Most of you will recognize this logo, the beloved eagle of the U.S. Postal Service:
Now, I’ve just spent several hours using my deft computer-artistry skills to highlight how, I gather, we’re supposed to visually parse this image. I have colored the eyes blue, the beak yellow, the wings brown, and the talons orangeish. Et voila le result:
Hopefully, if you’re sane, this is how you already saw it. But me? I never saw an eagle at all. Instead – well into my tweens – I always saw a strange, little, badly-drawn mailman with a hat, striking an odd pose & doing a sort of kick with his obscured right leg, holding what I now think must be a napkin draped over one arm, and ceremoniously presenting a letter to the viewer (is he a mailman or a waiter?) with the other. Something a little bit like this:
I always wondered why the U.S. Postal Service saw this as a good logo, thought mailmen would ever stand this way (and I could never quite parse how he was meant to be standing), and why they didn’t know what their own hats looked like.
But, I just understood it to be a highly-stylized impression of a mailman, something like an example of (what I might have later learned to call) cubism or futurism or somesuch, and just figured I had a lot to learn about the basis for and background of the U.S. Postal Service logo. Great mysteries awaited me, and that was ok.
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