Examining the Intricacies of Wildlife Stamp Art

New for 2013, the Bank Swallow Forever® stamped envelope features two illustrations by Matthew Frey—one of a perched bank swallow and one of the bird in flight. Both are amazingly detailed:

BankSwallow-2013-envelope-TC-BGv1Frey’s vivid work also appears on the Purple Martin Forever® stamped envelope, which was issued in 2012 and features a gorgeous and acrobatic purple martin, the largest swallow in North America.

PurpleMartinForever-envelope-TC-BGv1Wildlife can be portrayed in many ways. These two stamped envelopes include highly realistic depictions of birds. But USPS has also embraced stylistic interpretations of animals. Issued in 2011, for example, the Save Vanishing Species™ First-Class semipostal stamp (which is still available!) features a bold graphic of an Amur tiger cub. And the one-cent Bobcat stamp issued in 2012 depicts a stylized bobcat. Both illustrations were made by Nancy Stahl. (You can see more of Stahl’s distinctive wildlife stamps on Beyond the Perf.)

Nancy Stahl pairNow that you’ve seen both approaches, which do you prefer?