Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hidden Message In 2015 U.S. Postage Stamp? | Saying Goodbye to the USA Through Postage Stamps

Updated: Thanks to a comment, we were able to locate some clarifying information. Apparently the strikethrough on the word FOREVER, from images online and in advertisements is to deter counterfeiting:
Update – USPS provided the following clarification: 
"Stamps shown at the Postal Store and in our USA Philatelic catalog are for illustrative purposes only. The strike through the word FOREVER is to ensure that the illustration cannot be used as a stamp through technical reproductive means. Any stamps you purchase will not have a strike through the word FOREVER and are honored as postage on all items mailed in the United States."
This practice has apparently be happening for some, not just 2015. That being said, I still think the mere presence of the images in advertisements, which is where they would presumably be exposed to the public the most, still carries quite the suggestion. For example, Julian and I have never seen a FOREVER stamp in the flesh until reading the below post. Of course whether or not this has some intentional darker significance is unclear.

Alfred Lambremont Webre put together a very interesting article about the new 2015 "forever" postage stamp. 

Would it not be easier to just create a stamp with a set price, instead of making the stamp say forever, and then crossing it out afterwards? 

As Alfred brings to light, it is highly unlikely this is an oversight, graphic designers spend huge amounts of time over the smallest details. Therefore the final product of their efforts, must be intentional. What meaning could we infer from the stamp? Ask yourself this as you read the following, and see if your answer matches what Alfred came up with.

- Justin

Source - Exopolitics


First, there was this 2012 stamp with the strange lines in the sky over DC.
An earthquake?  An explosion?

The 2012 cherry blossom centennial stamp. (Courtesy of USPS)

The word "forever" on this odd stamp, refers presumably to a stamp which would still be sufficient, even if the rate goes up.

The words USA and "FOREVER" are in the same type but distant from each other and partially blend into the background.

In this next stamp, the word "forever" has been printed quite small, and it is not on a line with USA or in the same font.  USA stands out quite strongly from the background.

USPS Flower Postage Forever Stamps
USPS Flower Postage Forever Stamps

The US Postal Service has now cancelled its "forever" offer and stamps that had the word "forever" on them, not have the word struck through, letting people know the stamp will not longer be usable at that same rate on an on-going basis. Now, a new stamp has just come out.

The other stamps, having already been printed with the word "forever," required a strike-through line to indicate the offer was no longer available.  But this stamp was never printed with "forever" on it.

This new stamp was never offered at a "forever" rate, yet it has the word, "FOREVER" on it nonetheless, and the word is struck through. 

The stamp could simply have been printed without the word altogether, and instead could have included the cost of the current stamp.

Forever Hearts

Word, font and layout decisions are made with great care, as any graphic designer can attest.

The word "Forever" has no reason to be on the stamp. 

On this new stamp, "FOREVER" is in the same style of font and in the same size of font as "USA."  Both words are considerably larger than the same words on the previous stamps. 

They are now very close together, and stand out quite vividly from the background. 

And "FOREVER" is placed on the same line as "USA," and right after it.

Because of their identical font type, their identical size, their being on the same line, their standing out from the background, their close proximity, the two words - one that oddly should not have been there to begin with -
read as a clear phrase. 


Here are some more examples:

2015 • FOREVER®

This stamp honors the United States Coast Guard for its role in protecting the security of the nation and advancing its vital maritime interests. In an oil painting on masonite, renowned aviation artist William S. Phillips depicts two icons of the Coast Guard: the cutter Eagle, a three-masted sailing ship known as “America’s Tall Ship,” and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the standard rescue aircraft of the Coast Guard.

2015 • FOREVER®

Every summer, some of America’s favorite foods are in season. The U.S. Postal Service® celebrates a few of those favorites—corn, tomatoes, cantaloupes, and watermelons—with four new stamps. Vintage produce advertising, including 19th- and early 20th-century crate labels, seed packets, and catalogs, inspired these stamp designs. Though not all produce was shipped in wooden crates, the stamp art is especially reminiscent of vintage crate labels. 

2015 • FOREVER®

In 2015, the U.S. Postal Service® and Japan Post jointly issue Gifts of Friendship, a pane of stamps featuring beautiful images of flowering dogwood and flowering cherry trees. This issuance celebrates the enduring bond between two nations on the centennial of the gift of dogwood trees from the United States to Japan in 1915. 

2015 • FOREVER®

The Civil War (1861-1865), the most wrenching chapter in American history, claimed the lives of more than 620,000 soldiers and brought vast changes to the country. The Postal Service™ concludes its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the war by issuing a souvenir sheet with two new stamp designs for 2015.

2015 • FOREVER®

Author, poet, actress, and champion of civil rights Dr. Maya Angelou (1928–2014) was one of the most dynamic voices in all of 20th-century American literature. The book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiographical account of her childhood, gained wide acclaim for its vivid depiction of African-American life in the South.

2015 • FOREVER®

With this issuance, the U.S. Postal Service® celebrates the special connections we make through the mail.

2015 • FOREVER®

Although confined to psychiatric hospitals for more than 30 years, artist Martín Ramírez (1895–1963) produced more than 450 dynamic drawings and collages imbued with hypnotic power. Through the use of repeating lines and idiosyncratic motifs, Ramírez transcended his own situation to create a remarkably visualized world free from the constraints of borders and, even, of time itself.

2015 • FOREVER®

Each stamp depicts a close-up of the flower of one of four classic garden water lilies. The photographs were shot at midsummer at the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.


2015 • FOREVER®

Affirming its long-standing commitment to help find missing children, the U.S. Postal Service® issues this new stamp to make members of the public more aware of the ways they can assist—and to offer hope to the families of missing children as they continue their search. 

2015 • FOREVER®

This year, the U.S. Postal Service® celebrates the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement. The Games will be held in Los Angeles from July 25 to August 2. More than half a million spectators will enjoy nine days of challenging and inspiring international competition as more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries compete in 25 Olympic-type sports.


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