Howard E Paine

Art Director 1929 -2014

“The face is just magic. . . . I favored a big head, whether it was a pretty girl or a tribal chieftain — even the portrait of an animal. A portrait is a compelling logo.”

Usps - Art director (1981-2012)

You probably don’t know who Howard Paine was, but you’ve seen his graphic artistry hundreds, probably thousands of times. You’ve seen it if you’ve ever licked a stamp — back in the days when they had to be licked — mailed a letter, or thumbed the pages of National Geographic magazine. For more than 30 years, Mr. Paine was a stamp design coordinator of the Postal Service. For more than 30 years, he also was a graphic artist at the National Geographic Society, retiring as art director.

NGS - Art director (1957-1990)

At National Geographic, it took more than 20 years but, beginning in 1959, Mr. Paine changed the basic cover design of the magazine. Ever so gradually, he removed a leaf here and a leaf there from the borders of clustered oak and laurel leaves that had graced the magazine’s monthly covers since 1910. As a neophyte staffer at National Geographic in the late 1950s, Mr. Paine got started on redesigning the cover when Melville Bell Grosvenor, president of the National Geographic Society and editor of its magazine, declared at a staff meeting that he’d like to see a picture there.

A special thanks to The Washington Post, Lynn's and The United States Postal Service. © Copyright 2014