I'd love some critique of something I did.

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I'm a stamp collector.  I "hack" my own pages to mount stamps on.  I have recently taken it upon myself to design pages for the Postage Stamps of Ireland for 2011.  I, obviously, think the pages are good, and the people on the various stamp collecting forums seem to like them, but I am more than willing to accept and feedback to make them better.

Here's a screenshot of one of the pages:

If you want to grab the PDF and go all hyper-critical, you can grab it off my blog here:


I'm not a professional graphic artist.  Just a hobbyist having some fun, so all feedback is welcome.


For the bottom three I think it would look better if the bottoms of the frames were aligned (since the headings need to be aligned too that will giva you some "air" between the heading and the frame for the middle one). Now the captions under the frames look weird because they don't align.

Maybe for the upper ones it would also look better if the caption text was bottom aligned with the frames, I'm not sure about that one, but you could try.


Apart from Nermander's suggestions (which I agree with) one extra suggestion may be - depending on how the sheets will be used - to add a small light-grey-scale image of the stamp inside the frame (if you have such an image).

That way, people can see what the stamp looks like when they haven't got it in their collection and they'll have an idea of what to look out for.

It's just an idea though.

The rest looks great. I like the simple design because it doesn't take your eye of the stamps which, I'm guessing, is the whole point.


I think he may run into copyright problems by using an image like that.


I make Ukrainian stamp pages also. I use images on those pages:

My Ukraine pages suffer from a number of design flaws that irk me now.  But I am too far into the design to change it, and I like it well enough.

I didn't do images on the Ireland pages because of the extra work required.   For Ukraine I thought it was essential, since most people would not be able to read the Cyrillic letters on the stamps and figure out what they're supposed to say and where they are supposed to go.


That's an excellent point made by Nermander.

A quick look on the web shows that the UK Royal Mail (http://www.royalmail.com/royal-mail-you/intellectual-property-rights/reproducing-stamp) and the US Postal Service (https://about.usps.com/doing-business/rights-permissions/fair-use-exceptions.htm) seem to be fairly open about non-commercial use of stamp images as long as you don't do anything silly.

This is probably much the same for a lot of countries but others may be much more strict on stamp image usage.

A suggestion - and this isn't legal advice - would be to check the postal service for each country before using stamp images but also put the images on a separate layer so they can be "switched off" very easily if you're not sure about using them. In other words, you can print the sheets for yourself with the images on them and offer a version without the images for other people (unless you're sure they'll only use them for their own private purposes).

It's a sticky and complex subject but you're best erring on the side of caution.


Since I don't sell any of these pages, I'm not too concerned with anyone going after me legally.


Can you align and distribute across layers?


If it gets people to buy more stamps then I don't suppose anyone will have serious issues.

Unfortunately you can't use any functions on objects across layers as you can only select from one layer at a time. But you can align against guides as they're not on any specific layer.

You can set-up a different master page for each page format with its own guides. Then apply the appropriate master page where needed.

It's not quite the same though.


So I went a did some more looking around at the way professional album makers design stamp albums.

The stamps are obviously the focus of the page.  Other album makers seem to make sure the stamp boxes are center aligned and the titles and text descriptions just flow around them as needed.

So I decided to give that a try, and, once I put the stamps on the page, I liked it.  I'll scan it tomorrow and post a pic.

My "holy grail" album pages are White Ace pages made by Washington Press.  Here is a sample page from their site:

Their Ireland page looks like this:


hi apastuszak

you should always hyphenate justified text in narrow columns to avoid this wide white spaces between words!