The Portland Stamp Company The Portland Stamp Company

Stamp No. 53Magic Capes: Lesley Barnes x Thereza Rowe

Lesley Barnes is an award winning illustrator based in Glasgow. Her joyful work spans the worlds of fashion, music, children’s literature, film and product design. We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Lesley on some stamp sheets over the years. Thereza Rowe is a London-based illustrator, author, printmaker and cat whisperer who loves drawing. A lot. Together Lesley & Thereza are Magic Capes. When we saw their Magic Capes matchboxes we invited them to make an artist series stamp.


Have you designed a stamp before?

Lesley – Yes! I have done a few sets of my own with The Portland Stamp Company! One was based on Christmas and one on Spring (I need to do Autumn and Summer to complete the series!) I’ve always been a little obsessed with small pieces of art/design like matchbox labels and stamps. Stamps are particularly special as they are a way of sending someone a tiny masterpiece on a postcard or parcel. It’s a unique and special way of sharing and communicating.


How was this different?

This project was a little different as it was a collaboration of Thereza and I (aka ‘Magic Capes’) – I always love working with Thereza as she brings a very special energy with her to any project.


What was the most interesting or fun aspect of designing a poster stamp? What unique challenges did it present?

We decided to try out a letterpress design (which I had never experimented with before) so we had to make sure that our designs were bold and simple. We also decided to limit our colour palette to just red and black.


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

Yes! Thereza and I live quite far apart (me in Glasgow and Thereza in London) so we love to send each other parcels of fun and we always refer to them as “Magic Cape Deliveries.” We thought it would be appropriate to create a series of stamps showing some characters delivering these very special parcels. We liked the idea that anyone could create their own ‘Magic Cape Delivery’ by using these stamps.


Anything else? 

Thereza and myself used to go on art adventures whenever I came down to London. We would often see things that inspired us – it might be a colour, a pattern, a shape or an object. And we had this idea that we could ‘magic cape’ all these inspirations away for another day and transform them into something magical to share with the world.


Wonderful, thank you. With these stamps we think you have done just that. 


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