Printed Postage Impressions - The 2003 Series


The vast majority of GBPS members bin their PPI or junk mail, and the best that can be hoped for is that they use the recycling bin. I hope this entry can persuade a few more members to pass on their PPI.


Over 400 offices have issued PPI licenses for volume rebate mail, but only the Postal Headquarters series (PHQ or HQ) has topped 1000. Serial numbers are not re-used, and are usually issued in order. Exceptions, Sky HQ 5000, are quite unusual. Policing is by conversation or written 'reprimand' not rejection of mail, so many designs that fail to follow standards are accepted by the nominated sorting offices and enter the mail. Licenses can be obtained by anyone whose annual use exceeds £12,000 per annum, and PPI can be used for a variety of services. Mail Sort, 2nd class, 1st class are the most common, but recorded delivery, special delivery, parcel post also exist.

New Series

In August 2003 Royal Mail announced a new series of designs for PPI to replace all existing designs by February 2004. They could be printed in almost any colour, including negative. A total of 12 basic possibilities, plus many colour and size variations. By March 2004, Royal Mail had extended the conversion deadline to August 2004, and made changes to the design specification. Inverse prints were no longer acceptable. Only two lines of text allowed, upper one reading "POSTAGE PAID GB", the lower one giving the license number. Top row to be 30mm square, and bottom row to be either 55x22mm or 65x26mm.


This display shows each of the original new style PPI markings and examples of a few of the variations. 12 basic styles, P2-11, P16; Plastic P9; license number range P1; Shape P6, P15. All selected for range of colours, sizes, and Issuing offices.


Given the number of licenses, number of styles (40+ standard types before the current range, plus 200+ non standard), variety of services, colours, sizes, many collectors cut down their PPI. Most of this display uses full covers. But many PPI are C3 or larger. Victorian Stationery Cut Outs Again?

PPI have "no commercial value", so dealers don't stock them, and specific items are thus unobtainable. The commercial value of plastic wrappers containing this display greatly exceeds the value of the exhibits, but they are irreplaceable,


PPI and Junk Mail, the newsletter of the PPI study Circle, now dormant.


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. First Class Style 1
  3. First Class Style 2
  4. First Class Style 2 Inverse?
  5. Second Class Style 1
  6. Second Class Style 2
  7. Second Class Style 2
  8. Second Class Style 2 Inverse
  9. Mailsort Style 1
  10. Mailsort Style 1 Inverse
  11. Mailsort Style 2
  12. Mailsort Style 2 Inverse
  13. Use of Bold
  14. Serial Numbers
  15. Special Shapes
  16. Budget Books