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Publicity Photo Or Photographic Essay?

 
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1189 Posts
Posted 03/08/2012   9:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Stampman2002 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Here's a pair of what I term publcity photos as that was the primary reason for their creation. Any photo which is of the stamp image as adopted is without question a publicity photo, such as this example of Scott 1135





Having seen that one, what's everyone's take on this one - also for Scott 1135. It's a similar image with distinct differences, most strikingly noticeable in the choice of the little girl in the forefront. I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say about these issues.



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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 03/09/2012   03:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It seems to me as if they were simply "draft" images that were prepared by the stamp designer for consideration and final approval.

Obviously the second design was taken out of consideration early on. However, even the first image, which is pretty much similar to the actual stamp issued, has subtle differences from the actual stamp that went to print as shown here:



There may be other things to look at, but here are the subtle differences I see in the publicity photo versus the actual stamp:


Quote:
1. Difference in words "Dental Health" and spacing between the letters and the top of the silhouettes heads.

2. Main character's eyes are wider opened on actual stamp.

3. Lock of hair at right side of image is more curled up on actual stamp.

4. More detail shown in bottom of lip/mouth and exposure of lower teeth.

5. Extra line of shading used in collar of shirt.

6. In bottom text "UNITED STATES POSTAGE", the "E" uses longer horizontal lines and the words are slightly less bold. Also noticeable is in the word "STATES" where the shape of the "S" is different as is the letters "TAT".

7. Shading on left side of face is different; more pronounced on actual stamp and higher up toward back of cheek.


Actually, image "proposals" such as shown above are very often used in evaluating a stamp before final printing is authorized, although today it is done much more easily through electronic means than it would have back in 1959 when that Dental Health issue went to press.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1189 Posts
Posted 03/09/2012   11:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I know for a fact these images were sent by the USPOD and USPS (even today) to newspapers, magazines and cachet makers in advance of the issue date to allow them to either publicize the stamp or prepare the cachets for the FDCs which would be processed on the first day of issue. In times past, all requests for a first day cancel had to be receive PRIOR to the date of occurrence. It wasn't until sometime in the 1970s/early 1980s that the concept of a 30 day window was adopted, easing the burden on any post office which was tapped to host a first day.

I asked my original question as I see these from time to time being offered for sale and the descriptions are all over the board. Photo, photo proof, proof, essay, photo essay, promo, promotional photo, just to name a few. Perhaps we, as a community, should start standardizing the terminology. Personally, I'd like to see them referred to as "Publicity Photo - Adopted Design" for those which are as close as the latter image is to the issued design (there will always be minor differences between the mark ups and the final product) while the first image, which is clearly very different should be termed "Publicity Photo - Unadopted Design".

Any thoughts on the matter?
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 03/09/2012   11:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Although they are certainly collectible, I don't know that anyone has standardized the terminology for these things. I would tend to go with "publicity image" (as they are not really photos) as the best term, but that's only my opinion.

Of course, today we don't use these anymore in deference to our PC's being able to send pdf, jpg and gif images. In fact, here's one example of a recent change in an upcoming issue that was subtly made. It was posted on USPS Facebook one way and in Beyond the Perf the other way. The problem with the way we release these images today is that there are too many sources to acquire the images and once they are posted, there is no taking them back:


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