'Zazzle Custom Stamp' With The Malaria Philatelists International (MPI) Logo

(Published: September, 2008, Volume 8, Number 3, Issue #26) (Table Of Contents)
(Author: Larry Fillion)

Malaria Philatelists International Stamps stamp In 2005, Zazzle allowed users to create postage stamps 'Zazzle Custom Stamps'. You can upload your images and the create stamps in many denominations. With the present USPS rates, you can create stamps with the following denominations: 29¢ (Post Card), 42¢ (First Class 1oz), 59¢ (First Class 2oz), 62¢ (First Class odd), 76¢ (First Class 3oz), 93¢ (First Class 3.5oz), $1.34 (First Class 4oz), $4.80 (Priority Mail). Right now, there are over 163,000 stamp designs on the site that can be purchased by the general public. These are called 'public' designs. Users can also create their own designs and keep them private - this is mostly used for stamps with pictures of family on them. I do not know how many of these 'private' stamps there are in the Zazzle system but I would guess that there are a lot. Topics for the 'Zazzle Custom Stamps' include everything under the sun.

July 2008, I created a 'Zazzle Custom Stamp' for the MPI as seen on the left. It was my second attempt - my first attempt failed as the resolution of the image was too low and seemed fuzzy on the stamp. Member Mike Birrer had sent me a better scan for the MPI logo which is used in the header for the MPI pages and I updated the stamp online and bought 2 sheets of 20 for a total of 40 stamps. To the left is a larger image of stamp (if you click on it, you will be sent to Zazzle and can order your own copies) and below is an image of the full pane of 20.
MPI Zazzle Stamp - Pane Of 20
Image Of Zazzle Stamp
As I waited for the order to arrive, I had an the idea to create 'First Day Covers' for the stamp. I printed the larger sized MPI logo on a bunch of covers and on July 18th, 2008 when the package arrived, I went down to the West Acton Post Office to have them cancelled. When I printed my cachets, I had some legal envelopes which I used first (5 of these) and then I printed another group on smaller envelopes. The first image is what I am calling a Specimen printing as it took a few tries to get it right. The issue is that my printer does not seem to know all of the envelope sizes.

FDC With MPI Logo Cachet (Specimen)
Image Of Specimen

MPI Zazzle Stamp On FDC With MPI Logo Cachet (West Acton)
Image Of Cachet 1

MPI Zazzle Stamp On FDC With MPI Logo Cachet (West Acton) (Large Envelope)
Image Of Cachet 2

As I arrived home with the FDCs, I noticed that some the FDCs had smudged cancellations on them. I believe that the Zazzle stamp itself does not seem to soak up the ink and/or it was because it was 92 degrees that day in Acton, Ma and I did not pay enough attention when traveling with the 'wet' covers and stacked them on top of each other. So, I grabbed some more envelopes that had the cachet printed on them (I printed extra in case of issues like this) and went down to the post office again. But this time, I went main Acton Post Office and had them cancelled - for no particular reason but to have a different cancellation. When I talked to the clerk about cancelling them, I asked if he would just cancel the corner as to not get too much ink on the MPI Logo, he obliged. He may have obliged too much. He barely tied the stamps to the cover and in some case missed completely and therefore some of the FDCs have two cancellations on them.

MPI Zazzle Stamp On FDC With MPI Logo Cachet (Acton)
Image Of FDC 1

MPI Zazzle Stamp On FDC With MPI Logo Cachet (Acton) (Extra Cancellation)
Image Of FDC 2

Table showing the number of FDCs produced with envelope size and cancellation city (total of 40 stamps produced).
Envelope SizeCancellation CityNumber Produced
LargeWest Acton5
SmallWest Acton19

I had a nine stamps left over so I sent three letters through the mail with the Zazzle stamp on them which leaves 6 MNH stamps left (at least from the 'first' printing). These three covers sent are the First Day of Use (FDU) covers. I sent one to myself, one to MPI member and V.P. Mike Birrer, and one to my brother in-law in New York as I happened to have a letter ready to be sent to him. At this point, I only have 6 stamps left - not sure how I will use them? I was told from other collectors that the USPS is not supposed to cancel these Zazzle stamps so if you buy any Zazzle stamps and use them on covers, play dumb and hopefully you can get them cancelled. Also, the ink from the cancellation devices seems to rub off very easily even after drying. Below is the FDU cover sent to myself:

MPI Zazzle Stamp Sent July 18th, 2006, Acton, Ma, to Acton, Ma, 42¢ Paying The First Class Rate.
Image Of Cover to Acton
I also created a tie with the MPI Logo on it which I will be wearing to Stamp Show 2008 in Hartford for the awards dinner Saturday night. Once again, this item is for sale at Zazzle - just click on the image of the tie.
Malaria Philatelists International Tie
Malaria Philatelists International Tie
by malariastamps

Malaria Philatelists International Stamps Logo URL stamp I realized that the website URL should have been on the stamp so I decided to create a new Zazzle stamp; I actually modified the stamp above by changing the orientation and adding the URL of the MPI website at the bottom. I also enlarged the stamp. There are three sizes of stamps that can be produced. Some of the initial batch of FDCs and these FDCs with the Zazzle stamps are in Auction 2 for a fixed price of $3.00 - first come, first served.
MPI Zazzle Stamp #2 - Pane Of 20
Image Of Stamp

I decided to also change the design on the cachet and added the URL to the cachet also. I also decided to create the cachet in two colors: black and a deep dark blood red. The first image below is another Specimen printing as it took a few tries to get it right - I forgot the settings on the printer to get it correct.

FDC With MPI Logo #2 Cachet (Specimen)
Image Of FDC With Cachet 1

Mint MPI Logo #2 Cachet (Black Cachet)
Image Of FDC With Cachet 2

Mint MPI Logo #2 Cachet (Dark Red Cachet)
Image Of FDC With Cachet 3

MPI Zazzle Stamp #2 On FDC With MPI Logo Cachet (West Acton) (Black Cachet)
Image Of FDC With Cachet 4

MPI Zazzle Stamp #2 On FDC With MPI Logo Cachet (West Acton) (Dark Red Cachet)
Image Of FDC With Cachet 5

Table showing the number of FDCs produced with cachet color and cancellation city (total of 80 stamps produced). I sent a few covers on the first day through the mail and I have about 40 of the stamps left. I may use these for postage when I send out the items in the auction.
Cachet ColorCancellation CityNumber Produced
BlackWest Acton23
RedWest Acton12
Other 'Zazzle Custom Stamps' With The Malaria Theme.
(Any of the stamps can be clicked on which will take you to the Zazzle site to order the stamps.)
Malaria stamp
Malaria by dmcnair
Malaria stamp
Malaria by dmcnair
Blue Ribbon Stamp stamp
Blue Ribbon Stamp by malaria
Malaria No More stamp
Malaria No More by malarianomore

*If any reader has any plans to create a malaria Zazzle Stamp, please contact me at malariastamps@yahoo.com