US Stamps

Michael Baadke

Four varieties for U.S. John Lennon stamp

May 10, 2018 01:45 PM

  • The John Lennon forever stamp in the United States Music Icons series will be issued Sept. 7 in a pane of 16. Each horizontal row is printed in different gradient colors, resulting in four different stamp varieties.
  • The reverse of the John Lennon stamp pane will feature this 1971 photograph of Lennon at his white piano, with his signature in white over the scene.
  • The Postal Service revealed the design for the John Lennon commemorative near the end of 2017.

By Michael Baadke

The John Lennon forever stamp in the Music Icons commemorative series will be issued Sept. 7 in New York City, according to the United States Postal Service.

Lennon lived in New York with his wife, Yoko Ono, from 1971 until his death in 1980.

The stamp honoring the famous singer-songwriter and founding member of the Beatles will be issued in a pane of 16, with the stamp pane design resembling the sleeve of a 45rpm record.

But an unexpected twist has been revealed: There will be four different stamps in this issue.

The stamps all feature the same photograph of Lennon taken by Bob Gruen in August 1974, but the stamps in each horizontal row will be treated in different gradient colors, creating four different major varieties.

The colors on the stamps in the first row change from yellow orange to red, the second row changes from red to light purple, the third is light purple to dark purple, and the fourth is dark purple to blue.

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The image on the reverse of the pane is a familiar black-and-white photograph by Peter Fordham of Lennon at his white piano, with Lennon's signature in white above the scene. The photograph originally was used to promote Lennon’s 1971 solo album Imagine.

The John Lennon stamp was designed by Neal Ashby; Antonio Alcala was the art director.