05 May 2017

Always Good News

«Not recording bad news is one criterion that distinguishes stamps from other media.»*

This is a theme I had never thought of.

When the stamp above was issued by Royal Mail in 1998, along with other five stamps showing endangered species, was very impopular. The set included the text «Decline in distribution»at the top of every stamp and incorporates a graph representing the decline in the numbers of these species in the background. It seems that the buying public was «not keen to buy stamps that conveyed negative news". And, "as a direct result of the negative response in the market research", continues the author,"Royal Mail subsequently engaged upon a sustained series of sets of ten stamps to tell an affirmative message showing how species are increasing a a result of positive action.»*

What do you think? Are you keen of buying/using negative stamps?

*Christopher B. Yardley, The representation on Science and Scientists on Postage StampsYou can access this essay for free.


  1. I did like this set, however I can see how people might not want to buy stamps on some subjects. War commemoration seems an obvious exception. There was an issue in the US in the 1960s? 1970s? that said something along the lines of 'Beat Alcoholism' that sent a strange message to the recipient ;)

    1. I guess that it refers to the past, when people bought stamps for sending letters, and not just for collections.

  2. I love stamps like this, and the message behind it.
    Maybe an other reason is the fact that many people prefer colourful stamps or stamps on flowers and butterflies to (almost) monochromatic stamps or stamps on earth/underground/creepers themes?
    However I am sure that there also are many stamplovers who collect mushroom stamps and would love to add this one to their collection!

    (meanwhile I am hoping for stamps in honour of moles, earth worms and 'pissebedden' and other useful earthy creatures :-) )

    1. There is at least one person... :)
      As someone wrote on Twitter, when I posted this, the stamps were more intended to raise awareness than negativity. But still, people (if they can choose) prefers colourful happy stamps. I can understand that, although me too, I'd like to see some unusual themes on stamps...


Thank you for coming. All your comments make me extremely happy.