The Isle of Man post office is marking the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in style with a set of eight stamps – which contain secret messages for fans of the classic science fiction film.
The work of London-based company Glazier Design in partnership with Warner Bros. and through them the Kubrick family and SKFA, the stamps feature key scenes from the film, first released in 1968, co-written by Sir Arthur C. Clarke.
The special First Day and Commemorative Covers are a groundbreaking homage to the film and much of the collection is in strictly limited-edition numbers, highly prized by collectors and film fans.
“The Isle of Man Post Office was honoured and excited to work with Warner Bros., the Kubrick family and the SKFA in producing the latest iteration in our celebration of space,” says Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Stamps and Coins, IOM Post office. “The film is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and has predicted many of the things we take for granted today.
“Having worked with Sir Arthur C. Clarke back in 2001, we know that both our loyal collectors and 2001: A Space Odyssey fans will love the stamps, especially when they discover the hidden secrets.”
The design has also been inspired by posters created to advertise the film, although Ben Glazier, founder at Glazier Design told Design Week there are “no set guidelines or rules” around the style of these.
“There have been many generations of posters for 2001: A Space Odyssey over the last 50 years,” he says. “So we just adopted a film poster style of being clean, easy to read and using as big an image as possible.”
The typeface used is Eurostile Extended, a bespoke sans-serif set in all-caps and various weights. This has been inspired by in-film graphics, specifically the text seen on digital screens on control desks in the film.
“This was filmed in the 1960s before they really had computers, so they projected images on a sheet of frosted glass to give the impression of a screen,” says Glazier. “We took a lot of inspiration from behind-the-scenes photography.”
The black background of the stamps is inspired by the mysterious Monolith that guides some human evolution, the blue the colour of Earth; and the red, Hal’s “all-seeing eye”. There are also “hidden messages” in the stamp design, text buried in the design that was previously used by Glazier Design when it created a set to commemorate Professor Stephen Hawking and coated them in a holographic foil that made them shine every colour of the visible light spectrum.
“Red is menacing while black is featureless and monolithic, much like in the film,” says Glazier of the colour palette. “The blue colour of the Earth from space was entirely from Kubrick’s imagination, as space missions hadn’t really started yet. The first moon landing happened in 1969, one year after 2001: A Space Odyssey was released.”
• The 2001: A Space Odyssey stamp set and a series of commemorative covers are now available to pre-order from the Isle of Main Post Office online, and will be dispatched from 14th June 2018
• Glazier Design is online at www.glazierdesign.com