The John Lennon commemorative "Forever Stamp" will be issued on September 7th by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The stamps will be issued in a pane of 16, with a design aping a vinyl picture sleeve. The stamps themselves use a famed 1974 photo by legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen, with the photo on the rear using the iconic 1971 Lennon shot of him at his English Tittenhurst Park estate recording "Imagine," captured by Peter Fordham. "Forever Stamps," which while purchased at the current first class rate, will always be accepted as a first class stamp throughout the years and never need additional postage as rates increase. Back in 2015, the USPS issued its first new Elvis Presley stamp in 23 years when it introduced "The King's" "Forever Stamp."
The USPS said in the press release for the Lennon "Forever Stamp": "The original black-and-white photograph has been treated in gradations of color: from yellow orange to red in the top row, from red to light purple in the second row, from light purple to dark purple in the third row and from dark purple to blue in the bottom row. Lennon’s signature appears at the top of the stamps. 'USA,' the peace symbol, and the Forever denomination appear along the bottom. The stamp pane is designed to resemble a vintage 45 r.p.m. record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps and brief text about Lennon’s legacy, with the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve."
This black-and-white photograph of Lennon seated at his white piano appears on the reverse side of the stamp pane, 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.