Royal Mail launch Animail stamps to encourage kids to use snail mail

Royal Mail, the UK postal service, has launched a series of adorable Animail stamps in an attempt to get kids writing letters again.Animail 1


Great Britain’s stamps are usually synonymous with images of Queen Elizabeth I, but these bright and cheerful animal characters definitely have a lot of appeal for younger generations who may not use the mail at all. With the ubiquitous nature of technology, it’s probably safe to say that most young people send messages through digital devices, but the hope here is that projects like this may get kids writing again.

It has already been reported that cursive handwriting is disappearing from our schools, and the fear is that physical handwriting is also on the decline, which could cause problems in later life for tech-addicted youngsters.

Royal Mail announced the Animail stamps last week.

“Each stamp is in the shape of the animal, and its hands, feet or indeed tail can fold over the edge of the envelope or card. The colourful, characterful stamps feature a Woodpecker, Snake, Chimpanzee, Bat, Orangutan and Koala Bear and are designed to brighten up the mail and add some more fun to sending and receiving post.
The stamps were designed by Andrew Ross, of London based design company Osborne Ross, who were given the challenge of devising interactive stamps that would brighten up letters and cards, particularly for children. Wanting to ‘push the envelope’ he had to work within the constraints of the technical requirements around postage stamps, including the need for them to be easily read by Royal Mail’s sorting machines. 
Andrew came up with the idea of engaging, friendly and fun animal characters that could ‘cling’ to the top or side of envelopes. He wanted to create a variety of shapes and colours to generate interest but was mindful that each character had to sit comfortably alongside each other and have a degree of consistency so that they clearly looked like they were part of a set. 
Designer, Andrew Ross, said: “This was an exciting challenge and one which shows the continued importance that the Royal Mail places on design. We wanted the simple act of folding the stamp around the envelope to make these little characters come alive. We hope they will appeal to people of all ages.”
Philip Parker, Stamp Strategy Manager, Royal Mail, said: “We’re sure that these quirky stamps will brighten up the sending and receiving of mail, whether you are six years old, or 60.
“The designers of these unusually-shaped stamps have created some eye-catching images to add fun to the sending and receiving of mail.
“Each of the six Animail stamps is a unique shape, so the creature looks as if it clings or hangs on to the edge of the mail. We hope these raise smiles around the UK and the world.”
The stamps are available from today at www.royalmail.com/animailand from 3,700 Post Offices across the UK.”

Animail In use

In an interview with Slate Magazine, Ross told Kristin Hohenadel;

“We were looking to design something which emphasised what makes sending and receiving a piece of post so special. To the best of our knowledge there hasn’t been a stamp which wraps around an envelope before. The thought of a simple fold in a piece of paper bringing the creature printed on it to life appealed to us; we thought that this was an idea which would appeal to children and would achieve something which e-mail and texting couldn’t do.”

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.