• Issue: December 2004
  • Designer: Michel Kichka
  • The inside drawing: Adi Dana
  • Stamp Size: 40 mm x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 588 (1 phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

What is a stamp? The law states that a stamp is an imprint or mark that the Minister has approved to indicate payment for postage.

During the Telabul 2004 Stamp Exhibition, which was held in Tel Aviv in May 2004, visitors were given the opportunity to design their own stamp. Each person's own design was scanned on to the computer and printed on an official State of Israel stamp sheet. The stamp sheet and frame for the design was created by Michel Kichka and each visitor designed the central part of the stamp. These stamps that were printed at the exhibition are valid for postage just like any other stamp that has gone through a long process of design, checking and approving before it is issued.

The process of issuing new stamps

There are an unlimited number of ideas for stamps. Many suggestions come from the general public. An inter-ministerial committee appointed by the Minister of Communications meets annually to discuss the stamp topics that have been proposed. The committee chooses a selection of topics that reflect different facets of Israel and its people: historic anniversaries of the year, important declarations, Judaica, art, landscape and nature, famous people, achievements in the development of the State and more. The committee's proposals are submitted to the Minister who in turn obtains governmental approval of the Ministers' Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies. Once the committee has approved the stamp-issuing program, work begins on precise preparation. Each subject is studied carefully and background information with pictures is complied for a competition amongst graphic artists. The graphic artists prepare sketches that reflect the chosen topic. Each designer expresses the topic differently. A committee of experts choose the sketch that represents the topic in the best way. The chosen design is then presented to the Minister for approval and the approved design is then prepared for printing.

Today, in the era of computers, it is relatively easy to prepare the design for print but in the past this was a very long and difficult process that required much expertise. Skilled workers would engrave the printing block by hand and the stamps were printed only in one color. Later as printing methods developed stamps were printed in more than one color but the colors were flat and uniform. Once the offset method was in use the colors merged to create different shades and more depth.

By giving the public an opportunity to design a stamp the Israel Philatelic Service uncovered another impressive achievement in the printing field - digital printing. This method has been developed in recent years and allows printing without the need for preparation or printing blocks. The instructions for color mixing come from the computer and the colors are mixed and transferred to the paper. Digital printing is used for printing small quantities.

From all the designs that were prepared at Telabul the design "The stamp by Adi and Dad" was chosen. The design was jointly created by Adi Dana and her father. This design expresses the essence of the private experience of creating an official Israeli stamp. The joint effort of father and daughter represents the contribution of stamp collecting to quality time in the family.

Two additional designs by Shir Cohen and Bar Kirschner were chosen for the first day cover.

Jacob Vidal
Acting Director
Israel Philatelic Service

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"Design A Stamp" Telabul 2004