Phil Jordan an art director for the U.S. Postal Service commissioned Paul Rogers to design and illustrate the centennial Cherry Blossom stamp. In 1912 a gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees was given to DC by Tokyo, Japan, the trees have survived the test of time and serve as a reminder of international friendship, blooming every spring the trees are also a symbol of the fleeting nature of time, and the fragility of life.
Paul writes on his blog - “The format is “se-tenant,” a design that runs an image over two stamps, and it seemed like the obvious solution was a panorama of the DC tidal basin ringed with trees in bloom. I did some research into past stamps and found a nice series from the 1960s called Beautification of America, and felt that a classic approach like that would be best. My job was to design a modern, clean addition to this tradition.” More on Paul's blog
Included here are pencil and color sketches, the final stamp design and detail.