Stamp Design | Sheaff : ephemera

Stamp Design

Stamp Designs That Never Saw The Light Of Day

Over the years . . .
I have had the great privilege of being able to design and/or art direct over 500 issued U.S. postage stamps. Along the way each of us in that role also created many, many other stamp concepts which did not become issued stamps for various reasons. In some cases multiple possible design solutions were presented for discussion and consideration, and some other—often better—concept was chosen for issuance. In other cases it was eventually decided not to issue a stamp on the topic under consideration; sometimes a designed stamp that had been approved and put into the "bank" for possible future issuance was never issued for one reason or another. Fresh designs for certain subjects that were repeatedly needed were constantly being generated . . . the US flag, patriotic icons, Christmas and other holidays, etc.
     Some of the alternate concepts which had been considered for stamps actually issued ("essays", in stamp collecting vernacular) were shown in a series of annual books, "Linn's U.S. Stamp Yearbook", from 1984-2010. This series is a valuable reference about the details of each issued stamp, but there was never enough space available to show all of the essays that had been considered.
     In my experience, the designer / art director role varied from stamp to stamp. Often the designer created entirely new work, other times blocked out the concept and design and then hired an appropriate professional illustrator or photographer; and yet other times simply turned the project over to an outside designer. Sometimes existing artwork or photography was considered for a stamp design, sometimes existing art was dummied up as a stamp only to demonstrate the style of an artist being suggested. 
     It occurred to me that it might be of interest to those interested in stamps and stamp design to see some of my stamp "might have beens".



Ten150




3¢Sheet20-150




HeroesOf2001-150





Braille150

( "grey" dots at the bottom to be blind-embossed and thus "readable" )





ClassicCars#1-150

Photographer: Sheaff




 SpiralFractal






ShakerBk4-150

Photographer:





Dypold150

Artist: Dypold




Spices150

Artist:




NonProfEnvs-A150







IndianWeathervane150





Lincoln#1-150





LincolnMarshall-150

Engraver: Marshall





Lincoln$5Tight150


Engraver: Bureau of Engraving and Printing





KidOry#2-150

Artist: James Flora





GraphicFlag150







ViolenceTeddyBear150

Photographer: Schlowsky Studio / Sheaff





Fireworks#2-150

Photographer: Dennis Cooper





Bravo!150





DimensionalFlag150






Diabetes150





FramptonSoccer150

Artist: David Frampton




W2006Label150

( Engraved keepsake label, issued )



LouBrooks1950s150


Artist: Lou Brooks




VictorianHands150




FloatingStars150







HoudinFranklin150

Marble bust by Jean-Antoine Houdin






TakeMeOut#2-150

Illustration: Edward Penfield




ScienceFiction150





Found32-150

Photographer: Sheaff





MoraweitzQuilt150

Quilt artist: Margit Moraweitz





WovenHeart150





BirthdayCandles#3-150

Photographer: Sheaff




JamestownDiamond150





Kwanzaa#1-150




Eldorado150

Photographer:




LatinJazzCugat150

Artist: Xavier Cugart





HeroesBadges150





LaFeurHeroes150

Artist: Dave LaFleur




PeaceHands150

Photographer: Peter Jones / Sheaff



LaceHeart150




TranspoTrain150

Artist: Robert Brangwynne



Rudolph150

Artist: 




XMasBulbs150





KentXmasAngel150

Artist: Rockwell Kent





RememberTheMaine#3-150





IndianCoil150

Artist: Kenneth Ferguson 




KimuraMarathon1-150

Artist: Hiro Kimura




OldManAndSea150




WaveyFlag150




Alzheimers#9-150





MattBrady#2-150





Lincoln#5-150





LincolnPhotosBK4-150






LincolnSheetlet150




TrianglesT-Shirt150

T-Shirt design, for two stamps which were issued.




TakeMeOut#7-150





TakeMeOut#5-150





HeroesFlag#1-150





1955T-Bird150





PinkAngel150





PinkBells150

Illustrator: Jeff Nishinaka




ClayHeart150

Jewelry Artist:




MalcolmX150

Photographer: 




Presorted150




SantaPrstgBklt150

Prestige booklet cover alternatives




CactusFlowersBklt20-150



AcuffSpotlight150

Photopgrapher: 




VictorianFlag150

Artist:




SavingEagles150

Artisi: Dave LaFleur




VilolenceBulletHoles150





NewMexico#2-150

Photographer: Ansel adams




Ochs#1-150

Photograph: Sonny Ochs




LoveHearts150




HaleBopp#1-150

( The Hale-Bopp comet )



HeartInHand150





FDRmemorial150

Photographer: 




LinkedLove150





Burroughs150

Artist: Dave LaFleur




DiabetesArrows150





Cartoonists#2-150




BillMauldin150




MakeUpDove150





NastSanta#1-150

Illustrator: Thomas Nast





FreePress150




Pacific'97Tri#5-150





LatinJazzFlora#1-150

Artist; James Flora




Rt66#3-150





GeoWashFraktur150





FramptonXmasBk4-150

Artist: David Frampton




SeveralNumerals150

Photographer: Sheaff




GuernseyEssay150

An essay created for a security printer
( Yes, I realize this cow is a Jersey; a suitable Guernsey image could not be located in time on this rush assignment. )





TCdiabetes150






TradeCardSanta150






SweetCorn150

Artist: Michael Doret




ForestFire#2-150






Voting150

Photographer: Sheaff





Cochise150

There are no known existing photographs of Cochise, but there are photographs of his two sons Naiche and Taza. 
I made this image by superimposing straight-on photographs of both sons and blending them pretty much 50-50. Although the two look nothing alike, their facial features brought to the same scale match up almost 100%.
 Perhaps this has produced a reasonable semblance of their father Cochise?





SummerSports150

Photographer: Sheaff




Birthstones150

Photographer: Sheaff


AmethystSeTenant150

Photographer: Sheaff



MamboForCats150

Artist: James Flora




BeigeFlag150





Schultz2-150





PostcardSanta#3-150





LoveAttraction150

Two iron magnets superimposed. Photographer: Sheaff





Thurber+Dog150

Artist: James Thurber





NYSEcolor150



GraphicEagleCancel150

Clicking on a thumbnail image opens a larger image . . . 

Artist:


      Contact:  dicksheaff@gmail.com    All images not otherwise indicated are copyrighted by Richard D. Sheaff and not to be used for any purpose without written permission.