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Collections –> Stamps

The first stamp in the selection below was designed by one of Australian graphic design’s most influential figures, Frank Eidlitz. Printed in 1966, it marks the 350th anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s landing on our shores. Viewed through the lens of contemporary practice, the stamp’s most striking feature (beyond Eidlitz’s beautifully balanced design) is the microscopic line of type in the bottom left corner crediting the designer. Ironically, this custom had virtually disappeared by the 1980s, a decade when Australian graphic design reached full professional maturity, studios flourished and national pride overflowed with the 1988 Bicentenary.

Our collection concludes with stamps from that year, designed by Garry Emery and his eponymous studio Emery Vincent Associates. Eidlitz and Emery were part of a select group of esteemed local designers and illustrators who contributed to a rich catalogue of postage design which included Ken Cato, Bruce Weatherhead, Harry Williamson, Alex Stitt, Max Robinson, John Copeland and Wendy Tamblyn. These practitioners were commissioned on an ad hoc basis, but a select group of specialists also worked exclusively in the field, designers like Robert Ingpen, Brian Clinton and the internationally recognised expat Hungarian George Hamori. As a window into our history they provide a fascinating, and revealing, snapshot of what Australian design was, and perhaps could have been.