How Macao Stamps are Made

Philately > How Macao Stamps are Made

First, CTT will consult different channels, such as governmental departments, schools, non-profit organizations, designers or artists, painters, etc, in order to gather themes and topics to elaborate the issue plan of the year, which will be published after proper approval.

Then different artists will be selected to design different issues. The artist will first present his/her concept and draft design to CTT, before working on the final artwork.

Upon receipt of the Artwork from the artist, the designer of CTT will do the final part of the artwork, by transforming the artwork into digital format, and adding to the design some essential information such as the Face Value, the words "Macao China", the Issue name, the designer's name and also the Macao Post Code.

Then the artwork will pass through a process called color separation, the output of which will be sent for printing. Stamps are evidence of postage paid, and are also valuable collectable items, so printing has to be undertaken by Qualified Secure Printing Houses.

Most Stamps are printed on paper by Lithography (Offset) or Photography (Photogravure). In order to make the printing effect more prominent, some other techniques like Gilded Printing, Embossing Printing or Holographic Printing will be used. Sometimes, a product with different odours or luminescent material may be added to the Stamp paper to create special effects.

Stamps can be printed in single, bi- or multi-color. The printing sequence is first the light colours, then the dark colours, and finally black, gold and silver.

Whether or not the Stamps are sold in Whole Sheet or in Mini Sheet, there is Marginal Inscription (letters, marks or symbols printed on the paper margin in order to identify the Plate Setting of Stamp). This information includes Printing House Inscription, Plate-Making Inscription, Color Mark, Graduated Scale, Register Cross, Cutting Line, etc. In addition to this Marginal Inscription, a serial number is printed on each of the Whole Sheet or Mini Sheet of Stamps.

Perforation of the Stamps can be made in different size and shape. In order to prevent forgery, some of the Macao Stamps are perforated with the mix of ellipsis or stars in addition to the traditional circular ones.

During the printing process, the Printing House will present Proofs to CTT for approval before printing the whole issue. Stamps are then packed according to the packing specification and transported to Macao. After passing the quality control measures set by CTT, the Stamps are stored in a highly secured safe, ready for sale on the issue day.

Philately > How Macao Stamps are Made