Year of the Dog (U.S. 2018)

From the USPS; further updates will appear after the initial, introductory entry:

Year of the Dog (Celebrating Lunar New Year series)The Year of the Dog stamp is the 11th of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Dog begins Feb. 16, 2018, and ends Feb. 4, 2019.

This stamp will be issued January 11th, in Honolulu, Hawaii, with a first-day ceremony. Past Lunar New Year stamps have used the First Day Of Issue four-bar postmark as the first-day “hand cancel.”

From the USPS, December 28th:
Postal Service to Celebrate 2018 Lunar New Year
Issuing Year of the Dog Forever Stamp

What: The U.S. Postal Service rings in 2018 with the Year of the Dog Forever stamp. It’s the 11th of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Dog begins Feb. 16, 2018, and ends Feb. 4, 2019. The event is free and open to the public. Please share the news using the hashtag #LunarNewYear.

Who: Larry Muñoz Jr., vice president Area Operations (A) – Pacific Area,
U.S. Postal Service
Douglas D.L. Chong, president, Hawaii Chinese History Center
Pamela Young, “Mixed Plate,” KHON2 TV

When: Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, 11:00 a.m., Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time

Where: Chinatown Cultural Plaza
100 N. Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96817

Background: The Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year for many Asian communities around the world and is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage.

The U.S. Postal Service introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008. The series will continue through 2019 with a stamp for the Year of the Boar. Year of the Dog is being issued as a souvenir sheet of 12 self-adhesive Forever stamps.

Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the series with illustrator Kam Mak, a Hong Kong-born artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. The artwork focuses on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year holiday is celebrated. The Year of the Dog illustration, originally created using oil paints on panel, depicts an arrangement of lucky bamboo (Dracaena braunii). To the right is a lozenge-shaped piece of red paper with the Chinese character fu, meaning good fortune, rendered in calligraphy — a common decoration on doors and entryways during Lunar New Year festivities.

Kessler’s stamp design also incorporates two elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps: Clarence Lee’s intricate cut-paper design of a dog and the Chinese character for “dog,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun.

Updated January 5th from the Postal Bulletin:

On January 11, 2018, in Honolulu, HI, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Year of the Dog First-Class Mail® stamp (Forever® priced at 49 cents) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 12 stamps (Item 564800). The stamp will go on sale nationwide January 11, 2018.

The Year of the Dog stamp is the 11th stamp issue for the 12-stamp Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Dog begins February 16, 2018, and ends on February 4, 2019. The stamp art depicts an arrangement of lucky bamboo (Dracaena braunii) and a red, lozenge-shaped Lunar New Year decoration. On the night of New Year’s Eve, families gather and feast on foods that bring good luck and hang lozenge-shaped pieces of red paper with finely written good luck characters from doors and entryways.

Artist Kam Mak created this original painting. Art director and stamp designer Ethel Kessler incorporated elements from previous Celebrating Lunar New Year stamps — Clarence Lee’s intricate cut-paper design of a dog and the Chinese character for “dog,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun — to create continuity between the stamps in the series.

Item 564800, $5.88 Celebrating Lunar New Year: Year of the Dog (Forever priced at 49 cents) Commemorative Souvenir Sheet of 12 Stamps
Stamp Fulfillment Services (SFS) has completed an automatic push distribution to Post Offices™ of a quantity to cover approximately 30 days of sales.

[Note that the price of this stamp will go up to 50¢ on January 21st. —VSC]

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, or by phone at 800-782-6724. They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Year of the Dog Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

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 March 11, 2018.

Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows:

  • 564806, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $35.28.
  • 564810*, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (2 panes), $13.95.
  • 564816*, First-Day Cover, $0.93.
  • 564821*, Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.
  • 564824*, Framed Art, $39.95.
  • 564830*, Ceremony Program, $6.95.

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Year of the Dog Stamp
Item Number: 564800
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail Forever
Format: Pane of 12 (1 design)
Series: Celebrating Lunar New Year
Issue Date & City: January 11, 2018, Honolulu, HI 96820
Designer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Art Director: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Typographer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Artist: Kam Mak, Brooklyn, NY
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: 12
Print Quantity: 15,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Phosphor Tagged Paper, Block
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit NC
Colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Pantone 872, Pantone 342
Stamp Orientation: Horizontal
Image Area (w x h): 1.42 x 0.84 in./36.07 x 21.34 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 1.56 x 0.98 in./39.62 x 24.89 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 7.24 x 5.92 in./183.90 x 150.37 mm
Press Sheets Size
(w x h): 21.97 x 11.965 in./558.04 x 303.91 mm
Plate Size: 144 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: N/A
Marginal Markings:
Back: © 2017 USPS • USPS logo • Barcode (564800) • Promotional text • Verso: Celebrating Lunar New Year text

Updated January 8th:

Here is the design of the Digital Color Postmark for this issue: It measures 3” x 1.64”.

Here is the B&W pictorial postmark design: It measures 2.86”x 1.30”. This is the first Lunar New Year stamp issued by the U.S. with a pictorial first-day “rubber composition” postmark.

Here is the “special” postmark local post offices may use: It measures 2.9” x 1”

2 thoughts on “Year of the Dog (U.S. 2018)

    • Cancellation artwork is in the 4 JAN 2018 postal bulletin.
      Cost for #10 (keepsake Two panes of 12 ) is $13.95

      Once Cancelled, this becomes a Philatelic Item and is not governed by the price of the stamp. The stamps will cost more, but the Philatelic Items will remain the same price. ( What the Market will bear )

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