The Story Behind The Johnny Cash Forever Stamp
Every year, the Postmaster General’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee receives about 40,000 suggestions for what should grace a stamp. Then 30 subjects are chosen. This year, Johnny Cash made the cut, which made sense to the postal committee: Cash is not only a country artist but someone whose “influence is felt just about everywhere, from folk to blues and gospel,” they wrote.
“For a graphic designer, it was absolutely a dream job,” says Greg Breeding, the art director who worked on the stamp. “A stamp is a tremendous way to mark something good in culture.”
Breeding had worked on stamps before, as art director for a U.S.P.S. collaboration with France’s own mail carrier, The Post, in which Miles Davis and Edif Piaf were featured on the currency. That prepared him to work on the Cash stamp, a plum assignment he couldn’t turn down. “We art directors fought [like hell] for it,” he jokes.
From the time it was commissioned to the time it was approved, the assignment took Breeding six months. The Johnny Cash stamp hits stores this summer and will cost 46 cents, equivalent to the First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
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