Royal Mail Yearbook 2016

Spring 2016
Editorial Design

My first job at Atelier Works was the annual, Royal Mail Yearbook for 2016; a 64 page, limited run high-end book showcasing the Royal Mail's commemorative stamps and providing a theme related story to run along side it.

The theme for this year's yearbook was letters. The Royal Mail being very first postal company for the past 500 years had most likely handled every important letter in British history, and as such we'd try to find an appropriate letter for the story being told.

The case and the cover of the yearbook.

As the letters were focus of the written story, we decided to make the letters the focus of the visual narrative too; giving them prime position on the spread and arranging the type and other visual elements around them, sans-grid.

Royal Mail 500: Here the letter from Rowland Hill is used as the starting point for the visual narratived.

Landscapes: A letter regarding Capability Browne's landscaping abilities.

In the section detailing the Shakespeare stamps, the narrative focused on vital letters that appear in Shakespeare's plays such as King Lear or Labours Love Lost.

Contemporary representations of Shakespeare's letters next to pull quotes of the pictured plays.

The production process of this book to a very holistic approach, with our initial research on the subjects - including image sourcing - often influencing the written aspect. Likewise, sometimes the written aspect required additional research and sourcing of some particularly hard to find images.

Shackleton's Endurance expedition. The map on the right was eventually sourced from the RGS and had to be heavily edited to show clear show the route.

Not having a set grid allowed us to be alot more playful with the spreads and the images. In the Animail section for example, the creatures inhabit the space, interact with the copy by wrapping round, holding on, pecking away or, in the case of the chimp, reaching over to the previous spread and pulling it away.


Great Fire. The streets of 17th century London are found between the paragraphs, helping show where the fire started.

Agatha Christie. In keeping with the murder-mystery theme, appropriate death-implements could be found in the negetive space, such as the vial of poison or the pistol seen above.

Mr Men and Little Miss.

The book came with one of every commemorative stamp that was printed over the year. To start with, they are separate in the box so that the philatelist is able to place them in the howis strip themselves; something I am told they take great joy in doing.

Mr Men and Little Miss.

The end paper design drew from the letters in the book. Each letter from either the front or back half of the book were overlayed over each other in place to create an abstract segway from the cover of un-opened letters to the content.

The front end paper.

The book was pulblished in November 2016 to great response:

What a beautiful book. It's as I expected, a very first-class production"

- Linda J Lear, Author