Commemorative Stamp for the Beijing Olympics
ince the first modern Olympiad, postage stamps with Olympic themes have been popular with collectors around the world. With the record participation of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing— some 204 countries and regions—the United States Postal Office called on Clarence Lee to design a stamp to commemorate the event.
Clarence submitted several designs, using paper-cut and brush techniques. The selected design featured a gymnast surrounded by ribbon-like elements drawn by artist Katie Doka. “Even the 42 cents on it was designed with a Chinese chop, describing the carved stamp often used for signatures and seals,” says Clarence.
It wasn’t Clarence’s first stamp for the U.S.P.S. That came in 1992, a New Year stamp commissioned to honor Chinese-Americans on the occasion of the Chinese New Year. His Year of the Rooster stamp was extremely popular, bringing in more than $5 million in sales for the United States as well as China. Clarence was also commissioned to design a series of twelve Lunar New Year stamps, the final being the Year of the Monkey.