USPS Releases Stamp Designed by Gold Award Girl Scout Alum
Gold Award Girl Scout alum and lifetime member Dana Tanamachi moved to New York City after college to work in graphic design.
She recalls one weekend being at a friend’s house decorating for a party. Taking advantage of some chalkboard paint that was on hand, she drew a mural featuring “Brooklyn” in vintage-style lettering.
“Typography and vintage style was just becoming popular in pop culture,” said Dana.
Her off-the-cuff mural brought her a ton of praise that day; her friends took a photo standing in front of it and shared it on social media.
“For the next year, I was asked to draw stuff on chalkboard walls as photo backdrops for my friends’ parties,” she said.
One of those photos was seen on social media and led to a commission from Google for a mural in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market—a popular food hall, shopping mall, and television production facility.
“From there, I got to do a cover for The Oprah Magazine (and meet Oprah!), do a cover for Time magazine, and design my own Burton snowboard and three exclusive collections for Target.”
Majoring in communications design, Dana knew early on she wanted to be a graphic designer. She recalls art having a powerful impact on her as a child; in fifth grade, her Girl Scout Troop #3489 in Houston, Texas, hired a local illustrator to draw each girl for their troop T-shirt.
“The shirt said ‘Troop 3489’ in fun letters and each of us had our own cartoon-style vignette. I remember thinking it was so cool that someone drew me—and it showed me that [my troop leader] valued artists. Commissioning that work spoke to me.”
Today, she’s the one getting asked for her art.
“When I get a request from a client, it’s always something new,” said Dana, whose projects range from book covers to murals for Starbucks. “All [my] work looks like it was me and feels like mine, but with every new collaboration it feels like [my style] is expanding.”
Last month, the U.S. Postal Service debuted Dana’s Forever stamp, featuring a vintage-style typographic treatment of the words “Thank You,” which she hand-lettered before converting to digital. The new stamp is available in four different colors.
Dana technically designed the stamp five years ago, but production was delayed until a gold foil could be created that would endure physical movement through the postal system and stand the test of time for collectors. But Dana considers it fortuitous that her stamp was released now.
“The message is so timely. This year—2020—has been a wild ride, and we all have so many people to thank for getting through it,” she said. “Having a way to express that gratitude through a card or a letter with a thank-you stamp on it is special.”