Noyes has developed a sixth sense for identifying stamp-friendly artworks over the years. “Your eye gets better and better at figuring out what is going to work and what isn’t at this little one-inch scale,” she said.
Another aspect to consider when designing stamps, Noyes said, is how the individual stamps work together on a sheet. “There’s a dialogue between them,” she said. Take Kelly’s Blue Red Rocker, a 1963 sculpture in primary shades of blue and red. Catty-corner on the sheet of stamps is Red Blue (1964), a painting that echoes the sculpture’s colors and shapes. “One’s flat and one’s sculptural,” Noyes said, “but you can see that they’re related, so there’s that going on as you place these on a page.”
Another concern when arranging the Kelly stamps was that South Ferry (1956)—the only work in black and white—was too visually dominant. “Does that pop out too much?” Noyes wondered. “Or does it work well because there are others with similar shapes, maybe in different colors, that balance each other out?” In the end, she decided that placing it along the edge kept it from overwhelming the other works.