Friday, 18 November 2016

New Definitive Stamps, Booklets and Business Sheets.


New Booklets and Business Sheets 20 October 2016
As mentioned earlier Royal Mail have decided to standardise the typeface/font used in their public communications, and this means that stamp products have to change to the Chevin* font.  At the same time the colour of the 1st class and 1st Large stamps has been changed by the incorporation of 5% black ink to make the stamps darker, and closer to the 'Royal Mail Red' used elsewhere including on vehicles and postboxes.  In Stanley Gibbons catalogues this colour will be called 'deep scarlet' although it is very similar to the rosine used for the 8p and 26p stamps.  The new colour is also used for the booklet covers (which seem to have become more and more orange of late), including the Royal Mail cruciform on all booklets.
* The Chevin is the name given to the ridge on the south side of Wharfedale in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, overlooking the market town of Otley.

These images shows the new booklet below the old, the first class clearly showing a change in stamp colour, but also showing the change to the text.



Surprisingly the 6 x 1st booklet with padlock design was included in this issue.  When the original was issued on 28 July we thought that this was the first of the 5 booklet changes and were surprised when the font looked the same as on red and purple-cover booklets.  Obviously we misunderstood the information issued by Royal Mail! (Here the new booklet is above the old.)


These booklets were produced very close to the issue date of 20 October.  The booklet packing dates and business sheet printing dates I have seen are:

6 x 1st Mr Men - 21 September - [Cylinders not known]
4 x 1stL -  22 September - Cylinders W3 (red), W1 (iridescent), W2 (phosphor)
4 x 2ndL - 26 September - Cylinders W2 (blue), W1 (iridescent), W2 (phosphor)
12 x 1st  -  28 September - [Cylinders not known]
12 x 2nd  -  7 October - Cylinders W6 (blue), W1 (iridescent), W3 (phosphor)
6 x 1st   -   11 October - Cylinders W7 (red), W1 (iridescent), W2 (phosphor)

100 x 2nd -  1 September
50 x 2nd L - 5 September
50 x 1st L -  7 September
100 x 1st  -  8 September


On the business sheets, not only have the font and red colour changed, the layout of telephone numbers has changed from three lines to one.  All sheets are changed in the same way but I'm only showing the 2nd Large here.

The fonts on the barcode and FSC certification remain unchanged in the international standard designs.  The colour of the 2nd class and 2nd Large stamps seems slightly darker than before but this is not deliberate so these stamps will not warrant new catalogue numbers.

New stamps.  The Norvic numbers for the new stamps are:

2914B.6a    1st deep scarlet MBIL - business sheet
2916B.6a    1st Large deep scarlet MBIL - business sheet
2936.6a       1st deep scarlet MTIL - booklet of 12
2936C.6      1st deep scarlet MCIL - Mr Men mixed booklet of 6
2936S.6a     1st deep scarlet MSIL - Padlcok booklet of 6
2937.6a       1st Large deep scarlet MFIL - booklet of 4




New Booklets.  I expect Stanley Gibbons to allocate new whole numbers to this redesign, in which case numbers should be
MB18          6 x 1st padlock
ME7            12 x 2nd
MF9            12 x 1st
PM53           6 x 1st Mr Men
RA3             4 x 1st Large
RB6             4 x 2nd Large


Other new stamps
 
Totally new sheet stamps - we have been waiting for these for some time.  In addition to the July printing we understand that the 2nd class may have been reprinted in February, but we have seen no examples with this date.

2911.6      2nd class - 04/07/16
2914.6      1st class - 23/06/16
2992.6      1st Signed For - 05/10/16
2985.6      Special Delivery 100g - 03/10/16 




New sheet printings of existing stamps:
1st class -  28/09/16
1st Large - 28/09/16
1p -            04/07/16 and 20/10/16
2p and 5p - 05/07/16
10p -          20/06/16
20p -          21/06/16 and 20/10/16
£1.05 -       22/06/16

As the 1st and 2nd class counter sheets printed in the spring and summer have now been made available, and with Christmas stamps in post offices, it seems unlikely that counter sheets with the new dark red will appear any time soon.  However, that does not mean that they have not been printed in 2016 so we may well see deep scarlet 1st class and 1st Large counter sheets with M16L codes early in the new year.  The Large stamps are more likely to appear first, though.

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