Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Hardest Working Square Inch

If you've spent any time on my blog, you may have notice I'm a bit of a Stamp Design Enthusiast. I just love that these 1" x 1.5" piece of artwork can carry your letter all the way across the country. And they only cost 46¢.  

There's a lot of planning that goes into the release of a stamp — 99% Invisible has a facinating podcast on this process. It isn't as simple as creating tiny artwork. The goal of Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) is to tell the story of America. Whether it be American history, American pop culture, American social issues or commemorating (deceased) influential Americans. 

I'm sure most people don't even notice stamps, and are unaware the USPS make stamps that aren't flags or liberty bells. But I want CSAC to know that I appreciate stamps (!) — here's a 2015 stamp release that I'm particularly fond of. The colors are so warm and pleasant, of course it's about friendship....
In 1912 Japan gifted the US 3,020 flowering Cherry Trees. In gratitude, President Taft arranged for the US to send 50 Flowering Dogwoods to Japan in 1915. These gifts of friendship became a tradition, and continue to this day.

Cherry trees have become iconic around DC, blooming annually in brilliant splendor after the long winters. The trees in their rich color and history remain a symbol of the great bond between Japan and the US. 

The 2015 Gift of Friendship Stamps from the USPS celebrates 100 years of this friendship and tradition.

So, not only is it tiny, not only is amazing art, not only does it cost cents, not only can it carry a letter across the country (in just a few days) but it's also a history lesson. That is a very efficient 1 x 1.5 inches.

I highly encourage you to check out the 99% Invisible on Stamp Design, and to browse for stamps other than flags — add a little delight to your envelopes!

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