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Academy Instructor and Alum Captures Spirit of Sinatra in U.S. Stamp

Celebrated Academy of Art University instructor and alumnus Kazuhiko Sano created a U.S. Postal Service stamp of Frank Sinatra to be issued next spring. Nancy, Tina and Frank Sinatra Jr. joined the USPS in unveiling a larger-than-life-sized image of the stamp.  The stamp is based on a photograph
of the American icon wearing the trademark fedora and highlights his famous blue eyes. Sano’s design will also be used in the packing for an upcoming Sinatra album.

“Our father loved this country,” the family said in a statement. “This would have been one of his happiest days.”

This is not the first time Kazu has had the exciting opportunity to design stamps for the United States Postal Service. He has created 1970s-themed stamps as part of the Celebrate the Century series as well as paintings of Charles Chesnutt and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for a literature series. In order to capture their personalities on such a small-sized medium, Kazu really had to understand the people he was portraying.

“I listened to so much Frank Sinatra to get what his goal was – how he wanted to be a superstar,” Kazu said.

Kazu came to the Academy from Japan in 1974 and received a BFA and MFA in Illustration. After graduating, he embarked on a challenging, yet gratifying career path doing everything from creatingStar Wars movie posters to working on assignments for National Geographic. His illustrations for an article about an Ice Age man appeared in the July 2007 cover of National Geographic and on the cover of the European issues.

About 20 million first-class Sinatra stamps will be printed and issued next spring.

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