April Greiman- U.S. postage stamp 19th Amendment 75th anniversary

April Greiman, U.S. postage stamp 19th Amendment 75th anniversary, 1995

In 1995 April Greiman was approached with a proposition to design a U.S. postal stamp to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The stamp garnered some minor controversy as previously the post office hasn’t put out stamps to celebrate 75th anniversaries, and on top of that the design of the stamp seemed to go against the trend of stamps in the past rarely using photographs, and text that contradicts the Postal Services rules on clarity and simplicity for their stamps. It’s an extreme honor to be commissioned for an official U.S. stamp and I think that it really means a lot that the Postal Services recognized Greiman as the talented and influential designer that she is. But I’m sure that to Grieman this assignment was going to be a daunting task, this would be by far her most visible piece of work and on top of that she was the third designer that had been given this assignment, as the first two failed to come up with a design that could succeed the legendary Susan B. Anthony stamp that was made in 1936 and returned in 1958. I think that it was highly important that a female designer was chosen to make the stamp and Greiman was not only influential as a female designer but was also relevant on the technology and computer side of design, a industry that is even more so male dominated.

The stamp itself is in Greimans signature style showing both a scene of protesting women at President Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural parade in 1913 as well as a photograph of a 1976 march for the Equal Rights Amendment in Springfield overlaid the first scene. On top of all of the images are modern text that varies in size and color with powerful words such as, Freedom, Equality and Progress. The design wouldn’t be a Greiman piece if it didn’t also include symbols, along with the previous photos there is an image of the capitol building and a cloud, and of course it follows Aprils steps as a trendsetter as at the time it was the first digitally created official U.S. postal stamp.   

Sources:

www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1995/08/04/suffrage-design-splits-the-vote/

Design Literacy (continued): Understanding Graphic Design, By Steven Heller.