140 Years of Clacton Lifeboats
Illustration | Non-Profit | Print Design
Self-Initiated Project for Clacton RNLI
To help raise funds and awareness for my hometown's lifeboat station by marking their 140th anniversary of saving lives at sea.
Since it was founded in 1878, the RNLI at Clacton-on-Sea has been at the heart of the local community—bringing people coming together to support and volunteer for the cause in whatever way they can.
Clacton RNLI has been a part of my life since I can remember, with my grandfather's lifetime involvement (currently Chairman of Clacton Lifeboat Management) being an inspiration to me. Since I was a young boy, I have helped him on fundraising stalls at local events, from classic car shows to open gardens. With my connection to Clacton RNLI, I thought it was only appropriate to use my design skills to recognise the historic anniversary.
The idea was inspired by the variety of lifeboat classes the station has hosted throughout its 140 year history. With a wide array of boat shapes and designs to accommodate, I devised a minimalist system that detailed the distinctive colour palettes and rope patterns.
My fascination for postage stamps inspired me to use the anniversary as an opportunity to design my own stamp set.
Wanting to showcase the evolution from the first lifeboats to the current lifeboats, I narrowed the selection down to four—the first two and the last two. I thought that this was a good decision as it shows the evolution, displays good visual contrast and references the history of the station through a 'then and now' approach.
My initial concept used square stamps, but on reflection the long rectangles I settled on reference the elongated shape of the boats more effectively. This also helped me to formulate the idea of a symmetrical composition that could form a repeating chain when presented on a stamp sheet—reminiscent of the lifeboats.
Extending the idea further, I used my illustrations to form a series of accompanying promotional posters to support the stamp set and a limited edition commemorative mug to be sold by the station.
This project was my first experience of using my design skills for a charitable cause and really opened my eyes to how powerful design can be as a tool for positive community impact. Although my project was only a small contribution, I'm humbled and proud to have been part of it and seeing my work raise funds for a fantastic cause was a privilege. The experience of this project has fuelled my ambition to 'design for good' and use my design skills to support important causes and encourage positive change.