Britain's most spectacular commemoratives, No53: 1970 Commonwealth Games 5d

Sport-themed issues today commonly suggest movement, but the set of three heralding the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh was the first British set to try it.

The designer adapted the ‘foot-exposure’ filming technique which was being trialled by sports coaches to analyse athletes’ movements and thus enhance posture and performance.

The subtle changes of colour across the figures in the stamps also help to create the illusion of action, and the busyness of the designs, not least the 5d showing track athletes, suggests keen competition.

When the stamps were launched, reaction to the blurred imagery was mixed, with some collectors actually blaming the printers for lack of clarity!

Design: Andrew Restall.
Printing: offset lithography by Waddingtons.