Dia de los Muertos Stamp released

It’s amazing, wonderful, and gratifying that USPS issued these first-ever US postage stamps commemorating Día de los Muertos last month. Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead is a festive celebration of one’s ancestors. Adopted from Mexico and Central America it is now observed throughout the United States.

We were thrilled to work with Mexican American artist and designer Luis Fitch to create these colorful and beautiful stamps. They feature stylized, decorated calaveras or “sugar skulls” personalized as four family members: a child with a hair bow, a father sporting a hat and mustache, a mother with curled hair and another child. The lit candles flanking each sugar skull are beacons to guide deceased loved ones on their annual return journey to the land of the living. Dotting each stamp are marigolds (cempazuchitles), the most popular Day of the Dead flower. ¡Qué maravilloso! We hope you like them!

Dia de los Muertos Forever Stamp

Dia de los Muertos Forever Stamp Sheet

USPS releases the Message Monsters stamp

USPS just issued what we think is one of our most fun designs: Message Monsters. We collaborated with illustrator Elise Gravel on the these playful creatures, then added our own hand-lettered title. Around the edges are little stickers you can pull-up and use to personalize your creature/stamp and envelope. What do you think? Fun, right?

Message Monsters Stamp Sheet

Message Monsters Stamp Sheet

Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture

Earlier this year, the Scala hired us to design a book presenting varied works by the artist Hunt Slonem. Without an organizational structure from the client (by media or by chronology, for example), we proposed presenting the works in order of the color spectrum ROYGBIV. It was a fun, unconventional approach to the layouts. Best of all, the client was thrilleded. A win!

Cover of Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Title Page of Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Opener for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Image Spread for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Image Spread for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Image Spread for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Image Spread for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Image Spread for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Image Spread for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Image Spread for Hunt Slonem: The Bigger Picture Book

Emilio Sanchez Stamp

This summer has been busy! In June the USPS issued these stamps we designed commemorating the artist Emilio Sanchez (1922–1999). The challenge when creating stamps for artists is to find a group of work that looks good together, doesn’t require cropping, represents the artist’s vision well, and will interest the public. Hopefully, Mr. Sanchez would be pleased.

Emilio Sanchez Stamp

Emilio Sanchez Stamp

Emilio Sanchez Stamp

Emilio Sanchez Stamp

Raven Story Stamp featuring artist Rico Worl

It’s been a busy few weeks for us and USPS. Last week the USPS issued our latest design: Raven Story. Antonio worked with Tlingit/Athabascan designer and artist Rico Worl to create this newest “forever” stamp.The design depicts a raven just as he escapes from his human family and begins to transform back into his bird form. To create the stamp art, Worl used formline, the traditional design style of the Indigenous people of the northern Northwest Coast.

The stamp is inspired by the traditional story of the raven setting the sun, moon and stars free.It depicts one of many stories about the raven, a figure of great significance to the Indigenous people of the northern Northwest Coast, part of the area that ranges from Southeast Alaska through coastal British Columbia and south into Washington state.

Among the cultures of the region—which include the Tlingit, the Tsimshian, the Haida, the Kwakwaka’wakw and others—the raven plays an essential role in many traditional tales, including stories about the creation of the world. The different peoples of the northern Northwest Coast each have their own culturally specific versions of the raven story, which often convey customs, ethics and cultural inheritances that help communities preserve or affirm their identities.

Raven Story Stamp

More than Meets the Eye Stamp

Last week our latest stamp design was issued. The original assignment was for a word search puzzle, but we realized the stamp cancellation would render the stamp unusable. This is the design we proposed instead (shout out to Ricky Altizer for the assist). One philatelic fan liked it so much they made it into a quilt!

More Than Meets the Eye Stamp

Baseball All-Star: Yogi Berra

“You can observe a lot by watching.”&mdashYogi Berra

Today a stamp commemorating baseball great Yogi Berra was issued by the USPS. Designed by Antonio Alcalá with art by Charles Chaisson and lettering by Michael Doret, the stamp evokes baseball cards and classic lettering for team jerseys while honoring one of the greatest baseball players of all-time.

Now would be a good time to send a “Hello!” through the mail to your favorite baseball fan!

Stamp featuring an illustration of Yogi Berra, Baseball All=Star

Go For Broke! Japanese American Soldiers of WWII

The “Go for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII” stamp we designed was issued last week by the USPS. The image is based on a photo from 1944 of a member if the 442nd Regimental Combat Team taken in France. Although many Japanese-Americans faced discrimination in the US, including being confined to domestic concentration camps, 33,000 others served in the army. The 442nd was one of the most distinguished American fighting units of WWII. Their heroism is notable.

We were honored to design this important stamp, and touched by all the notes and messages from members of the Japanese-American community telling us how much this recognition means.

A stamp featuring a Japanese soldier of the 442nd Go For Broke regiment from WWII

NMWA releases the Sonya Clark exhibition catalogue

Last week, the National Museum of Women in the Arts opened an exhibition of art by Sonya Clark. It’s the first survey show in Clark’s 25-year career, and features mixed-media works that address race and visibility, explore Blackness, and redress history. Studio A had the honor of designing the exhibition catalogue, and we look forward to seeing the art in person soon. Moving and meaningful, “Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend” is on exhibit until May 31.

Cover of Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Opener for Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Opener for Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Title Page for Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Table of Contents for Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Interview Opener for Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Chapter Opener for Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Featured Works Opener for Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Featured Works spread from Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Featured Works spread from Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend

Stamps: Branding the United States in Communication Arts magazine

People seem to be particularly grateful receiving a personal letter in the mail these days. In turn, stamps seem to be gaining new attention from the design community. This month, Communication Arts magazine published an article on the US stamp program including some nice quotes from Antonio Alcalá and former employee Ricky Altizer. Maybe it will inspire you to send a postcard or note to a friend. We know where you can get some cool stamps! Read the article here.

Earth Day stamp

Stamps featured in Print Magazine

Today Print magazine published a brief article/interview with Bill Gicker, Manager of Stamp Development at USPS. It may be more than you want to know about how postage stamps come to be…but then again, maybe not! We hope you enjoy the read. Read the interview here.

The Snowy Day Stamp

The Year of the Ox stamp released as part of the Lunar New Year series

The second stamp in the USPS’ Lunar New Year stamp series was issued today: The Year of the Ox. The stamp was art directed by Antonio Alcalá and features a mask created by the artist Camille Chew. Available now from the USPS store.

Lunar New Year: Year of the Ox Stamp