Antonio Frasconi's Short Essay About Postage Stamps


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A little shot of graphic design history you didn’t even know you needed.

In 1961, artist and designer Antonio Frasconi was invited by A. Hyatt Mayor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to write an essay about the design of postage stamps. The essay is very short, but it makes up the bulk of this little book, together with his designs for hypothetical stamps.

To accompany this essay, graphic designer Michael Russem wrote an even shorter essay about Frasconi’s essay, hypothetical stamp designs, and the 1963 U.S. stamp for the centennial of the National Academy of Science. That stamp was chosen over designs by Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Buckminster Fuller, and Bradbury Thompson—tough competition, but an easy and interesting story to tell. 

Part of the Kat Ran Essays in Philatelics series

Design and typography by Michael Russem

Published by Kat Ran Press
First edition, 2017

8 pages, staple binding, full-color and black-and-white illustrations, 8 × 9 inches

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