Client:United States Postal Service
Creative Firm: United States Postal Service - Arlington, VA, USA
Creative Team: Richard Sheaff - Art Director/Designer/Typographer; Mark Summers - Artist
The bearded image of Abraham Lincoln is a familiar one-on a five dollar bill, a penny and the Lincoln Memorial, to name a few places where millions of Americans see his face every day. Add to that list a set of postage stamps that depicts the sixteenth president during various (clean shaven) phases of his life, from his youth, time as a lawyer and politician and to the White House, along with relevant backgrounds.
"No one individual stamp should be more dominant than the others," say the creators, illustrator Mark Summers and art director Richard Sheaff. who created the four stamps for the United States Postal Service. "This was difficult when one stamp showed a solitary figure in the outdoors and another had three figures indoors. It required playing with shadows and time of day to make sure the balance of tone was equal." Summers and Sheaff relied on a team of consultants, who looked at the images during their creation and advised the artist of Lincoln's appearance and fashions of the times as Summers drew the portraits on scratchboard, painstakingly re-creating the lines and tone of Lincoln's face. "You don't want these stamps to become valuable because of an inaccuracy, so we spent quite a bit of time tracking down contemporary images and descriptions of such things as Lincoln's clothing and the courtrooms in which he practiced law."