Notes from the Past

(Stamp Design and Printing)

In recent years, stamp designers have come to utilize a printing technique and design element known as "bleeding."  This involves continuing the design out to the edge of the page, or in the case of a stamp to or through the perforations.

In 1962, when the US Arizona statehood commemorative stamp was issued, it was unusual, at least in the United States, to bleed a design out to the perforations.  In this case, the design background was carried across the entire horizontal strip of stamps in each pane.

Though still not common in the US [the technique is much more frequently used now than it was at the time this was written] bleeding is encountered in such attractive designs as the Father Marquette stamp of 1968.  The space-twin design, the Declaration of Independence five-stamp strip, and the Boston Tea Party four-some used a form of bleeding in which an over-all design covers a number of stamps and a single one will feature its part of the design bleeding to its edges.  For 1981 the US Space Achievements issue utilizes bleeding. 

- Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume One A-F
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted November 11, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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