Focus: hand-drawn type

Royal Shakespeare Company stamps

Hat-trick ( designed two new sets of typographic stamps for the Royal Shakespeare Company to celebrate its 50th anniversary. For one set, Hat-trick worked with typographer Marion Deuchars to illustrate key parts of the plays around dramatic photos from famous productions. For the other, a mini ‘stage set’ was built with the illustrator Rebecca Sutherland and shot by John Ross.

Hat-trick creative director Gareth Howat explains: “Both sets were a combination of handcrafted skills, Marion Deuchar’s handwritten type, and the models for the stage set. The artworks were put together using InDesign and Photoshop.

“One of the biggest challenges when designing stamps is the scale. You are creating images that have rich content, but that are also simple enough to create impact.

Marion Deuchars adds: “I was very keen to get a full Shakespeare quote on a stamp, be able to read it and react to it emotionally; To create a little piece of poetry, stamp size.

“We tried for an emotive quality between the character from RSC archives and the words, as if they were being sounded out on the stage.

“With the design for King Lear, I wanted the type to be fervent and disturbing, as if it had been scratched out. Whereas in Romeo And Juliet I concentrated on it flowing round the figures and being more lyrical and passionate.”