Design a Stamp Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students will study the design of stamps and will create their own design with consideration for how their design will be impacted by the size requirements of the printed product.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze works of art found in mundane places
  • Research, plan, and complete a design according to stylistic requirements
  • Appreciate the relationship between a design and its published appearance


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.


Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.


  • Sketch paper
  • 22' x 25' final draft paper
  • Individual stamps
  • Pencils, pens, markers, paints, straight edges
  • Scanner
  • Printed copies of US Postal Office requirements for stamp designs


  • Remind students that artists are needed to design many of the things we take for granted.
  • Ask students to think about stamps. Talk about this as a class.
    • Why do we put designs on stamps? What's the purpose?
    • What sorts of designs do we expect to see on stamps?
    • What would the design challenges be in creating a stamp?

Study a Stamp

  • Hand out one stamp to each student. Ask them to consider the following, writing down the answers on their own piece of paper.
    • What is the design on this stamp?
    • How did the artist use the available space?
    • How did the artist use color?
    • How does text/numbers impact the design of this stamp?

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