Archive for the 'USA' Category

Love / バレンタイン

February 15, 2020

26 January 1973, USA
Love Issue
design: Robert Indiana

I saw many people had a bunch of flowers on their way home from work yesterday.  Tons of energy was used to prepare roses to be ready and transported.  Then many florists raise their price up to three times on 14 February, which I did not know.

How can you do an environmentally friendly St. Valentine’s Day?

It is easy that you can express your love everyday and not make the day so special!  Or use this stamp and send a heart warming card.

I am sure the overlap of red and green ink is designed by the artist, to express his sculptural works in a two dimensional composition, without extra cost.

According to this postage archive, this stamp was sold very well but some people thought it was too hippy, and the next stamp featuring the word ‘love’ did not appear on US stamps until 1984.






font of the age / 時代とフォント

January 26, 2020

9 September 1983, USA
Century of Federal Civil Service
designer: Kathleen Wilmes

This design uses fonts to reflect the atmosphere of the time – comparing 2 fonts from a century apart.

1983 – Blade Runner was a film from 1982 and although the story was set in 2019 ( yes, we have just passed that ), their ‘future’ font was based on that time.  I revisited the film recently ( RIP for the industrial and film set designer Syd Mead ) and thought the CI on the police car was similar to this 1983 font – well, not too far apart but different.  This lego model has the original logo on its body!


1983年 – すでに37年前ですが – は、あの衝撃的な映画『ブレードランナー』が公開された翌年。映画の設定だった2019年11月が過去になったというニュースと、シド・ミードの訃報を知って観なおした時に、この切手の1983と、あの空飛ぶパトカーのボディーにあったPoliceロゴが似てない?と思ったのですが、かなり違っていました、、。日本製のプラモデルではいいかげんなフォントですが、レゴのモデルにはオリジナルのフォントが使われています。

construction of letters / フォントの作り方、その2

January 23, 2020

13 July 1982, USA
America’s Libraries
Font design by Geofroy Tory in 1523
stamp design: Bradbury Thompson

“A” on this stamp looks similar to the font on my previous post, but the construction lines are slightly different. I wonder what those six different circles are doing for “C”?

There is an archive of the Bulletin about this stamp, tells us the French typographer and his student who cut the letter for printing.  I thank them for building and keeping this archive – at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum!




two-way arrows 2 / 双方向矢印 2

October 1, 2017

21 October 1966, USA
Great River Road
design: Herbert Bayer of Aspen

The river looks modest in this stamp, but in fact it is 2,069.0 miles ( 3,327.9 kilometers ) long – and it is a road for cars, sign posted through ten states of the US.  This simple design is printed with intaglio and lithography methods, in 3 colours.


two-way arrows / 双方向矢印

September 20, 2017

1969 + 1971, USA
Special Delivery Arrows
design: Norman Ives

Swift and reliable – a very clean and strong design for a special delivery stamp.  The normal postal stamp was 6 cents in 1969 and this is more than 7 times expensive.


concentric circles 3 / 電波・同心円その3

July 1, 2017

1 August 1967, USA
Voice of America – 25 years of VOA

Hand drawn circles on natural colour of paper – light weight impression, but strong stamp.  Maybe because the centre of the circles is the centre of the stamp?

It was 50 years ago when this stamp was issued.  In that year, the anti-Vietnam War movement was started and spread throughout the US, and biologists started to warn about damage to the environment.  The current president is now in action to waste those 50 years of great effort and wisdom…



hand of God / 神の手

February 6, 2017


31 May 1958, USA
International Geophysical Year

The hand of God is giving Adam a human intelligence – a part of Michelangelo‘s huge fresco ceiling in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican.  The background for this stamp is the burning surface of the sun, which could be the mother of the earth.

When I read about Michelangelo’s life, I discovered that he was always angry because his life was affected by the change of rulers, and also what those rulers forced him to create.  Well, 500 years later in our global era, we still have to be aware about what a ruler wants and how our life is influenced by that.  I am imagining Michelangelo’s feeling when he painted this hand of God.




hands and wall / 手と壁

January 22, 2017


1 July 1966, USA
175th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights

A hand to stop tyranny – and the statement of “The rights of the people shall not be violated”.  This stamp is celebrating the Bill of Rights, started in 1791.

I feel a bit better seeing the sparse crowd for 45th President’s inauguration day, in comparison to Barack Obama’s in 2009, and 500,000 people packed into the same place for the Women’s March on the following day.  Madonna’s words of ‘the new age of tyranny’ are a warning pointing to exactly what is happening.


45代大統領の就任式ががらがらだった件翌日の「Women’s March」が同じ場所を人で埋め尽くしたのを見て、少し元気になりました。それでも、マドンナの「新しい暴政の時代」という言葉は、今この時を言い当てていると思います。


rainbow Love / ♡な日が近い

February 12, 2015

*exch. 064  ( limited number )

31 January 1984, USA

St. Valentine’s Day is soon.  I know the chocolate shops in Japan are in the busiest time of the year.  Here in East London, where Christians could be a minority group, you can see modest red hearts only in the supermarket check-out area.

I like the font on this stamp and I discovered that it is called ‘Bodoni‘ designed in 1798 by Giambattista Bodoni – a 226 year old font!   It is interesting to learn that the typographer is already a recognised profession in Europe at that time, alongside the rapid development of Letterpress printing since the 15th century.



orbit of satellite / 衛星の軌跡

April 29, 2013

6 October 1965, USA
Centenary of International Telecommunication Union

Crisp intaglio stamp from the USA on the same theme as the 1965 ITU – expressing its 100 years progress with Morse code and the tracks of communication satellites.  The Morse code can be read… itu itu itu and itu.  A simple yet well designed stamp, I would say.


telephone again / 再度、電話機

April 28, 2012

29 June 2011, USA
Pioneers of American Industrial Design

Model 302 Bell telephone, 1937
designed by Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972)

When I saw this stamp, I thought this crisp telephone design must be the inspiration for the Ericsson telephone which I featured – but the fact seems the opposite.   The Henry Dreyfuss Associates web site is linked to a wikipedia articles, which says that the Ericsson phone was designed in 1929 and Henry Dreyfuss was influenced by that.  So, I amended my post accordingly.

This series of stamps ( 12 of them ) are showing early examples of American industrial design – some of them are familiar and the rest are not.  Simple images are featured, but there is no denomination on the stamp…  Is ‘Forever’ the replacement of postal price?

Two more designs for communication tools below – the radio was designed by Dreyfuss’s mentor Bel Geddes.

この切れのある電話機の切手を見た時、3つ前のポストで紹介したエリクソンの電話機はこれを見て影響を受けたのかも?と思ったのだけど、事実は正反対だったようです。今でも続いているHenry Dreyfuss事務所のHP(おそろしく前時代的なデザインですが、、)からだどって行くwikipediaの記事に、1929年にデザインされたエリクソンの電話機に影響を受けたとしっかり記されていました。

この12枚セットの切手はアメリカのインダストリアルデザイン黎明期を紹介しています。中には見慣れたデザインもあります。ラジオをデザインしたNorman Bel Geddesは、Dreyfussがかつて見習いとして働いたことのあるステージデザイナーでした。

‘Patriot’ radio for Emerson Radio & Phonograph Co. by Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958)
‘Selectric’ typewriter for IBM in 1961 by Eliot Noyes (1910-1977)

rainbow envelopes / カラフルな封筒

March 26, 2012

1985 USA
Definitive, coiled

Envelopes, colourful.  Strong and nice!  But why the odd figured denomination… 21.1 cents??


White new year / 純白のお正月

January 1, 2010

12 March 1999, USA
Animals in the Arctic Circle

This morning we had powdery snow flakes on trees, front garden and pavement – and blue sky above all.  Shiny sun was up, drew a low arch, and even at sunset the light was clear.  Beautiful winter day.  I wish you all a Happy New Year 2010!

I heard an owl hoot right now, what a nice coincidence!  I was thinking of owls in wood, uploading this post.  Also, I think these stamps represent feeling of new year’s day, as animals are waiting for spring as we do.

This year in Chinese Zodiac is Tiger.  I only have one stamp of a tiger, from Korea, which I featured already.




Ice Crystals / 雪の結晶

December 1, 2009

5 October 2006, USA

Water forms beautiful crystals when the atmosphere becomes minus zero.  This morning, I had to scrape my car before start to drive – I wish I had time to bring my magnifier to see them.  It was a winter morning and I did not have time!  In ‘the iciest web site in the world’, you can see 12 different patterns of ice crystals recorded in 1902 by Wilson Bentley.

By the way, is it only me to think that it would be graphically nicer if the centre of the stamp is centralised to the ice crystals?

Additional note: Wilson Bentley’s original ‘Photomicrograph’ works are recently in auction and some larger iamges are available here ( on 23 Jan 2010 ) .



追記:1902年にWilson Bentleyが撮影した’Photomicrograph’という手法のオリジナルの写真が最近(2010年1月23日現在)、オークションに出されてこのサイトで見る事ができます。

bicycle handle / 自転車のハンドル

October 16, 2009

1998 USA

A nicely designed coil stamp for prepaid standard class – but wait for moment, there is no down tube attached to head tube, handle bars looks odd as if the grip connected to a straight bar, and brake leaver is in wrong position… why did they choose a bicycle to be depicted for this stamp, if they did not have a bike to draw?


Lines of colours / スピーディーな縞

October 15, 2009

4 November 1983, USA
Olympics 84 Airmail stamps

As a big fan of Intaglio print method, there are not many stamps from USA which I am moved – but some rare exceptions make me very happy.  These stamps are beautifully composed, careful balance between illustration and background White, and coloured lines express speed of athletes.