Charles Wilkin is an artist, designer, and beekeeper living in the Catskill Mountains of New York. He spent 18 years in Brooklyn where he ran his design studio Automatic Art and Design. Wilkin’s work has been featured in many books and magazines. In 2003 Gestalten published his monograph Index-A.
Have you designed a stamp before?
This is the first stamp I’ve ever designed, it’s been something I’ve always wanted to do. My Grandfather was a retired postal worker and growing up I would often help him organize and archive his incredible collection of stamps. I loved the color, the printing, and the stories each stamp told. I haven’t looked through his collection in a while and this project gave me a good reason to do so. Looking at his books was instantly a flood of wonderful memories, many of them I used as inspiration for this project.
What was the most interesting or fun aspect of designing a poster stamp? What unique challenges did it present?
There’s really something sentimental and captivating about stamps. They are moments in time, about connecting with people and cultural time capsules. I wasted a lot of time just staring at them! For me, I think the funnest part was trying to create a new story, something that felt timeless, curious, and relatable. The challenge of a stamp is always scale, they are like miniature worlds and it’s always important to keep the message simple and clear.
Tell us about the art. Did you create something new for this stamp?
The images on this stamp are a collection of my recent and older work. I wanted to create a new collage, something that spans both the past and present, weaving an untold or unseen story. My hope is that these stamps will be shared, collected and used to connect with people in some way.
Use them wisely.