US Postal Service Issues ‘Pioneers of Industrial Design’ Stamps, Celebrates at Cooper-Hewitt

Design fans, philatelists, and design-loving philatelists, take note! Today the United States Postal Service issued its highly anticipated new “Pioneers of Industrial Design” stamps (now on sale at post offices nationwide) and celebrated with a dedication ceremony at—where else?—the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Available in a sheet of 12, the Forever stamps honor some of the nation’s most important and influential industrial designers. The designing dozen consists of Norman Bel Geddes, Dave Chapman, Donald Deskey, Walter Dorwin Teague, Henry Dreyfuss, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Raymond Loewy, Peter Müller-Munk, Eliot Noyes, Gilbert Rohde, Greta von Nessen, and Russel Wright. Each stamp features the name of a designer along with a zippy photograph of one of his or her iconic streamlined creations.

“Encompassing everything from furniture and electric kitchen appliances to corporate office buildings and passenger trains, the work of these designers defined the look of modern America, and in doing, revolutionized the way we live and work,” said Dean Granholm, the Postal Service’s vice president of delivery and post office operations, at today’s ceremony, which was attended by the likes of Cooper-Hewitt director Bill Moggridge, designer Jessica Helfand, design champion Sylvia Harris, and art director Derry Noyes (daughter of Eliot, remembered here for his IBM Selectric), who worked with designer Margaret Bauer on the look of the stamps. Released just in time for affixing to any last-minute Independence Day cards, the stamps are arrayed in four rows of three, and the selvage (the part of the sheet that’s left after you’ve used all of the stamps) offers the opportunity to grab some scissors and create a breezy bonus sticker, as it features a photograph (at left) of the “Airflow” fan designed by Robert Heller around 1937. Who says stamps aren’t cool?