I love mail. I’ve been smitten since my first pen pal as teenager. He was a boy from Manchester, England who was into heavy metal, skateboarding, and football. We had absolutely nothing in common but I loved getting those letters. There was something about seeing that air mail stamp and postmark that made me feel like I just won lottery. My fondness for mail grew when I got to college. Every day on our way to the dining hall, my friends and I would check our mail – box 1187 in the JCU RecPlex saw a lot of letters (I had a boyfriedn back at home and we wrote way too much). The best was seeing the yellow slip through the window – you knew you had a package waiting for you in the mail room. When I graduated and got my first “real” job, I had to relocate and getting mail from friends and family far away was always a treat. Today I’m on a first name basis with the postal workers in my local branch with all the shipments of The Parcel sent to subscribers. So I was thrilled to see the recent USPS retail redesign featured in great detail on the Brand New blog.
Armin Vit gives a great critique of the USPS retail redesign on Brand New – you really should check it out. Known for it’s challenging retail experience, Grand Army gives the brand a much needed refresh relying heavily on typography and the work horse Gotham. Brand new calls it ” a typographic, hierarchy exercise on steroids.”
The team at Grand Army notes “The United States Postal Service is one of America’s great infrastructure achievements. In addition to being a technical marvel, it is also a storied and hallowed institution. From the Pony Express to the first letters sent by air-mail, few things are so uniquely American. Plagued by budget woes in the modern era – the USPS sought to modernize its image, and more importantly, streamline the retail experience with clear signage, way-finding and packaging. To this end, GrandArmy developed a total re-design of the USPS in-store experience. A robust three-bar layout system was applied to all materials, from menu-boards to hang tags to welcome signs to kiosks and so on. This system holds together a huge variety of collateral. Ancillary materials include emotive creed posters, window clings, a mobile app, and shipping box design.”
Looks like I’m going to have get some samples the next time I’m at the post office.
Images via Brand New and Grand Design