Next July, the United States Postal Service will commemorate the pioneers of industrial design with a limited-edition stamp collection. Each of the 12 stamps features the designer’s name, the type of object, and the year it was created. The collection pane includes a short introduction to the history and heritage of American industrial design, with snippets of historical background on each of the designers and objects, curated by art director Derry Noyes.
The collection celebrates the era around The Great Depression when industrial design truly came of age as a discipline and a functional, user-centric approach to aesthetics in the face of decreasing sales of utilitarian objects.
It’s worth noting that only one of the 12 stamps honors a female designer – a tragic and, thanks to the USPS, institutionalized reflection of the gender imbalance in industrial design, an issue Alissa Walker recently tackled intelligently in GOOD. While the collection certainly reflects an era between the 1930s and 1950s that predates today’s gender equality standards, the legacy of iconic designers like Eva Zeisel and Jane Thompson has left an indisputable mark on contemporary industrial design. Just not a stamp, apparently.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.