a stunning set of stamps to celebrate 100 years of general relativity each stamp representing key scientific discoveries from the two most prominent physicists in modern history litho printed with holographic foil, a playful use of light and dark. a reflection of our universe

Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking

100 Years Of General Relativity

In designing this unique set of postage stamps, I had the honour of working with one of the greatest minds in science, Professor Stephen Hawking. My proposition was to create a set of stamps to celebrate 100 years of General Relativity.

From development of the initial concept, through to the interpretation of highly abstract scientific theory (straight from Prof. Hawking’s black board), this project proved to be the most challenging and rewarding in my career.

The final product was flawless. 40,000 stamps were printed in the first run and the accompanying booklet received wide acclaim from the press as well as a feature in Design Week. The collection was presented to Professor Hawking at Starmus Festival in Tenerife.

Client: Isle of Man, Royal Mail

Skills: Creative Direction, Layout, Print Management, Print Design, Branding

Product: Postage Stamp Collection and Hawking Foundation Branding

Straight From The Blackboard

During my research i was sent a blackboard sketch from Professor Stephen Hawking and Professor Malcom Perry’s study of Hawking Radiation – the complex chalk drawing was my starting reference. Being asked to place it on a a postage stamp seemed to defy the laws of physics, but it could be done! After all, before the Big Bang, the universe could literally fit on a postage stamp. 


Prior to starting this project, what I knew about cosmology and physics could fit on the back of a postage stamp. Now it can fit on the front.

When approaching any design brief, it is critical to fully comprehend the content in front of you and what significance each component. A number of difficult questions became immediately apparent. What are both Einstein and Hawking’s key scientific discoveries in order of importance? How to represent such complex concepts in their most simple form whilst maintain a beautiful design aesthetic?

A Technical Challenge

The print process also proved to be a challenge. Requiring three separate specialist printers to complete the job. A secure stamp printing company, able to provide the holographic foils. A Book binding specialist, able to deboss on fabric silk. And lastly, a high quality Litho printer for the inner pages of the book.