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Author Topic:   Custom space stamps (at a price)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-11-2004 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From USA Today:
quote: today announces a service that allows people to design their own postage — from kids to cats to corporate logos — on their computers.


A sheet of 20 self-adhesive, 37-cent PhotoStamps costs $16.99, more than twice the $7.40 cost of a sheet of traditional First Class stamps. (There's also a $2.99-per-order shipping and handling charge.) The personalized stamps also are available in other denominations, including 23-cent postcard (20 for $13.99) and $3.85 1-pound Priority Mail (20 for $89.99).

The process is simple: Log on to, upload an image, edit the design, place an order. The stamps arrive in four to seven business days. Next to the design is a bar code and unique serial number to prevent counterfeiting.

PhotoStamps fall under the USPS regulations for metered mail, so they are exempt from the regular-stamps rules that no living people can be featured and that those dead must be gone for 10 years (except for historic and presidential stamps).

There are PhotoStamp limits: no nudity, no controversial or politically partisan images and no copyrighted material. Fans hoping to honor, say, the New York Yankees or Jennifer Lopez won't get a stamp of approval.


Humans, not machines, will screen each image to make sure it complies with company guidelines. During a brief trial period last week, the most submitted images were babies, pets and family photos.

Assuming's employees are savvy enough to recognize the distinction, NASA photographs are public domain and should be permissible for stamp placement.

This could then hold some interesting possibilities for (very) custom event cancellations. Imagine: a launch cover with a picture of the launch itself on the stamp (using the USPS 30-day grace period). Or a crew emblem cover with a stamp featuring the emblem as well.

That said, the American Philatelic Society does not expect stamp collectors to show much interest. "At almost $1 apiece, stamp collectors are unlikely to buy into them, [Janet] Klug [president of the APS] says. They are 'very thrifty individuals.'"

What do you think?

Hart Sastrowardoyo

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-12-2004 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ask the Canadians... they've had stickers where people can put their photo on, then place said sticker in a stamp frame bearing Canadian postage rates. I believe they're doing well. I don't have exact figures, but I think they've issued a second or third round of frames (the first frames being either picture frame-looking frames, or frames looking like holiday packages.)


Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 08-12-2004 05:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Other postal administrations have inaugurated similar features: Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Austria, etc.

I have not seen any sales figures for them. Pricing varies in those countries - and I personnally opted against the Belgian type as I found the price outrageous. But I know that in Austria they are very popular. I have seen stamps honoring Chinese cosmonaut Yang lately, they were sold out from the issuing club in a pop. Another issue commemorating the ISS was put up by a German club - I don't know about sales results yet.

Personnally, I have just seen my bid for a stamp commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the 1st V-2 launch to London refused by the Netherlands. Despite our explanation of the public domain nature of the NASA images, they camped on their position that using a photograph of Wernher von Braun required authorization of the latter. Tough to get ....

Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

New Member


posted 08-12-2004 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan   Click Here to Email Alan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were the Belgians not the first to do this ?
I thought so !


Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 08-12-2004 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My recollection would be that the Australians were first, but the Belgians were a close second.

Their first attempt was on the International Stamp Exhibition in Brussels in 2000 - they had a stand with digital cameras mounted and printed the stamp sheets on the spot. I still have the sheets with my own portrait .....

Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

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