When the U.S. Postal Service teamed with Warner Bros.
to put Bugs Bunny on a postage stamp, the decision proved
to be surprisingly controversial. Collectors worried
that the stamp would overly commercialize the commemorative
program, while others argued that the cartoon character
would displace more historically significant subjects.
In addition, because Bugs is such a recognizable American
icon, the Postal Service tapped him to serve as ambassador
to Stampers, an initiative to promote stamp
collecting among America’s youth. This stamp therefore
needed to satisfy a wide audience, including collectors,
the general public, and especially children.
begin the design process, Warner Bros. developed a
dizzying array of preliminary artwork that ranged
from the traditional
to the irreverent.
After more than 40 sketches
and color designs, the
Postal Service decided to focus on a postal theme.
A second round of sketches followed, and a mailbox
eventually became the visual element that united all
five stamps in the Looney Tunes series.
by Avery Dennison, the Bugs Bunny stamp sheet featured
a special ten-stamp design and was the first self-adhesive
souvenir sheet issued by the U.S. Postal Service.