NB Studio and illustrator Sofie Birkin launch brilliantly animated Pride stamps with Royal Mail

The stamps – depicting the changing face of Pride over 50 years – have also been magically brought to life, frame by frame, by animation studio Animade.

23 June 2022


As of 1 July, audiences will be able to purchase the Royal Mail’s first ever Pride stamp collection from the postal institution. What’s more, they’ll be able to dive into a masterfully crafted illustrated world in the process. To create a celebratory collection marking the 50th anniversary of Pride, Royal Mail brought on board design and branding studio NB Studio – following a successful collaboration in 2018, depicting folk customs for an octet of stamps. The studio in turn sought out illustrator Sofie Birkin to depict both the original Pride march and every decade since. Animation studio Animade then delivered the final piece of the puzzle, turning the stamp collection into a hand-drawn film.

While official stamp illustrations often pack a punch within the restrictions of such a minuscule format, Sofie Birkin has taken things a step further. Using a panoramic stamp format has allowed the illustrator to fit more free-flowing action, joyous movement and evocative details into the work. This technique also alludes to the concept of a timeline, nodding to NB’s theme, A March Through Time. A press release from the studio explains how each stamp collection pays homage to a particular decade of Pride: “from its protest gatherings in 1972, to its present day in 2022 as a huge celebratory festival, welcoming all members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

For the Pride collection, NB Studio has, fittingly, opted away from monochromatic illustrations – the stamps are produced in vivid full-bleed colour. Additionally, when the stamps are combined and viewed in a series, the studio explains how they appear like a tapestry, showing the movement of the march throughout time.

Animade / NB Studio / Sofie Birkin: The Pride Special Stamp (Copyright © Animade / NB Studio / The Royal Mail, 2022)

It seems a shame to view such fantastic work on an exclusively thumb-sized canvas, but this is where Animade comes in. Taking Sofie’s richly realised scenes, the studio has created a corresponding film, featuring laboriously realised hand-drawn stop motion. The animation can be found across Royal Mail’s social channels from today (23 June). Jennifer Judd, co-founder and managing director at Animade, states: "Animation adds an extra narrative dimension," helping to elevate the project and dive deeper into the story the stamps tell.

Sofie adds: “As a queer, Essex-born artist, it feels incredibly meaningful to represent 50 years of my own community fighting for, protecting and celebrating our right to exist and be seen, especially through an institution as storied as the Royal Mail.”

Customers can pre-order The Pride Special Stamp series from today here, or alternatively wait until 1 July, when they will be released on general sale at The Royal Mail shop.

GalleryNB Studio / Sofie Birkin: The Pride Special Stamp (Copyright © NB Studio / The Royal Mail, 2022)

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NB Studio / Sofie Birkin: The Pride Special Stamp (Copyright © NB Studio / The Royal Mail, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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