Going Postal

I often go postal–I mean, I go to the post office on most Saturdays. It’s the day I buy stamps. And I love those adhesive backed stamps that require no saliva (and prevent unmentionable disease). The other day, I bought ten sheets of the new Simpsons stamps at the new 44-cent denomination. Was it worth it? You bet. There are certain stamps that speak to you, and these are among them. But I have others, which sadly are not produced any more. For instance, the 1967 unofficial “hippie stamp,” featuring the classic portrait of Henry David Thoreau. I recall long lines of long-haired, bead-bedecked freaks buying them up at the P.O.

And then there are the Stars of The Silent Screen stamps illustrated by Al Hirschfeld, the great theatrical caricaturist. I was on the Citizens Advisory Stamp Committee when that was published–and what a radical departure it was to have a cartoonist design a stamp. There are other stamps that I’ve kept over the years, like the Bucky Fuller stamp illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff. And I once owned this–the famous biplane stamp–but I don’t know what happened to it.

So what is your favorite stamp? Or better yet, who would you like to see on a stamp that hasn’t been commemorated?

Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.