First Look: U.S. 2015 Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service held a web conference with the philatelic press on November 4th. This is our report from that conference, posted that same day and updated over the next 2½ weeks. However, we have now spun off all the known issues into their own blog entries, so this page will no longer be updated. Click on the bold-faced subheads to go directly to those individual blog posts. Our overall 2015 U.S. stamp program table is now online here.

A simple list is at the bottom of this post. Battle of New Orleans date set: January 8th.

cindy_tackett14oct“Our goal this year is as soon as we have philatelic agreements signed,” said Cindy Tackett, acting director of Stamp Services of the USPS (left). “We’re going to get the information out to you … Our goal is to get this information out to you as soon as we can.”

However, Stamp Services is not announcing issues until it has reached “philatelic agreements” with the appropriate estates and rights-holders.

The agency hopes to lock in dates and first-day cities much earlier this year.

All the year dates this year (“2015”) will be in the upper right corner, a change from last year.

What we have so far; click on any image for a larger version:

Lunar New Year
lny-ramThe first issue of the year will be Lunar New Year, the Ram. Again, a design by Kam Mak, of a candy tray or “tray of togetherness” (“chuen-hop”). The tray is filled with dried fruits, candies, and other treats to provide a sweet beginning to the New Year.

The cut-paper icon of a ram from the previous series by Clarence Lee, plus Chinese characters in the grass-style of calligraphy by the late Lau Bun. This is the eight of the 12-stamp series. Issue date and city are not yet locked in, but it will be issued in January. The Year of the Ram begins on February 19th.

Forever Love stamps (2)
Same design for each stamp, but one is red with white lettering, the other the reverse.

From the USPS:

Lacy lettering in the shape of a heart spells out the word “Forever” on two stamps. One design features red lettering on a white background; the other is reversed, with white lettering on a field of red.

Artist Jessica Hische (pronounced “HYSH”) created the lettering that forms the heart, first drawing her designs by hand and then finishing the stamp art digitally. The red and white color scheme works well with other colors and adds a timeless feel to the design, which resembles filigree (delicate/intricate ornament).

The traditional colors of red and white would be appropriate for valentines, wedding invitations, baby announcements, anniversary cards, party invites, or any occasion that calls for a classic, timeless stamp.

Artist: Jessica Hische of Hazleton, PA / Philadelphia / New York (also did Sealed with Love and Love Ribbons)

foreverloveBattle of New Orleans
bneworleansFourth and final stamp in the series, and of course it will be issued in New Orleans. That’s Andrew Jackson on horseback. This is an original painting by Greg Harlin, who also designed 2014’s Battle of Fort McHenry stamp. Below are the designs for the full sheet. Both the small vignette of Jackson on the reverse (by John Vanderlyn) and the “selvage” illustration on the front of the sheet (Oliver Pelton) are in the Library of Congress: bneworleans_obv bneworleans_revThe actual date of the battle was January 8, 1815; January 8, 2015, is a Thursday. Added November 13th: That will be the first day date.

$1 and $2 Patriotic Waves definitives
There is no issue date or even month for this issue; it will depend on current inventory of the Waves of Color $1 patrioticwaves1and $2 definitives. It’s the same artist as Color (Michael Dayer), and the stamps will come in panes of ten. The $2 is standard commemorative size, the $1 is the “special” size.

patrioticwaves2

Water Lilies (4)
Illustrations of plants from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens n Washington, DC. These will be a booklet of 20, and issued some time in March. These were based on existing photoswaterlilies by Cindy Dyer, who also took the photos for the Ferns in early 2014.

FromMeToYouFrom Me To You (1 design + stickers)
April is National Card & Letter Writing Month. The panes of 20 stamps includes 12 stickers, and the USPS information also refers to “decals.” The artist is Michael Osborne of San Francisco, who also did Love: Candy Hearts, Chacón “Madonna and Child, Our Wedding, Patriotic Banner (Presorted Standard), Presorted First-Class Spectrum Eagle, Yes, I Do, and Where Dream Blossom.

The Postal People seemed especially eager to know our opinions of this design, and, of those expressing opinions, none really liked it.

Below is the design of the complete pane of stamps: FromMe_paneCivil War (2)
Designs are still being finalized, but, yes, the two events are the Battle of Five Forks and Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Mark Saunders of the USPS notes that the two sites are only about 20 miles apart. He didn’t say, but I’d guess that means just one first day ceremony, at A.C.H., some time in April.

For those who don’t know, Appomattox Court House is and was a different town than Appomattox. All of A.C.H. is now within the National Park. And another fun bit of trivia: The house in which the surrender was signed was, in the late 1800s, dismantled and taken to Washington, where the purchasers hoped to display it with an admission fee. It never happened. Some time in the early 20th century (1930s? About 1940?) the Park Service purchased the pieces, took it back to A.C.H. and reassembled it on the same site.

Summer Harvest (4)
The concept has been around for awhile, but these are new designs, reminiscent of the labels on fruit crates in the early 20th Century. These will be issued in June.The artist is Michael Doret.SummerHarvest

Coast Guard
CoastGuardThis stamp commemorates both the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Revenue Cutter Service bill into law on August 4, 1790, and also the 100th anniversary of the formal establishing of the U.S. Coast Guard. The original oil painting (oil on masonite by William S. Philips) shows the cutter Eagle and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the standard aircraft used for rescues. The Eagle was also featured on a 1978 postcard. “We’re excited by this stamp,” said Tackett.

Wedding stamps (2)
No set date on this, but the USPS wants to give brides and grooms a choice of different wedding stamps. These are stylized black-and-white drawings of a “Vintage Tulip” (two ounces) and “Vintage Rose” (one ounce). They will be engraved stamps. “The artwork features details from engraved plates dating from the early 1700’s,” says the USPS. The designer is Jeanne Greco of New York, who also did King & Queen of Hearts a few years ago.

VintageWedding

Also in the plans, but with no details yet available because the rights have not yet been nailed down:

  • Music Icons #1
  • Music Icons #2
  • Legends of Hollywood
  • Black Heritage
  • “another notable African-American”
  • Medal of Honor- Vietnam (3)
  • New York 2016 – World Stamp Show. The USPS has not yet begun to design this stamp, so no word on what might be shown. “We haven’t even started development of that,” said Tackett. It probably will be issued at APS StampShow in August. That would make it likely for August 20 or 21 in Grand Rapids, Mich.”It will be designed with the collector in mind,” said Stamp Development Specialist Bill Gicker during the web conference. “We do want it to be special.”

screencap_coming
Above is the web-conference screen we were shown.

Here’s a quick list of the 2015 program so far:
January:

Lunar New Year
Forever Love Stamps (2)
Battle of New Orleans (War of 1812)
Black Heritage? (Rumored: Robert Robinson Taylor)

March:

Water Lilies

April:

From Me To You
Civil War (2)

June:

Summer Harvest

August?

U.S. Coast Guard
NY 2016 World Stamp Show

Date uncertain:

Patriotic Waves $1 and $2
Wedding stamps (2)
Music Icon #1 (Rumored: Elvis Presley)
Music Icon #2 (Rumored: James Brown)
Legend of Hollywood (Rumored: Ingrid Bergman)
“another notable African-American”
Medal of Honor – Vietnam War (3)

The “Deep CSAC” list leaked in January 2014 was right about most if not all of the above issues. Here’s the rest of that list for 2015:

Baskets
Black Heritage: Robert Robinson Taylor
Christmas Carols
Christmas Contemporary
Madonna & Child by Bachiacca
Distinguished Airmen
Five Fishes
Global Holiday
Johnny Carson
Latino Baseball
Hollywood: Ingrid Bergman
Music: Elvis
Music: James Brown
Peanuts
Science Fiction Writers
Solar Awareness
Steve Jobs

39 thoughts on “First Look: U.S. 2015 Stamps

    • Civil War is listed, but there are no designs yet. It’s right after From Me To You (or to the left of that stamp’s illustration).

  1. From Me To You? You have got to be kidding. Unnecessary and I am a bit tired of Love stamps. Seems redundant but I get the reason.

  2. Dennis, I’ve now added the design for the full pane of stamps, including the stickers (top and on the three sides). Feel better about this one? Me, neither!

  3. I bet one of the music icons is John Lennon (75th birth anniversary in 2015), one of the notable African-Americans is Michael Jackson and the Legends of Hollywood is Ingrid Bergman. No mention of some other previously ‘leaked’ 2015 issues such as Johnny Carson.

    • Possibly also Bill Monroe (Grandfather of Bluegrass) FDoI Nashville TN or Somewhere along the Blue Ridge.
      Though he’s still alive, possibly a Double Stamp issue with Mr Earle Scruggs.

      • Mr. Scruggs died on March 28, 2012. The USPS says that one has to be dead for 5 years (used to be 10) to be on a US stamp. That’s why the Maya Angelou stamp is a joke, as she just died last year. If they don’t follow their own guidelines, then why have them? I think Bill Monroe deserves a stamp, as well as Mario Lanza. Love to see a “Legends of Hollywood” stamp for (alphabetically) Clark Gable, John Garfield, Charles Laughton, The Four Marx Bros. and Mary Pickford.

    • It dawned on me that, with the Rudolph stamps for Christmas this year, next year’s rumored Peanuts stamps may portray the Charlie Brown Christmas. The Rudolph Christmas special is 50 years old this year, and next year the Charlie Brown Christmas Special will be 50 years old.

    • Agreed! Constantly releasing Black Heritage stamps is reverse racism! Who cares about the color of someone’s skin? Just release stamps with PEOPLE on them. Why USPS has to call them Black Heritage is beyond me. It’s offensive to other races.

  4. The Post Office really should continue AIRMAIL stamps. Lots of us have albums with US Airmail and now there is nothing more to add. The Forever $1.15 stamps should be called Airmail and put in the Airmail section of the album!

  5. Thank you for providing the pictures of the stamps. I don’t like the wedding stamp with the red heart or the hearts with “forever” written in the middle. I’m not a fan of the “From me to You”. At this point our opinions don’t matter because the stamps have already been approved. I do like the Summer Harvest stamps.

  6. We all have some favorites and some stamps where we say what the heck?? I like variety and prefer early information on upcoming issues. For sure this year we are getting updated information from the new acting stamp director. From all that I have heard, she really seems to be an excellent choice. I like a person who actually while new asks for comments. Too early to tell what is my favorite until the entire slate is known.

    Paul

  7. My thoughts:

    Lunar New Year: Love it!

    Forever Love stamps: So stupid & very hard on the eyes. Where is the heart? I can’t feel the “love” with these.

    $1 and $2 Patriotic Waves definitives: Love them!

    Water Lilies: Very pretty; love the dark pink flower the best

    From Me To You: Is this a stamp for children? So stupid. What a waste of what could have been a great design for this theme.

    Summer Harvest: The best of the lot/my favorite so far

    Wedding stamps: Really like these, especially the inclusion of the red heart with the black & white

    Excited to see what other designs will be released but I won’t get my hopes up. U.S. stamps released in the the past 25-30 years have been dreadful, save for a 3 or so issues/designs.

  8. I’m surprised that the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Gateway Arch’s 50th anniversary is not included. The nation’s tallest monument had its keystone segment placed in 1965.

  9. A USPO Stamp for the great MGM film star, Van Johnson is a strong
    possibility, as his l00th birthday in 2016 is approaching. According to news
    from Mr. Johnson’s hometown, The Newport Patch in RI has posted on its
    website that a stamp honoring Van Johnson, Newport’s Native Son is
    likely. His many fans dearly hope so, and the fact that the Citizens Stamp
    Advisory Committee is “considering” him is a positive indication.

  10. First time in this site. Trying to widen my ability to see who is doing what with postage stamps in the U.S A., the U.N. and Israel.

  11. Hi there,

    As a freelance illustrator and designer, does anyone here know the submissions process on submitting your artwork for consideration on postage stamps?

    Cheers

  12. It would be wonderful to have a US Stamp for the great film star, Van Johnson,
    especiall7y since his 100th Birthday is coming up on August 25, 2016.
    Please feel free to sign the petition on
    VanJohnsonStamp.org

  13. please hournor the following Hollywood stars:

    1. Elizabeth Taylor
    2. Jean Simmons
    3. Montgomery Clift
    4. Paul Newman
    5. Gene Kelly
    6. Fred Astaire
    7. Marlon Brando
    8. Charles Chaplin
    9. Laurence Olivier

    • Taylor reportedly is on the “Deep CSAC” list for 2016, and it hasn’t been wrong yet. Chaplin and Olivier were British. Keep in mind that, along with all the obvious factors, estate considerations are a big consideration. John Wayne’s oldest son kept him off a U.S. stamp for several years, until the son passed away and the next son took over the estate and was very interested in a stamp. Edward G. Robinson had two families which couldn’t agree on much, and that nearly canceled his stamp. And we were actually shown the design for a Spencer Tracy stamp some years ago, but last-minute demands by his estate caused that stamp to be pulled from the program – permanently.

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