The assignment was to design a group of U.S. postage stamps featuring magic tricks that were readily understood without the benefit of text.
The design team decided to portray five classic illusions as simply as possible so that each was easily understood: a rabbit in a top hat illustrates the illusion production, a fortune teller using a crystal ball—prediction, a woman floating in the air—levitation, an empty bird cage—vanishing, and a bird emerging from a flower—transformation. The artist strove to make his illustrations mysterious and magical, with a slight nostalgic edge to them, but at the same time graphic and modern. He went to vintage magic posters and advertisements, mostly from the turn of the century, to inspire the general look and feel of the art.
Members of the magic industry were deeply appreciative of the recognition the stamps brought to magic as an art form, and the stamp pane has been very popular with the public. More than 75% of the stamps produced have sold in fewer than seven months.