The United Nations Postal Administration has commissioned Pentagram partner Matt Willey to create a series of postage stamps to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020. The stamps celebrate the milestone with layered typography and colors that visually convey the idea of unity at the heart of the global organization.
The stamps are available in three sets (or “mini-sheets”) of two stamps each for different denominations (US$ 1.20, CHF 2,00, € 1,80). “UN75” runs across the pair of stamps in different color combinations for each of the three sheets.
The stamps are accompanied by a quote by Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (in English, French and German for the respective denominations) in which he sums up the mission of the organization: “The United Nations works as one for the benefit of all—for peace, sustainable development, justice and human rights.”
This message inspired the design, which finds a visual metaphor for solidarity in combined letterforms and colors that merge to create different shapes and hues. The design conveys the idea that things are often better and more interesting when they’re brought together to form something greater—more unique and beautiful—than the sum of their parts. When the stamps are removed from the sheet—and from each other—they become even more abstract, breaking into simple graphic forms that fill the full frame.
The typography on the stamps was custom drawn by Willey. (The quote on the mini-sheets is set in Mānuka, designed by Klim Type Foundry.) Each stamp is 35 mm x 50 mm, with the full sheet measuring 120 mm x 165 mm. The stamps were printed offset with Hexachrome by La Poste in France and issued by UN Postal Administration offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
The stamps are available to order from UN Stamps.