Meath man's Royal Mail design packs a punch at Games


OLYMPIC STAMP:WHILE YESTERDAY belonged to a Wicklow woman, a Meath man has proven that it is not just Irish boxers and show jumpers who have put their stamp on the London Olympics.

Stephen Ledwidge, from Athlumney in Navan, said he was “thrilled” when he was approached two years ago to design a stamp for the Royal Mail’s Olympic stamp collection.

Mr Ledwidge’s design depicts two male boxers, with the red corner taking a bit of a pummelling. Happily this was not reflected in yesterday’s Olympic women’s lightweight final when Irish boxer Katie Taylor wore red as she outboxed Russia’s Sofya Ochigava for a gold medal.

Asked yesterday if, in hindsight, he regretted not having depicted a female boxer, Ledwidge admitted that when he designed the stamp he wasn’t aware female boxing would feature in the 2012 Olympics.

“I wouldn’t have been aware at the time that there was going to be female boxing this year,” he said, but added that he was “delighted” to have been chosen for the boxing design given the talent Irish athletes have displayed in the sport.

The 33-year-old graphic designer and illustrator, who is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, and works for the Dublin-based Zero-G studio, designed the stamp having been approached by British editorial designer David Hillman, whose studio was commissioned by the Royal Mail to design 30 first-class stamps.

The stamps, each of which depicts an Olympic or Paralympic sport, were issued in three tranches in 2009, 2010 and 2011 but have been reissued to coincide with the London Games.

Mr Ledwidge has had his designs included in the 2009/2010 edition of Lürzers 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide, a prestigious design archive, while a number of his illustrations have also featured in sports magazines.

Mr Ledwidge’s father, Joe, said yesterday he was “extremely proud” of his son: “He’s massively unassuming about the whole thing and he deserves huge credit for his skill and abilities.”