Wednesday 30 October 2019

When the printer doesn't replicate the artist's work it seems wasted

The 2019 Christmas stamp designs are excellent, but can be marred by poor execution.  There is little point in having a sky full of snowflakes if they are so small that poor colour registration obscures them entirely!

Top, a copy of the 2nd class Stamp Card, below it an enlarged copy of the stamp.

Our copies of the 1st class stamp also exhibit a displacement of the colours, but not as marked as on the 2nd class.  The booklet stamps are more or less as they should be.

But maybe we shouldn't blame the printers alone. Any design commissioning team could have seen the likely consequences of less than perfect registration, and whilst ISP Walsall normally do a very good job, with very long print runs this sort of thing is always likely to occur on a small part of it.

So maybe the commissioning teams need to emphasise just how small stamps actually are, and explain that the stamp wasn't going to be printed just in shades of blue, but in a combination of four colours.  Still, the problem isn't anywhere near as bad as it was a few years ago.  We still have these available on our shop.



  1. Could someone tell me why Royal Mail ditched using commemorative sized stamps at Christmas, in favour of Machin sized? These detailed pictures are just too busy to be produced in such a small size, as Ian has demonstrated. Was it just so they could be produced in stamp books like the usual NVI booklets?

    1. Just for the record, the Christmas stamps are, and have been for some time, slightly larger than definitive size, although still not at full special stamp size. I guess it's cheaper especially in terms of wasted paper from the backing sheet and booklet covers, to keep them small. It's a very big print run.


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