I have been somewhat fascinated (read obsessed) with the new spray-on cancels myself. At times.
I wonder what cancel collectors will hold most dear in the future. Or, how to make a cover now? Or position a stamp on a cover so that it gets cancelled with only a certain part of the spray-on on it?
One doesn't usually mail envelopes to one's self but I ran into this area by having to mail myself Picture Postage I made as I thought that to get a true mint stamp you shouldn't disturb it from it's original placement on the backing sheet and just remove the stamps all around it.
I have no doubt that if I were a dealer involved in making money from every stamp then I would have avoided this problem and just cut the backing sheet differently or peeled off the stamp (self-adhesives) and stuck it on a spare bit of backing paper.
However, I noticed that depending on where I placed the stamp(s) on the cover, and the size of the cover, I would get a different cancel. The constant thing was the position of the spray-on. That didn't change much, except for a envelope mis-feed in the machines.
So, would a person collect the date on the stamp or the Postal Code (which would tell the place of mailing). Unless it was a large stamp horizontally, you couldn't get both on. Notice the above Montreal H4T cancel. The date is separated from the code by enough space that ist is nigh on impossible to get the stamp positioned correctly to get both on the stamp. (Picture Postage).
However, looking at the Royal mail cancel from Manchester, one can see that the place and date are all together in one area. Quite a different matter.
Or the USA ones I have seen. Place and date all on one line, all nicely together.
And, in Canada, the spray-on changes by type or size of envelope and by place, as different machines are used in different places of course.
Maybe the trick is to collect on piece a cut square of envelope to preserve the whole cancel? Or preserve the whole cover?
But what if one just wanted to collect the stamps and not have rooms full of covers? Is that possible at all? Or, as a stamp collector to other stamp collectors, why not collect everything and just move some furniture about to make more room for the stamps and covers?