Design & icons

Explore the history of design in the postal service, from posters, uniforms, letterboxes and maps to iconic designs like the Penny Black and Machin stamp.
  • The Penny Black

    A short history of the first and most famous stamp in the world.

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  • Letter Boxes

    Find out how letter boxes in Britain became an iconic symbol of the nation, recognised the world over.

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  • Postal uniforms

    The postman's uniform is one of the most easily recognised uniforms worn in the UK - a real symbol.

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  • The Machin Design

    Find out about the creation of one of the most recognisable designs of the 20th century.

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  • Stamp Design

    Need to know the basics of British stamp design? Read our short overview.

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  • Maps

    Our Archive holds over 700 maps. These cover the period 1757-c.1990.

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  • Posters

    We look after a collection of over 6,000 posters and some of the original poster artwork.

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  • Paintings

    Our collection of paintings covers over three hundred years of postal activity. They show us how the artists and their contemporaries perceived the postal service.

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  • The first Christmas card

    Find out more about the world's first Christmas card, sent 175 years ago.

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Research

You can search collection records in the online catalogue and study material from our archives by visiting The Discovery Room.

Access and enquiries Search our catalogue Visit The Discovery Room