The stamp-making process

You might be wondering how a stamp gets made, and how New Zealand Post decides what to put on a stamp? Find out the answers below...

1. The selection process
Every year people from around the world write to
New Zealand Post asking for a stamp to celebrate an
event or topic. New Zealand Post uses their suggestions
to decide which topics to put onto stamps.
 

2. Choosing a designer
New Zealand Post has many designers that help to
design our stamps. For each stamp issue at least
two designers are chosen to make rough sketches
of their ideas for the stamp designs.

3. Developing final art
Once the designer has been chosen, they will
develop finished artwork.The finished artwork must
include the denomination of the stamp, the word
‘New Zealand’, the fern and a short description of
the topic illustrated on the stamp.

4. Choosing a printer
Printing stamps needs special equipment and lots
of checking. Because stamp printing is so special
there are only a few printers in the world that can
print them! New Zealand Post has used different
printers from all over the world to print stamps.
 

5. Proofs
For each stamp, a full colour sample sheet is
printed so that New Zealand Post can check for
errors before all the stamps are printed.

6. Printing process
Stamps are printed on paper which has gum
underneath so the stamps are able to stick to the
envelopes. The stamp paper is coated with
phosphor so the sorting and cancelling machines
in Mail Service Centres can read the stamps.

7. Perforating
Perforations are made to the printed sheets to
create the individual stamps. The size and numbers
of perforations may vary on different stamps, and
printers are sometimes selected according to
which perforating combs they can use.

8. The final product
Once the stamps are finished, they're sold in many
different forms depending on the stamp issue. In
most cases, you can buy them individually, in sheets,
on miniature sheets, on first day covers, and
sometimes in special presentation packs.