Monday, January 31, 2011

Neon Celebrate U.S. Postage Stamp to be Issued in March

(USPS Press Release) Good times call for good wishes, as the Postal Service gets in on the act with the Neon Celebrate! stamp to be issued in March. Bringing an extra wish for happiness to anyone celebrating a special time, this stamp features a brilliantly colored design crafted out of neon and glass that adds a spark to greeting cards, invitations, and gift-bearing envelopes and packages. No matter the occasion—birthday, anniversary, engagement, wedding, new job, retirement—this stamp will add another congratulatory wish to the good times being acknowledged.

Inspired by a visit to the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles, Art Director Phil Jordan began to think about the possibility of using neon to depict a stamp subject. He decided that a “Neon Celebrate!” stamp, with its imagery of vivid colors, fit the bill. “Most neon is huge and stamps are so small,” said Jordan. “The mechanics would be a monumental challenge. Not everyone thought we could pull it off.”

After reviewing the work of a number of artists, Jordan chose Michael Flechtner to craft the U.S. Postal Service's first neon stamp design. Interested in neon from an early age, Flechtner honed his glass-bending skills while working in a neon sign shop after graduate school, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture. This background enabled him to create neon tubing that depicted three-dimensional objects instead of the two dimensional forms typically found in signage and other graphic neon displays.

Flechtner came up with the idea for his stamp design while watching a fireworks display. “I felt that fireworks, with all their color, light, and motion, were the embodiment of a celebration,” he says. “Since neon is all about color and light, it was the perfect design for the medium.”

The 2011 Neon Celebrate! stamp is Michael Flechtner's first project for the U.S. Postal Service.

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