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Peace Stamps and 75 Years of the United Nations

Marking a milestone with a selection of unique designs promoting peace and unity

Peace Stamps and 75 Years of the United Nations

design & fashion

On October 24, 1945, an idea transformed into an international body bent on promoting peace in the ashes of a Second World War. President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States of America and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom were the early architects that helped realize the idea that would later be signed by 50 other nations. 75 years ago the United Nations symbolized an experiment for cooperation and the prevention of war, today it outlines a utopian vision for human rights and international peace.

In the three-quarters of a century since its creation, the United Nations is credited with helping negotiate 172 peaceful settlements and aiding more than 30 million refugees. Within its headquarters in New York, the organization has constructed a framework for maintaining peace and security through disarmament, clearing land mines, preventing nuclear proliferation, and genocide.

Peace Stamps and 75 Years of the United Nations

Duality (CHF 2.00) – There is a reason that opposites attract: because you can only see the full picture when complementary parts combine. (Art: Stranger & Stranger)

To coincide with the milestone of 75 years, we spoke to Morgan Ackermann of Stranger & Stranger, an award-winning packaging design and branding company, about designing international peace stamps for the 193 nations that sought to unite enemies, promote equality, and break down cultural barriers. On an unusual anniversary celebrated behind closed doors or digitally for the United Nations, its influence has stretched to combating COVID-19 amongst several other ongoing tensions.

Creating peace stamps is both an honor and communication challenge, how did you develop a universal theme for all the nations?

It was a great honor to work with the U.N, for arguably one of their most important initiatives. Celebrating the International Day of Peace, the message that needed to be conveyed was an obvious one, but connecting to different cultures in a unified aesthetic not so much. It can be a tricky thing trying to please everyone with a uniform style, so it was clear the most important thing was to ensure the stamps were engaging, vibrant, and eye-catching. They had to grab your attention and create an emotional connection.

Peace Stamps and 75 Years of the United Nations

Enemies unite (CHF 1.00) – The only thing more powerful than the twin urges of fear and anger, represented here by the fox and the hare. Enemies who join forces to overcome them. (Art: Stranger & Stranger)

What research and design steps did you use for this project?

Research on a project like this is crucial. You have to communicate a very clear and compelling message in a very small area, so understanding how past designs have accomplished that sets great foundations for us to build on, to create something evocative with a strong message. The U.N. stamps reach all corners of the globe and cross many cultures, therefore any message communication needs to work free from words, and purely visually.

Peace Stamps and 75 Years of the United Nations

Break down Barriers (€0.68) – A homage to history’s greatest battering rams – to kindness and respect – and all of the barriers that have fallen before them. (Art: Stranger & Stranger)

With the U.N. turning 75, what impact do you think the organization has had on the world?

The U.N. message is very simple and clear, "global peace." The aspiration to end the war and armed conflict across the globe. The U.N. has made it their mission to continue to push this message over the years and it is never more so needed than today. Stamps aren’t going to single-handedly end the conflict, but they are an essential piece of the puzzle to build awareness for a common goal: Peace, Unity, and Prosperity.

Peace Stamps and 75 Years of the United Nations Moths to a flame (USD $1.15) – The beauty of civility and decency serves as humanity’s guiding flame – a light to gravitate around even in the darkest of nights

Explore a world of production design through a selection of gestalten favorites.