An Instagram account dedicated to postage stamps with over 90,000 followers? Now that's got to be good for our hobby. It's Nice That put it best - 'Graphilately is the Instagram account making stamp collecting cool'.
Cool; adjective; informal;
"Fashionably attractive or impressive"
Since the design of the very first postage stamp (the iconic penny black design that we all know and love), graphic design has collided very nicely with the postal process. From postage stamps to mail art to envelope design to air mail labels. From postal uniforms to company logos to advertising and social media infographics. It's about the look, the feel, the smell. The design of a stamp can take you somewhere - a place, a memory, an idea.
This week, Kat Ran Press posted a photo of a US postage stamp issued in 1967 (https://twitter.com/KatRanPress/status/881124380763443202). This created a little debate on twitter. We like philatelic debate here at Art Stamped. Noise is good. I loved the design of said stamp. Another fellow philatelist and dealer didn't admire it so much. And that's the thing with stamp design. It's personal. It has the potential to become iconic (the machin) and the potential to be ridiculed (see previous blog re: the Punk Philatelist and her thoughts on some modern stamp issues). I love all stamps but I don't love all stamp design. For example, the GB Battle of Waterloo stamps issued in 2015. I just don't get them. I don't really want them on my mail. This denim export stamp on the other hand. WOW. What a stamp design! The whole set of these make me smile. This post by Graphilately on Instagram got 708 likes! Yes!
Blair Thomson of Graphilately fame brings us the very best in postage stamp graphic design. He provides details about the stamps including their year and country of issue. He is bringing stamps to new audiences. He is inspiring artists, designers, stylists and, we hope, future stamp collectors. At Art Stamped, we love to see stamps on show, and what better way to show them off than on the largest social media platforms to hundreds of thousands of people.
If you're not already following, I'd suggest you pop onto Instagram or twitter now and search for @graphilately.
Prefer stamp design offline? Well, you could try to recreate the Graphilately collection in real postage stamp form, or you could check out this book by Unit Editions which includes some of Blair's favourite designs. Search for 'Graphic Stamps' - https://uniteditions.com/
Most philatelic publications remain within a group already enthusiastic about the world of stamps. What I love about Graphilately is that it opens up how beautiful and fun and controversial our hobby is in terms of design to so many new people.
With more and more people interested in these tiny works of art, the pressure is on! Fancy a career in postage stamp graphic design? Start by collecting and studying stamps.
You can read more about Graphilately here: http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/graphilately