConochie, who specialises in altered collages, put his own stamp on the Paralympic version of tennis, in which competitors use electric wheelchairs.

1st class Fencing
The cut and thrust of fencing is well captured by Lyndon Hayes’ technique of mixing painting with pen and ink.

1st class Gymnastics
Kathy Wyatt, whose specialism is anatomical drawing, was commissioned to depict a gymnast in action.

1st class Triathlon
Adam Simpson’s portfolio now includes the triathlon stamp as well as a 60ft mural in his home town, Leicester.

1st class Handball
The handball stamp, by US-born artist David Cutter, shows a woman about to take a shot.

OTHER PRODUCTS
The presentation pack was written by Daily Mail sports news editor Ian Cole, designed by Hat-Trick and printed by Walsall.

Besides the usual first day cover and stamp cards, a coin cover is available.

A retail stamp book has the Sailing and Wheelchair Rugby designs along with four 1st class Machins, while a commemorative sheet will include all 10 stamps alongside labels containing information about each sport, with the border featuring interviews with competitors.

Two sets of five postcards will be marketed, illustrating the Sailing and Gymnastics designs and packaged with the relevant stamps.

A composite sheet is also available featuring all 30 stamps from the series.

PRICES

Set of 10 stamps    £4.10
Presentation pack    £5.10
Stamp cards    £4.50
First day envelope    £0.30
First day cover    £6.00
Coin cover    £17.50
Retail stamp book    £2.76
Commemorative sheet    £13.95
Postcard sets    £15.00
Composite sheet of 30    £13.80
TOTAL    £83.01