Monday, 2 September 2013

Printing Confusion!

Who Can You Trust?

Recently I purchased a lovely Butterfly Custom Booklet direct from Royal Mail. After it arrived, I scanned it and proudly presented it on this Blog. For the technical details I referred to the Royal Mail website. I assumed the information on the site to be accurate. My assumption was wrong. Not long after publishing the article on my blog, it was pointed out to me that the method of printing described for the booklet was incorrect. I had written that the printing method was Litho (Lithography) when it fact, the booklet was clearly printed in Photo (Photograuvre).

To refresh the memory, this is the booklet in question...

I have found that the best way to tell the difference between Photo and Litho printing is to take a close up look at the value and the border of a stamp. When a stamp is printed in Photo tiny square cells can be seen along the edges of the coloured portions of the stamp. This is a product of screening, which is part of the Photo process.

Let us take a close look at one of the 1st Class Royal Mail Red stamps in this booklet.

As you can see this stamp clearly has the hallmarks of a Photograuvre printed stamp. The arrows point to the areas in which the screening effect can be seen.

Conversely, this is what a stamp printed in Lithography will look like...

I guess the moral of this story is to always question and to seek out your own answers! My lesson has been learnt.

Stay Stamp Crazy!!


  1. great tip!! From a guy who has only recently begun collecting these fascinating stamps!