Scott Catalogue Numbers: 5141
Updated September 17th: Here is the DCP for this issue: It measures 1.65” x 1.41”. The B&W postmark for this issue is the standard 4-bar First Day of Issue postmark.
Updated September 1st, from the USPS:
On October 1, 2016, in Charleston, SC, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Kwanzaa stamp (Forever® priced at 47 cents), in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 556600).
The stamp will go on sale nationwide October 1, 2016.
This bright and colorful new stamp design celebrates the annual non-religious holiday of Kwanzaa, which takes place over seven days from December 26 to January 1. December 26, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of this widely celebrated holiday. Kwanzaa derives its name from the phrase “first fruits” in Swahili. The holiday honors African-American family, community, and culture. The stamp art features a young African-American woman as the embodiment of Africa. She wears a lavender dress with a collar of African design that also appears in her earring. A large purple bowl overflows with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations. Artist Synthia Saint James worked with art director Greg Breeding, who designed the stamp.
Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices™.
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at http:⁄⁄www.usps.com⁄shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Pillar 210
Kansas City, MO 64144-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service™ will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by December 1, 2016.
There are six philatelic products for this stamp issue:
- 556606 Press Sheet with Die-cut, $75.20.
- 556610 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $11.95.
- 556616 First-Day Cover, $0.91.
- 556621 Digital Color Postmark, $1.62.
- 556624 Framed Art, $19.95.
- 556630 Ceremony Program, $6.95
Issue: Kwanzaa Stamp
Item Number: 556600
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail, Forever
Format: Pane of 20 (1 design)
Series: Holiday Celebrations
Issue Date & City: October 1, 2016, Charleston, SC 29403
Art Director: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Designer: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Typographer: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Artist: Synthia Saint James, Los Angeles, CA
Modeler: Sandra Lane⁄Michelle Finn
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint
Printer: Banknote Corporation of America
Printed at: Browns Summit, NC
Press Type: Alprinta 74
Stamps per Pane: 20
Print Quantity: 15 million stamps
Paper Type: Phosphor Tagged Paper, Overall
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit SC
Colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area (w x h): 0.77 x 1.05 in.⁄19.56 x 26.67 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 0.91 x 1.19 in.⁄23.11 x 30.22 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 5.43 x 5.64 in.⁄317.79 x 143.12 mm
Press Sheets Size (w x h): 10.85 x 22.54 in.⁄275.59 x 572.52 mm
Plate Size: 320 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “B” followed by four (4) single digits
Front: Plate numbers in four corners of pane
Back: © 2015 USPS • USPS logo • Plate position diagram • Barcode (556600) in upper right and lower left corners of pane • Promotional text
Updated August 25th, from the USPS: The date and city of issue have changed:
The first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Kwanzaa Forever stamp will take place 12:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 1 in Charleston, SC’s Marion Square (329 Meeting St, 29403) at the MOJA Art Festival. www.mojafestival.com
With this vibrant new stamp design, the U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa. This annual non-religious holiday, which takes place over seven days from Dec. 26 to January 1, brings family, community and culture together for many African Americans. Dec. 26, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of this widely celebrated holiday.
The colorful stamp art features a woman holding a bowl that overflows with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations that inspired the creation of Kwanzaa.
Created in 1966, Kwanzaa draws on African traditions, deriving its name from the phrase “first fruits” in Swahili, a widely spoken African language. It has its origins in first harvest celebrations that occurred across the African continent in ancient and modern times. Kwanzaa synthesizes and reinvents these tribal traditions as a contemporary celebration of African-American culture.
Each year, millions of African Americans gather with friends and family around a table set with the mkeka — a straw mat symbolizing the history of African Americans. They light seven candles known as the mishumaa saba, each representing one of the founding principles, and share in a feast that celebrates their shared heritage. Kwanzaa is a festive occasion that rejoices in the prospect of health, prosperity, and good luck in the coming year, while recalling the past and its role in future happiness.
Artist Synthia Saint James worked with art director Greg Breeding, who designed the stamp.
This is the sixth stamp design issued by the U.S. Postal Service in celebration of Kwanzaa. The first Kwanzaa commemorative stamp was issued in 1997. New designs were also issued in 2004, 2009, 2011, and 2013.
Kwanzaa is being issued as a Forever stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.
Stamp artist Synthia Saint James
Growing up in New York and Los Angeles, Synthia Saint James always knew she wanted to be an artist. Self-taught, she developed an artistic style that is uniquely and recognizably her own.
Saint James sold her first painting at age 20 — a commissioned piece for a coworker — which helped launch her artistic career. A professional artist for more than 45 years, she has worked with clients such as Barnes and Noble, Maybelline, UNICEF, Essence magazine, and The Coca-Cola Company, among others. Saint James created the original cover art for Terry McMillan’s novel Waiting to Exhale and has illustrated and/or authored 17 children’s books. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in several United States embassies around the world.
With bright, bold colors, Saint James’s striking paintings convey the joy and vibrancy of her subjects. Inspired in part by French Impressionists, she focuses on shapes and overall visual effects, using as many as nine coats of paint to get the colors just right.
Saint James lives and works in Los Angeles. She created the art for the first Kwanzaa stamp issued in 1997. Kwanzaa (2016) is her second project for the Postal Service™.
Updated February 25th, from the USPS:
This stamp will be issued Friday, October 7th, in New York at the American Stamp Dealers Association Fall Postage Stamp Show 2016.
From the USPS:
FDOI: Information to come.
Format: Pane of 20
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa.
The 2016 Kwanzaa stamp continues its tradition of honoring an annual holiday that celebrates African-American family, community, and culture with this vibrant new stamp design. Bold colors depict a young African-American woman as the embodiment of Africa. She wears a lavender dress with a collar of African design that also appears in her earring. In front of the woman sits a large purple bowl overflowing with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations that inspired the creation of Kwanzaa.
Artist Synthia Saint James hand-sketched the design and then painted it, using acrylic on canvas. Saint James also illustrated the first Kwanzaa stamp issued by the Postal Service in 1997.
Art Director: Greg Breeding
[Thanks to VSC member Don Neal for pointing out some needed corrections. —LdeV]