Proving once again that philately will quite literally get you everywhere, An Post has unveiled four new stamps celebrating the evolution of U2 over the past four decades.

Entitled U2 - A Celebration 1976-2020, the four-stamp set represents distinct eras of U2 through four of the band's albums, 1987’s The Joshua Tree, 1991’s Achtung Baby, 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind and 2017’s Songs of Experience.

The new stamps are available nationwide from Thursday morning 

A booklet of four stamps, priced at €5.40, contains two 'N’ stamps covering standard post within the island of Ireland and two ‘W’ for posting around the world.

For fans of U2 and Irish design, An Post is also releasing a range of specially created stamp collectables including a First Day Cover envelope with an early Colm Henry photo of a young U2 performing at Dublin’s Dandelion Market in the late 1970s.

The new issue also includes a Souvenir Sheet featuring a special edition U2 360° Tour ‘panorama’ stamp set within a wider image (by Ralph Larmann) of the stage for the tour at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Capturing the career of one of the world’s most successful and enduring rock bands on the tiny canvas of a stamp required expert design.

Adam Clayton with the new U2 stamps

With input from the band, An Post worked with U2’s Creative Director Gavin Friday, as well as graphic designer Shaughn McGrath, to develop four concepts inspired by the band’s extensive album catalogue. 

"In a year with so many restrictions, it's fun to think that we can travel from our homes in Ireland to anywhere in the world, courtesy of An Post," said U2 bass player Adam Clayton.

Shaughn McGrath said: "The stamps feel like a culmination of my work for U2. Each album has an icon that has come to represent its ideas and concepts. In addition, each stamp has its own individual shape and together these act as a collective silhouette and a unique visual signature."

The special U2 stamp booklets are available from post offices nationwide and online here.  

Artist Jim Fitzpatrick and Aoife Beirne, An Post, Chief of Staff pictured at the Phil Lynott statue in Dublin for the unveiled of last year's Thin Lizzy stamps

U2 also featured on An Post stamp last year as part of a First Day cover celebrating the songs of Ireland, which included Danny Boy by John McCormack, On Raglan Road by Luke Kelly, Dreams by The Cranberries, and With or Without You by U2.

The band also featured on an Irish stamp In 2002, based on a promotional photograph from 2000 taken by renowned rock photographer Kevin Westenberg.

Phil Lynott, Rory Gallagher and Van Morrison also featured on the 2002 stamps.

Last year, An Post issued two new postage stamps marking the 50th anniversary of the formation of Irish rock group Thin Lizzy.