The Daily Heller: Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Peel ‘n’ Stick Gloom

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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.

Haley Ann and Thomas C. Bradley (Famous Charm)

Famous Charm

Ravi Zupa

Ravi Zupa

Ravi Zupa and Arna Miller

Arna Miller

Niko Courtelis. "The snails obviously riff on airmail etiquettes, and were first printed in blue to match those airmail labels. In addition to the original blue, the snails come in five dayglo colors and two metallic inks, all letterpress."
Niko Courtelis. Analog was designed to celebrate analog correspondence for National Letter Writing Month (April). "This year we decided to refresh them with Dayglo colors, also letterpress printed."