With 2020 rapidly approaching, the U.S. Postal Service today revealed several of the new Forever stamps and others to be issued next year.
Since 1847, the Postal Service stamp program has celebrated the people, events and cultural milestones unique to the history of the United States. The 2020 stamp subjects continue this rich tradition. The stamp designs being shown today are preliminary and subject to change.
“These miniature works of art offer something for everyone interested in American history and culture,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Acting Executive Director William Gicker. “From notable figures such as golf legend Arnold Palmer and esteemed journalist Gwen Ifill to the cultural phenomenon of hip hop to a celebration of the great outdoors, this program is wide-ranging and adds to the history of our great nation as recorded through the U.S. stamp program.”
Here’s a sneak peek:
Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat
In 2020, the Postal Service is launching its third Lunar New Year series with the issuance of the Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat Forever stamp. The Year of the Rat stamp will be the first of 12 stamps in the series. The Year of the Rat observance begins Jan. 25, 2020, and ends Feb. 11, 2021. Calling to mind the elaborately decorated masks used in the dragon dance often performed in Lunar New Year parades, this three-dimensional mask depicting a rat is a contemporary take on the long tradition of paper-cut folk art crafts created during this time of year. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp with original artwork by Camille Chew.
Made of Hearts
Made of Hearts is a continuation of the Postal Service tradition of creating stamps that celebrate love. The stamp features horizontal lines of red and pink hearts on a white background. Toward the center, red hearts in varying sizes replace pink hearts in a formation that creates one large red heart, the focal point of this graphic design. This stamp is just right for thank-you notes, get-well cards or any occasion when love is the perfect message. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp.
The 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Gwen Ifill (1955–2016), one of America’s most esteemed journalists. The stamp features a photo of Ifill taken in 2008 by photographer Robert Severi. Among the first African Americans to hold prominent positions in both broadcast and print journalism, Ifill was a trailblazer in the profession. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.
In 2020, the Postal Service issues Let’s Celebrate!, a new stamp that adds fun to celebratory greeting cards, invitations and gift-bearing envelopes and packages. No matter the occasion — birthday, anniversary, holiday, engagement, new job, retirement — Let’s Celebrate! helps send cheer along with well wishes. The stamp features an array of colorful circles in varying sizes arranged in a random pattern. The letters in the word “celebrate,” cast in a dark green hue, appear inside several brightly colored circles on a white background. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp.
The Postal Service celebrates the exotic beauty of orchids with 10 new stamps in booklets of 20 and coils of 3,000 and 10,000. Each stamp features a photograph of one of nine species that grow wild in the United States: Cypripedium californicum, Hexalectris spicata, Cypripedium reginae, Spiranthes odorata, Triphora trianthophoros, Platanthera grandiflora, Cyrtopodium polyphyllum, Calopogon tuberosus and Platanthera leucophaea. Orchids also have common names, with some plants having several different names in popular use. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with existing photographs by Jim Fowler.
This stamp honors champion golfer Arnold Palmer (1929–2016). With drive and charisma, he helped transform a game once seen as a pastime for the elite into a sport enjoyed by the masses. The stamp features James Drake’s action photograph of Palmer at the 1964 United States Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp.
This stamp celebrates the 200th anniversary of Maine statehood. Nicknamed the Pine Tree State, Maine became the 23rd state in the Union on Mar. 15, 1820. American painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967) was among the many prominent artists who sought the tranquility of the state’s coastal towns during the summer. His painting “Sea at Ogunquit” (1914) captures the rugged beauty characteristic of Maine. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.
Contemporary Boutonniere is a new Forever stamp similar in design to the new 2-ounce Garden Corsage stamp. It can be used for wedding RSVP cards and is also perfect for party invitations, thank-you notes, announcements, birthday cards, Father’s Day cards and other occasions when a beautiful stamp is fitting. The stamp features a photograph of an arrangement of a burgundy mini-cymbidium orchid bloom, a succulent and a touch of green hydrangea, accented with loops of variegated lily grass. These materials are on trend for today’s modern designs, as arranged by floral designer Carol Caggiano and photographed by Renée Comet. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.
The Postal Service introduces Garden Corsage, a new 2-ounce stamp. This stamp can accommodate the weight of heavy invitations for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations, oversize greeting cards for all occasions, and mailings such as small gifts that require extra postage. The stamp features a photograph of a corsage containing a spray of peach roses and a pink ranunculus, accented with deep-pink heather and seeded eucalyptus. A cream-colored lace ribbon entwines the flowers. Garden Corsage is similar in design to the Contemporary Boutonniere Forever stamp, and the two form a natural pair. The corsage was arranged by floral designer Carol Caggiano and photographed by Renée Comet. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Postal Service issues a stamp featuring a playful painting of the planet, with small green lines surrounding Earth and hand-lettered text. Art director Antonio Alcalá was the stamp artist and designer. Ricky Altizer was the typographer.
With these stamps the Postal Service celebrates the beauty of American gardens. This pane of 20 stamps features 10 different photographs of botanic, country estate and municipal gardens taken between 1996 and 2014. The gardens include: Biltmore Estate Gardens (North Carolina); Brooklyn Botanic Garden (New York); Chicago Botanic Garden (Illinois); Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (Maine); Dumbarton Oaks Garden (District of Columbia); The Huntington Botanical Gardens (California); Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park (Florida); Norfolk Botanical Garden (Virginia); Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Ohio); and Winterthur Garden (Delaware). Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with existing photographs by Allen Rokach.
Voices of the Harlem Renaissance
These stamps celebrate one of the great artistic and literary movements in American history, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, which firmly established African Americans as a vital force in literature and the arts. Twenty stamps showcase four stylized pastel portraits of these literary figures: writer, philosopher, educator and arts advocate Alain Locke; novelist Nella Larsen; bibliophile and historian Arturo Alfonso Schomburg; and poet Anne Spencer. African-inspired motifs are used as background elements of each portrait. The pane header shows a cityscape in silhouette with a sun in its midst and the title “Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.” The artist for these stamps was Gary Kelley. Art director Greg Breedingdesigned the stamps.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
With the release of the Enjoy the Great Outdoors Forever stamps, the Postal Service celebrates the many ways individuals experience America’s abundance of natural beauty. These hand-sketched and painted designs depict five different scenes of outdoor activities — building a sand castle, hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing and biking. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps with original art by Gregory Manchess.
The Postal Service celebrates hip hop with four new stamps in a pane of 20. Since its inception more than four decades ago, the electrifying music, dance and art movement has profoundly influenced American and global popular culture. The stamp art features photographs taken by Cade Martin that depict four elements of hip hop: MCing (rapping), b-boying (breakdancing), DJing and graffiti art. The bold, digitally tinted images are intended to appear in motion. The words “Forever” and “USA,” “Hip Hop,” and the name of the element featured appear across the top of each stamp. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps, which are highlighted with a vivid yellow, green, red and black color scheme. The title of the stamps, printed in red and black, is centered on the top of the pane.
Fruits & Vegetables
The Postal Service captures the classic beauty of still-life paintings in a booklet of 20 stamps featuring 10 different portraits of fruits and vegetables. Each stamp features a collection of one kind of fruit or vegetable: red and black plums, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, carrots, lemons, blueberries, red and green grapes, lettuces, strawberries, eggplants and figs. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps with existing art by Robert Papp.
In 2020, the Postal Service issues four new stamps in a booklet of 20 available for notes, cards and letters of thanks sent to acknowledge a favor, an act of kindness, a job well done or gifts sent for any occasion. Highlighted in gold foil are the words “Thank you” in cursive script and an elegant floral design that swirls through and around the words. Each stamp features one of four background colors: blue gray, deep blue, muted green or soft maroon. Greg Breeding was the art director. Dana Tanamachi was the stamp designer and lettering artist.
9th Amendment: Women Vote
With this stamp, the Postal Service commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees women the right to vote. Inspired by historic photographs, the stamp features a stylized illustration of suffragists marching in a parade or other public demonstration. The clothes they wear and the banners they bear display the official colors of the National Woman’s Party — purple, white and gold. Art director Ethel Kesslerdesigned the stamp with original art by Nancy Stahl.
Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor
With this commemorative stamp, the Postal Service marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor. The stamp’s image is based on artwork of watercolor, acrylic and gouache, a method of painting that uses opaque pigments ground in water and thickened to a glue-like consistency. The painting was digitally refined to convey a scene of desolate beauty at the end of the Pilgrims’ long journey to an unfamiliar world. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with original art by Greg Harlin.
Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through The Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide. Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1‑ounce price. Videos of most stamp ceremonies will be available on facebook.com/usps.
Information on ordering first-day-of-issue postmarks and covers is at usps.com/shopstamps under “Collectors.”
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations