Noah MacMillan, a Takoma Park artist, put his stamp on soccer art before his passing

John Kelly wrote a nice piece on the late artist Noah MacMillan is his column today. I had the pleasure of working with Noah on the forthcoming Women’s Soccer stamp. He will be missed.

Soccer stamp features a soccer player where the focal point is her foot striking a ball in the foreground.

USPS releases the Women Cryptologists of WWII Stamp

Yesterday I spent the morning at the National Cryptologic Museum, just outside the NSA headquarters in Maryland. It was the First Day of Issue Ceremony for the stamp we designed commemorating the crucial contributions of women cryptologists during WWII.

The stamp reproduces a piece of the famous Japanese “Purple Code,” originally deciphered by Genevieve Grotjan. The code is combined with a texture of text for the title and blank rectangles suggesting redactions. This all overlays a blurred out image of a service woman of the era, as a stand-in for the thousands of women who worked these jobs anonymously.

For those interested in testing their cyphering ability, we added seemingly random letters (ZRPH QF UB SWRORJLVWV RIZRUOGZDULL, FLSKHU, DQDOBCH and VHFUHW) to the selvage (extra area on the stamp sheet) which can be deciphered. If you are stumped, the reverse side of the pane has the cipher needed to read the words.

Collage of photos: sheet of the Women Cryptologists of WWII stamp, the cancellation featuring a cipher, and a code to be deciphered

USPS releases the Pete Seeger Stamp!

A new stamp commemorating musician, singer, and social activist Pete Seeger was first issued in July at the Newport Folk Festival. During the process of creating this stamp, we had the pleasure of looking at hundreds of photos from throughout his career. Ultimately, we decided to go with an image showing a young Seeger singing and playing his iconic banjo. And as a bonus, the photo was taken by Seeger’s own son Dan.

The Pete Seeger Folk Singer stamp sheet features a color photograph of him playing a banjo and a series of stamps on the verso with an illustration that mimics a record

Antonio Alcala’s stamp work featured in Artists Magazine

The July/August issue of “Artists Magazine” has an article on Antonio’s work with the USPS stamp program. (The issue also has a nice story about how artists render perspective has evolved over time!). Check it out!

Several stamps art directed by Antonio Alcala including the Forever Hearts, Raven Story, Woodstock, Hip Hop, and Message Monsters

Several stamps art directed by Antonio Alcala including the Martin Ramirez, Janis Joplin, Emancipation Proclamation, Dia de los Muertos, and Harvey Milk

The cover of Artists Magazine with a head line of "the Power of Line" and a drawing of a tree

Studio A and Dieter Rams’ “10 Principles of Good Design”

Last week the Goethe-Institut hosted a conversation with Dian Holton and Antonio about Dieter Rams’ “10 Principles of Good Design” and how Studio A’s work supports or diverges from those ideals. It was a fun morning talking about design and meaningful work. Danke schön Goethe Institut DC!

Dian Holton and Antonio Alcala seated in front of a screen that has the Message Monsters stamp on screen. It features whimsical creatures and additional stickers that can be added by the sender on the stamp

A collage of 3 photos: Antonio Alcala speaking about the Xavier Veilhan catalogue for The Phillips Collection, Antonio Alcala with Dian Holton, Antonio with the Project Design Team

SpaethHill Geometric Design featured on high value US Postal Stamp

Next time you have a package to mail, use these new $2 or $5 stamps designed by SpaethHill design. The pattern is adapted from geometry found in many plant leaf patterns. The foil-stamping contrasts with the softer watercolor backgrounds. It was a pleasure working with Nathan and Jill on these beauties.
Time to mail someone a book!

Foil stamped geometric design based on leaf geometry featured on this $5 abstract stamp designed by Spaeth Hill

Celebrating the Renwick’s 50th Anniversary with “This Present Moment”

A year ago the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery staff invited us to collaborate on the design of a special book cover. This catalogue commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Renwick—the nation’s premier museum dedicated to American craft.

Together, we developed a design using a vintage, black and white photo of the museum facade transformed into more than thirty different color combinations. The acetate “dustjacket” has “This Present Moment” (the title) screened on the front.

We couldn’t be more thrilled with how they look! Thanks to everyone at SAAM and the Renwick for including us in your celebration. And be sure to stop by and see the exhibition, up until April 2023.

"This Present Moment," an exhibition that celebrates the Renwick's 50th Anniversary, has a cover with the title  in bold sans-serif letters over the face of a classically styled building with multiple versions in different color schemes displayed fanned out

Print Magazine awards First Place to the Kwanzaa Stamp

Good news came from Print magazine yesterday who awarded a First Place to the Kwanzaa stamp we developed with art by Andrea Pippins. Thanks Print, Andrea, and USPS!

The Kwanzaa stamp, illustrated by Andrea Pippins, honored for first place by Print magazine

USPS honors marine biologist Dr. Eugenie Clark

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Dr. Eugenie Clark. She was a pioneering marine biologist who demonstrated that lemon sharks could be trained to do complex tasks, disproved the notion that some shark species must keep swimming in order to survive, and debunked myths about sharks as vicious, fearsome creatures.

We are proud to have worked with the talented artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya to create a stamp honoring this great American scientist!

Stamp that celebrates marine biologist Dr. Eugenie Clark shows her in a snorkeling outfit with a lemon shark in the background

USPS commemorates the modernist artist George Morrison

Last week the USPS issued a set of five stamps commemorating the great modernist artist George Morrison—an Ojibwe who had a deep interest in the natural world. We are proud to have worked with his beautiful artwork to create this set of stamps.

Modernist work from Ojibwa artist George Morrison

Modernist work from Ojibwa artist George Morrison

Modernist work from Ojibwa artist George Morrison

GD/USA names Antonio Alcala as one of their “People to Watch” in 2022

Well, imagine that! GD/USA named Antonio one of their “People to Watch in 2022.” And there he is on page 38 (photo by Cade Martin). Check out the many other interesting creatives in the issue including friends and colleagues Kim Berlin and Daniel Frumhoff. Thanks GD/USA!

A pair of photos. At left is Antonio Alcala and at right is the cover of the GD/USA issue "People to Watch 2022"

Lunar New Year—The Year of the Tiger stamp released

Happy Lunar New Year! Everyone here at Studio A wishes you great happiness and prosperity! We had the good fortune to collaborate with artist Camille Chew in creating this year’s stamp celebrating the Year of the Tiger. We can’t wait to send some mail using these, and hope you’ll enjoy getting them on your cards and letters.

Lunar New Year Tiger Stamp by Camille Chew by Camille Chew

This year’s Black Heritage stamp features Edmonia Lewis

If you are in DC this week, and vaccinated, please come to the Smithsonian American Art Museum this Wednesday at 12:30 for the Edmonia Lewis Forever stamp First Day of Issue ceremony. Antonio worked with artist Alex Bostic to create this stamp commemorating this important 19th-century sculptor. The ceremony is free.

Black Heritage Edmonia Lewis stamp