National Postal Museum Archives

Phil Jordan Collection

Summary

Collection ID:
NPMA.2023.2
Creators:
Jordan, Phil
Dates:
1992-2015
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
7.18 Cubic feet
10 letter size document boxes, 3 legal size document boxes, one tall document box, and one oversize folder.
Repository:
Phil Jordan was a Stamp Art Director for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Jordan's involvement with the USPS started in 1991 and ended 23 years later having worked on 300 stamps. The collection consists primarily of stamp design files created and maintained by Jordan during his time as a Stamp Art Director for the United States Postal Service (USPS) from 1991 to 2014. The majority of the files relate to stamps that were issued by the USPS while a smaller portion of the files are related to unissued stamps that Jordan worked on. As a Stamp Art Director, Jordan was responisbile for leading and providing direction for stamp designs and regularly worked with researchers, artists, painters, illustrators, photographers, and typographers to bring to fruition an aesthetic vision for each stamp.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
The Phil Jordan collection consists primarily of stamp design files created and maintained by Jordan during his time as a Stamp Art Director for the United States Postal Service (USPS) from 1991 to 2013. The majority of the files relate to stamps that were issued by the USPS while a smaller portion of the files are related to unissued stamps that Jordan worked on. As a Stamp Art Director, Jordan was responsible for leading and providing direction for stamp designs and regularly worked with researchers, artists, painters, illustrators, photographers, and typographers to bring to fruition an aesthetic vision for each stamp.
Of the some 300 stamps Jordan was responsible for, some that are represented in this collection include stamps related to hospice care (Jordan consider his work on this stamp to be amongst the most rewarding); legends of baseball; the Civil War Sesquicentennial; legends of Hollywood; the Indianapolis 500; literary arts; Owney the postal dog; the Washington, D.C. cherry blossom centennial; bicycling; ʻĪd al-Fiṭr; Grand Central Terminal in New York City; the USS Arizona Memorial; Wilt Chamberlain; the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard; and the 50th anniversary of supersonic flight.
In addition, there are portfolios that provide visual documentation of Jordan's work on stamps, correspondence related to stamp design inquiries, and some biographical information.
Materials in the collection include correspondence, drawings, illustrations, color photographs, color transparencies, maps, news releases, notes, research materials, brochures, and clippings. Some materials are in electronic format.
Many of the stamps that Jordan worked on as Stamp Art Director can be found at the National Postal Museum.

Arrangement

Arrangement
This collection is arranged into five series.
  • Series
  • Series 1: Issued Stamps Issued Stamps, 1999-2011
  • Series 2: Unissued Stamps, 1998-2006
  • Series 3: Portfolios, 1993-2015
  • Series 4: General Files, 1992-2013
  • Series 5: Oversize, 1994-2015

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Phil Jordan was a Stamp Art Director for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Jordan's involvement with the USPS started in 1991 and ended 23 years later having worked on 300 stamps.
Jordan grew up in New Bern, North Carolina and attended East Carolina University. After a period of service with the Army Arctic Indoctrination School in Fort Greely, Alaska, Jordan graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in visual communications. Early in his career he worked as an artist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Baughman Company offset lithographers while attending school on the GI Bill.
Later he worked at the advertising agency Robert Kline and Co. Inc. as their art supervisor before serving as the assistant art director the United States Chamber of Commerce. Next, he joined Beveridge and Associates, Inc. guiding art direction for corporate, institutional and government design projects. Eventually becoming a partner at the firm, Jordan left after 18 years to form his own communications consulting firm where he managed projects for USAir, NASA, McGraw-Hill, IBM, the National Air and Space Museum, and Smithsonian Books.
Jordan was responsible for the formats of the
Air and Space
and
Smithsonian
magazines and was their Design Director for fifteen years. From there his work as consulting art director for the United States Postal Service's Stamp Development Department saw him art direct and produce 300 postage stamps as well as other stamp collateral publications for 23 years. Among some of the stamps he worked on include the 2011 Neon! Celebrate stamp, the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps, the 2013 Civil War stamps; the 2012 Cherry Blossom Centennial stamps; the 1997 Classic American Aircraft stamps; and the 2003 First Flight stamp.
Jordan's work has been featured in a number of exhibitions and in publications such as
Graphis
,
Society of Illustrators
, and
Communication Arts
. A recipient of professional awards from these organizations over the years, he was also the recipient of the NASA Group Achievement Award. He is a past president of the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington and was an avid glider pilot, being a founding member of the Skyline Soaring Club and the former long-time editor of
Skylines
newsletter.

Administration

Author
Mitch Toda, Head Archivist
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Phil Jordan, 2015. This collection was initially part of the museum collections (Accession 2015.2015), but was released to the NPM Archives in December 2023.
Processing Information
Processed by Mitch Toda, Head Archivist, February-March 2024.

Digital Content

More …

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Access to original archival materials is by appointment only. Researchers must submit request for appointment in writing. Please direct reference inquiries to the National Postal Museum Archives: NPM_Archives@si.edu.
Preferred Citation
Phil Jordan Collection, NPMA.2023.2, National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Use
The National Postal Museum Archives makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and the NPM Rights and Reproductions for additional information. Please direct reference inquiries to the National Postal Museum Archives: NPM_Archives@si.edu.

Related Materials
The National Postal Museum's collections include many examples of stamps that Phil Jordan worked on.

Keywords

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art directors Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graphic designers -- United States Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Postage stamps Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Bern (N.C.) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baseball Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fort Greely (Alaska) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cherry blossoms Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bicycling Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Supersonic planes Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hospice care Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Owney (Dog) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glider pilots Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
USS Arizona Memorial (Hawaii) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
ʻĪd al-Fiṭr Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graphis (Serial) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Communication Arts (Serial) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Skylines (Newsletter) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Air & Space (Serial) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian (Serial) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jordan, Phil Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Virginia Commonwealth University Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
East Carolina University Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States Postal Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Army Arctic Indoctrination School (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
USAir (Firm) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Air and Space Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Coast Guard Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
IBM (International Business Machines) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chamberlain, Wilt, 1936-1999 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Society of Illustrators (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grand Central Terminal (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Montgomery G.I. Bill Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Firm) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baughman Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beveridge and Associates Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robert Kline and Co. Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States Postal Service. Stamp Development Department Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Skyline Soaring Club Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

National Postal Museum Archives
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
NPM_Archives@si.edu