By Michael Baadke
The United States Postal Service is now pulling rabbits out of a hat.
The postal agency revealed Aug. 1 that it will issue a three-stamp souvenir sheet with a lenticular motion effect in association with its upcoming five-stamp set named The Art of Magic.
“The Art of Magic souvenir sheet will feature three identical stamps that show a white rabbit in a black hat. By rotating each stamp, you can see the rabbit ‘pop’ out of the hat,” the Postal Service reports.
The three newly announced Rabbit in a Hat stamps with lenticular effect are nondenominated (50¢) forever stamps, as are the five stamps in the set printed in panes of 20.
The Rabbit in a Hat stamp in the pane of 20 does not have the lenticular effect, the Postal Service notes.
The announcement of the souvenir sheet comes less than a week before the stamps are scheduled to be issued in a Las Vegas first-day ceremony, on Aug. 7.
The Art of Magic pane of 20 in five designs should be available in most U.S. post offices, but not the three-stamp souvenir sheet.
“The souvenir sheet will only be available for purchase online at usps.com, mail order through USA Philatelic, and by toll-free phone order at 1-800-STAMP-24,” according to the Postal Service.
USPS art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp using an illustration and typography by Jay Fletcher.
The souvenir sheet will feature the first U.S. stamps to employ lenticular printing, which conveys movement in a still picture by applying a transparent ridged plastic overlay that alters a viewer’s perception of the scene when the stamp is rotated slightly.
Other postal agencies that have used lenticular printing on stamps include Great Britain on its 2011 Thunderbird pane of four (Scott 2863), Jersey on its 2013 £3 Man of Steel souvenir sheet (1687), Hong Kong on its 2013 $20 Buses souvenir sheet (1593), and Canada on its 2016 Star Trek souvenir sheet of two $5 stamps (2922).
The U.S. Postal Service has previously affixed holograms to high denomination stamps to convey the effect of a 3-D image, including four stamps in the 2000 Space souvenir sheets set (Scott 3411-3413).