Photo Postage Stamps – Great Innovations in Stamps

Photo postage stamps aren’t such a new idea; its been around for years! The USPS (United States Postal Service) briefly suspended the use of such a stamp due to security concerns. There are certainly a number of reasons that the USPS would want to abolish all photo stamps, for example in the height of the anthrax scares a stamp with a scull and cross bones plus the word Anthrax caused a sorting office to shut down for several hours. Although custom photo stamps are legitimate, perhaps getting rid of them would put people off trying to get away with counterfeit postage stamps!

The USPS decided that it would allow another phase of a pilot program allowing companies to sell their customers photo postage stamps. The first stage of the trial was a huge success; however the USPS wants to make sure that these custom postage stamps aren’t just a fad.

What is a photo postage stamp?

Photo postage stamps allow people to put a photo of pretty much whatever they want to on their stamp. There are however exceptions, you cannot for example put pornographic or disturbing images onto your photo stamp.

Photo stamps are useful for:

-Weddings

-Births

-Anniversaries

-Business Logos

-Any Special Occasion

Internet pranksters – screening photo stamps for validity

Being able to put an image of anything you want onto your stamps is very exciting for most people; however some internet pranksters just take things too far. Some people have tried to order stamps with people like Slobodan Milosevic on them, as these could cause public outrage its important for the organizations that are permitted to produce photo postal stamps to have proper screening processes in place.

Along with controversial figures, the other things that must not be allowed on postage stamps are pornographic images, and also certain religious symbols. Copyright is a tricky subject; technically you should only use material on a stamp that you own the rights to, or have permission to use. Other than this and advertising, the images can be of pretty much anything.

The company that supplies the postage stamps are personally responsible for screening, this is nothing to do with the USPS. The vendors themselves should reject the images that break the strict rules set down by the USPS. The USPS is able to find out which company generated the stamp by looking at the information encoded in the stamps barcode, therefore any company not screening images properly could find themselves losing the rights to print postage.

Where can I get my photo postage stamps?

There are three main custom stamp vendors in America , Stamps.com, which has been a key contender ever since the postal services first trial. Endica are also permitted to produce stamps. Pitney Bowes the popular franking machine manufacturer has realized that photo stamps trespass into their industry, and so they are grabbing hold of this opportunity with both hands and refusing to let go!

Photo stamps are a worldwide phenomenon!

Photo postal stamps arent just popular in America , theyre popular worldwide! England has one of the oldest postal services in the world, but even so the Royal Mail is adopting online photo postage stamps. Currently in England you can only buy the stamps directly from the Royal Mail (the equivalent of the USPS), but only time will tell as to when they will adopt the same personalization.

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