Stamp Announcement 18-26: John Lennon Stamps


On September 7, 2018, in New York, NY, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the John Lennon stamps (Forever® priced at the First-Class Mail® rate) in four designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive pane of 16 stamps (Item 565400). The stamps will go on sale nationwide September 7, 2018. The John Lennon pane of stamps may not be split or sold individually.

The newest stamps in the Music Icons series honor singer-songwriter John Lennon (1940–1980), a rock-and-roll hero successful both as a founding member of the Beatles and as a solo artist. Still beloved around the world, Lennon‘s music remains an anchor of pop radio and continues to speak for truth, peace, and tolerance. The stamp design features a photograph of Lennon taken by noted rock-and-roll photographer Bob Gruen in August 1974 during the photo session for Lennon‘s 1974 album Walls and Bridges. For the stamps, the original black-and-white image has been treated in gradations of color.

The stamp pane is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps, brief text about Lennon‘s legacy, and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve. A black-and-white photograph of Lennon seated at his white piano appears on the reverse, along with Lennon‘s signature and the Music Icons series logo. Taken by photographer Peter Fordham, the original photograph was used to promote Lennon‘s landmark 1971 solo album, Imagine. Art director Antonio Alcalá worked on the stamp pane with designer Neal Ashby.

Availability to Post Offices: Item 565400, John Lennon (Forever Priced at the First-Class Mail Rate) Commemorative Pane of 16 Stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices™ of a quantity to cover approximately 30 days of sales. Distribution quantities for the automatic push distribution are available by logging on to SFS Web at Post Offices may begin ordering stamps on the first-day-of-issue through SFS Web, but must also check the amount they will receive in their automatic push distribution.

Special Dedication Postmarks

Only the following pictorial postmark is permitted for John Lennon stamps. The word “Station” or the abbreviation “STA” is required somewhere in the design, because it will be a temporary station. Special dedication ceremonies for the John Lennon stamps are not authorized. Use of any image other than the following special pictorial image is prohibited.

Guidelines for Finalizing John Lennon Stamps Pictorial Postmark Art



To finalize the John Lennon stamps pictorial postmark art, insert the date, city, state, and ZIP Code™ of the physical location of your event adjacent to the stamp image. Overall dimensions of the pictorial postmark must not exceed 4 inches (horizontally) by 2 inches (vertically). Collectors prefer the dimensions 3-1/2 inches by 1.

The Postal Service™ must make all special postmarks known to collectors through advance publicity in the Postal Bulletin. Therefore, all special dedication cancellations must be reported to Stamp Services 4 weeks before the event using PS Form 413, Pictorial Postmark Announcement/Report. To get a copy of the form, go to

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 120 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office or at The Postal Store® website at They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – John Lennon Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by January 7, 2019.

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the USA Philatelic publication and online at Customers may register to receive a free USA Philatelic publication online at

Locally produced items are not authorized. Only merchandise that has been approved and assigned an item number by Headquarters Retail Marketing may be produced and sold.



John Lennon Stamps

Item Number:


Denomination &

Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Pane of 16 (4 designs)


Music Icons

Issue Date & City:

September 7, 2018, New York, NY 10199


Neal Ashby, Alexandria, VA

Art Director:

Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Neal Ashby, Alexandria, VA

Existing Photo:

Bob Gruen

Existing Photo:

Peter Fordham


Sandra Lane/Michelle Finn

Manufacturing Process:



Banknote Corporation of America

Printed at:

Browns Summit, NC

Press Type:

Alprinta 74

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

40,000,000 stamps

Paper Type:

Phosphor, Block Tagged

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, NC


Cool Gray 7, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.085 x 1.085 in./27.559 x 27.559 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.225 x 1.225 in./31.115 x 31.115 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

7 x 7 in./177.8 x 177.8 mm

Press Sheets Size (w x h):

14.1875 x 21.375 in./360.36 x 542.93 mm

Plate Size:

96 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:


Marginal Markings:


©2017 USPS • USPS logo • Proprietary text • Barcode (565400) in lower right corner of pane • Promotional text • Biography brief


• Photograph • “John Lennon” • Music Icons logo