Postage Stamp Design (Part 2)
3) Value Text on Stamps
Text is a vital element of the stamp. It is almost impossible to find a stamp without text on it. As soon as stamp got value and country indicated, then goes the text. It might be of a usual function like mail, post, airmail and so on, and also can have person’s name and serial number, year of release and the event this stamp is dedicated to. Some textual elements contain pieces of poetry, country’s main quotes and other phrases of a rather cultural meaning that functional in postage sense.
In some cases, text becomes the main thing in the design. There are stamps in Pakistan that use this trick, and it is a growing tendency among stamp collectors, and it is probably a trend we all will be able to observe soon.
Everything depends on the country. Some countries are bilingual and they need to cope with text in teo languages and small size of the stamp. Iraq for example provides the text on their stamps in Arabic and Latin alphabets. It makes stamps more universal and they bear a real curtural meaning.
As for the margins of the stamp, the textual elements that are used there are mostly the name of the designer or the year of issue and sometimes theme of the stamp. For philatelists these margins and text there is important, as it is also one of the toold to differentiate them, categorize and assess their value.
4) Graphic Details
The graphic detail on a stamp’s design can be divided into 4 main types:
1. Portrait bust – usually demonstrates the face or a profile.
2. Emblem – any symbolical element of the nation or country.
3. Numeric – it occurs when a design is based mostly on a number or value.
4. Pictorial – ant image that comes to the mind of a designer, and it is usually divided by topics and pretty detailed. However, each country creates their own laws regarding what should and should not be depicted on the stamp. UK cannot depict a person who has been dead for less than 10 years, unless it is a picture of a President who died 1 year ago. So, the overall picture design is up to the country.