Postage Meter Stamps: Beauty or Beast?

There’s a wave of nostalgia and a palpable giddiness I feel when I receive a piece of physical mail and yes, dork that I am, even when I slide a letter into a mailbox (hence this blog).

So, when I take a package or odd-sized envelope to the post office to buy postage I’m always a little disappointed when they slap one of these ugly stickers on my mail:

But this bully little design element got me thinking about franking and inidicia which are both terms to describe this design device that lets the postal system you’ve paid for a parcel’s safe transit.While they are not the precious little works of art that stamps are, they once were.

The first postal meter came to be used in Canada in 1923 and were printed by Pitney Bowes machines. The fact that they are still so widely used makes me surprised – albeit pleasantly – that stamps haven’t been phased out altogether.

Here are a few examples of uninspired designs from recent years:

Image source: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/International_Postage_Meter_Stamp_Catalog/Canada

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