"It appears to be Garamond (or similar) and not Jeffrey Matthews font - the gap at the top of the 4 is very noticeable. I agree this is probably another Royal Mail concoction, just like the panes on your website which have no elliptical perfs, but it is odd that the others seem to use the correct font."
It is not uncommon for Royal Mail to produce pre-issue publicity pictures which vary from the actual stamps - see the publicity image here. The 54p seems quite normal in that picture.
However, today I received the first batch of PSBs (yes, only 2 weeks before the stamps are issued and far fewer working days!) And they are so surprising that I had to take time out from preparing for Christmas to reveal the true position:
Not only is the 54p with a new font, but the 5p is totally different to the regular sheet stamp. In fact, all the stamps are different, with the 62p being the closest to the De La Rue sheet stamp:
From Album Covers Pane 1
Normal De La Rue Machins from counter sheets:
From Album Covers Pane 4
So, Chris, you were right after all! And another thing I can confirm, the Album Covers special stamps on panes 2 & 3 are NOT self-adhesive but ordinarily gummed. The phosphor block, as on the Souvenir Sheet extends to the perforations, whereas on the self-adhesive sheet stamps the phosphor is only on the album cover.
This is the last blog post before we break for Christmas.
We would like to wish all our customers and other readers
Season's Greetings and all the best for 2010 !!