True North creates Royal Mail's Yearbook for 2019 celebrating how stamps connect people across the world

In an annual treat for stamp lovers everywhere, Royal Mail combines 12 months of 'special stamps' in one collectable yearbook. And for 2019, Manchester agency True North was behind its design.

Accepting the challenge of uniting 14 diverse topics – from D-Day to The Gruffalo – the yearbook has an overriding theme, 'Along These Lines', inspired by the idea that ever since their invention, postage stamps have helped connect people across the world.

To represent that symbolic connection, True North developed a simple but expressive graphic line device. Adapting to reflect the content of each chapter, the line weaves playfully through the book and holds the content together. Each chapter is subtly different. For The Gruffalo, for instance, the line sprouts twigs and branches and interacts with illustrations. While Queen Victoria’s bicentennial – which includes a feature on The Great Exhibition – echoes the outline of the windows at Crystal Palace, where it was held.

Dharma Gothic Condensed is used as the headline typeface throughout the book, its bold, consistent line thickness and tall, ultra-condensed appearance complementing the line motif. The treatment also translates effectively onto the wraparound cover, with all 14 chapters represented as visuals that are linked by one continuous line across front and back.

Colour-coding echoes the dominant colour in each stamp set. The gold accent used for the Queen Victoria Bicentenary chapter matches the colour of the present Queen's silhouette on the Mini-Sheet, while The Gruffalo's fur provides a rich, amber-brown hue.

The 2019 Yearbook is now available to buy from the Royal Mail shop.


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