The Portland Stamp Company The Portland Stamp Company

Stamp No. 031Helen Hancocks

Helen is a UK based illustrator and writer. Her work is humorous, modern, and colorful, with plenty of details to discover. Cats, cinema, or cake are big inspirations. We first noticed her posting stamps on Instagram using our blank lick & stick sheets, and and invited her to collaborate on an artist series stamp.

Her idea was technically challenging because of the multiple stop-perfs — it required twelve trips through the perforator! It was fun to make and the result is a playful, interactive two-color risograph sheet.


Have you designed a stamp before?

No, unless you count drawing them on envelopes when I was a kid!


You started at an early age! What was the most interesting or fun aspect of designing a poster stamp? What unique challenges did it present?

There is so much you can do, the ideas were endless! It was challenging working with the confines of space and scale that a stamp offers. As well as how the sheet can work as one image but also that the user can reinterpret the stamps by breaking them apart and reorganizing them. This was both the most interesting and fun part, as well as the biggest challenge. 


Tell us about the art. Did you create something new for this stamp?

Having endless opportunities it was hard to narrow down my ideas to start with, I had so many! But I love the game Head, Body, Tails I played as a kid and have been painting a lot of parades lately so wanted to combine that all into a stamp.


Normally I paint with a full palette of colors, but challenged myself to limit this, so I ended up inking it up as a line drawing. Although different from my usual work, I hope it still contains its humour, and ultimately I hope the stamps can work as one image but also create various options for the user.


Anything else? 

This has been a really fun and challenging project. I loved it and will definitely consider designing more stamps into future projects. Thank you for the opportunity.



helen hancocks risograph artistamps reassembled 1 helen hancocks risograph artistamps reassembled 2

< Box Set 

The Artist Series

An ongoing collaboration with invited designers, artists, and writers who create original work for an unusual form: the poster stamp. The stamps are printed on lickable, gummed paper and pinhole perforated by hand on our vintage machines. The sheets are signed and numbered by the artist, and released in editions of 100. Suitable for framing. View full series.

Upcoming releases include Bwana Spoons, Ka’ila Farrell Smith, and Art Chantry