Magazine article Arts & Activities

Picture Postage

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Picture Postage

Article excerpt

With the popularity of e-mail cutting into revenues, Canada Post is always searching for a marketing strategy that would encourage people to use the mail.

"Picture Postage" is such an initiative. This popular program allows individuals to create their own stamps for family and friends. This opportunity also provides a vehicle for businesses to advertise a product, event or service. Canada Post gives consumers a choice of two different formats, with a rectangular image area that can be filled with any logo, product, promotional message or photo that does not compromise intellectual property and does not violate hate laws. (The U.S. Postal service now has a similar program called PhotoStamps.) Upon payment, Canada Post will produce a sheet(s) of adhesive stamps that can be used for domestic mail.

Merivale High School senior design students were assigned the task of working within the guidelines imposed by Canada Post's Picture Postage program to create a philatelic tribute celebrating student life.

Designing an effective postage stamp requires careful thought and planning. Students were cautioned about the dynamics of a design that had to be reduced to postage-stamp size. They were advised against using small detail and encouraged to crop their images for maximum effect.

Students worked with the art department's Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Once the high-resolution jpeg files were downloaded to the school server, the class could manipulate their images in the graphics lab. Students were encouraged to experiment with Adobe Photoshop's levels palette, contrast controls, hue and saturation functions as well as the wide variety of creative filters available to graphic arts professionals.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The next step was to simulate a sheet of stamps in the same format produced by Canada Post. …

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