The Age of the Dinosaurs
Royal Mail

When clergyman and palaeontologist William Buckland named his findings of the fossilised remains of a prehistoric creature ‘Megalosaurus’ (meaning ‘great lizard’) in 1824, this was the first scientific description of what became known as a dinosaur. Royal Mail wanted to celebrate the 200th anniversary of this discovery with a set of eight special stamps.

We were keen to avoid the more usual clichéd imagery of Dinosaurs standing in a tropical scene roaring in front of an exploding volcano. Instead, we explored an approach more akin to that of award winning wildlife photography. We wanted the images (created by Josh Dunlop) to look as real as possible with different landscapes, in different weather conditions and at different times of the day.

The brief stipulated that the stamps were to be printed in se-tenant pairs. However, rather than have two unconnected images we used the format to our advantage by placing both dinosaurs in the same scene (after checking with experts at The Natural History Museum that this would have been possible), but from completely opposite angles, almost as if the moment was captured by two photographers from different stand points at exactly the same time.

2024 also celebrates the 225th birth anniversary of pioneering Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning. The minisheet contains four stamps to mark the occasion and was designed to replicate the feel of display cases found in museums across the country.