Courtesy of Royal Mail we can now show the stamps which will be issued on 21 March for the postage rates increases on 27th. I haven't seen any of these yet but the printing dates have been provided by somebody who has: there may be others, of course.
The Country Definitives continue the existing designs (maybe time for a change, soon?), now reissued as £1.17 and £1.40 stamps for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. As usual, these are studio designs, so they may not be exactly the same as the issued stamps. The reason I make this point is that all the face values on these are in the same format, with a new seriffed font, especially noticeable in the £ sign.* Note also that images for the Scotland stamps show the value in reversed-out white, but the head in grey/silver. The £1.05 (thistle) has this pattern, but the higher (tartan) values all have both elements in silver.
* UPDATE: With the stamps now to hand, I can confirm that the denominations on the Country Definitives are as shown in these pictures and are now the same as on the Machins.
Northern Ireland 29/12/16
The stamps are printed from plates containing 8 sheets (2 rows of 4). In all cases the £1.17 is in columns 1 & 2, and the £1.40 in columns 3 & 4, all in both rows.
The Machin definitives are a dreary-looking lot. Nothing at all bright and cheerful about the chosen colours. I'll provide pictures of the actual stamps as soon as I can (see below). Only then will there be any point in comparing with previously issued values.
Royal Mail describe these colours as:
£1.17 Sunset Red – Europe letter up to 20g, Rest of World letter up to 10g and Postcard (20/01/17)
£1.40 Dark Green Pine – Rest of World letter up to 20g (19/01/17)
£1.57 Tarragon Green – Europe letter up to 100g (20/01/17)
£2.27 Harvest Gold – Rest of World letter up to 100g (23/01/17) (corrected)
£2.55 Garnet Red – Europe Large Letter up to 100g (24/01/07) (corrected)*
* Pasted from Royal Mail provided information - should have checked it, sorry!
UPDATE 10 MARCH
Scans of the actual stamps, and we can see from the stamps (if not from these scans!) that the colours have all been used before except for the £2.55 Garnet Red:
The £1.17 is the same colour as the 19p, 22p - and 1st class - orange.
The £1.40 is the same colour as the 60p and similar to the 33p, but lighter.
The £1.57 is the same colour as the 6p, 34p, 35p, 56p,
The £2.27 is more or less the same colour as the 28p, 50p, but a little lighter.
Any other observations will be welcome!
The typeface used for the face values is the same as on the current Machin definitives.
Seems like somebody has visited a DIY Paint Gallery or a new car showroom - colour names courtesy of Dulux and Ford! How can that orange be red of any type - sunset, maybe, but it's orange, at least in these pictures. The Garnet Red of the £2.55 looks quite like the new 1st class - doubtless it is even more blue/black than it seems, but it's close, at least in these pictures. I know we can't have bright yellow, that failed with the 10½p, but the bright blue of the 36p and green of the 18p or 63p were so much more appealing.
We'll be getting cylinder blocks and date blocks of these. Would any new customers who require blocks or other sheet positions please let me know by email as soon as possible so that we can obtain the right numbers. Thanks.