Stamps are lilliputian darlings of graphic design. They are compact, functional and, despite their teeny, tiny size, they carry a wallop of a message, singularly, in blocks, as plates or sheets. With the new peel-off, self-sticking variety, the tactile experience of tearing the perforation has, however, vanished—which is why I am grateful to The Portland Stamp Company for reviving the art of perforation.
Rather than simply peel ‘n’ stick, they’ve brought back lick ‘n’ stick, not to mention tear ‘n’ detach. They’ve also given the outlet vox populi. Artists, illustrators and typographers have for decades designed USPS stamps (with the oversight of an esteemed committee of expert advisors and art directors) but Portland Stamp Company specimens do not have to go through such a lengthy decision process (which is not in itself bad). The stamp ideas just have to materialize.
From time to time I will present some of my favorite concepts, designs and messages provided by co-proprietor Niko Courtelis. Here is this season’s stick ’em collection, and a link to the stamps.