In 2002 I attended a CASE design conference in Boston.
A presentation by United States Postal Service, Art Director, Carl Herrmann in the conference program caught my eye.
When I walked into the room and saw Carl getting his slides ready in a circle Kodak slide carousel I immediate began to judge. This ought to be interesting I thought… he’s not using PowerPoint, old photo slides…
His talk was outstanding. The best of the conference.
He showed work samples dating back to the 70′s and 80′s and every project he showed “held up” – good design (in my opinion) will always hold up years and even decades later.
Afterwards I approached Carl to thank him for his talk. He invited me to sit with him and do a portfolio review of the work I was doing for Western at the time.
Twenty minutes I will remember for the rest of my life.
Carl was kind but also honest – he gave suggestions and feedback in a most genuine manner.
I kept in touch with Carl for a few years after that conference, and when Carl sends you mail its not just a white envelope – it’s epic (see photo).
He would rave about Canadian stamp designers. He would send samples of the brilliant stamps he was working on – two of my personal favourites are his Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) stamp and his Buckminster Fuller stamp. And he would tell some of the back stories in creating these amazing inch by inch masterpieces.
Carl is retired now from the U.S. Postal Service, but I’m sure he’s still creating beautiful art and sending art mail.
I will be forever grateful for the interest he showed in a young fella from Canada who was curious and eager to learn.