This summer, The U.S. Postal Service will release another first-of-its-kind interactive stamp, but this time, the stamps will depict our nation's favorite pastime(s) — sports. The Have a Ball! Forever stamps will be available nationwide on June 14 and will comprise a 16-pane sheet with two stamps each of basketballs, baseballs, footballs, golf balls, kickballs, soccer balls, tennis balls and a volleyballs, according to the USPS press release.
However, these round stamps aren't your every day, run-of-the-mill Forever stamps; they will mimic the feel of real sports balls. The press release describes the stamps as featuring textures mimicking:
- baseball’s stitching;
- golf ball’s dimples;
- tennis ball’s seams;
- soccer ball or volleyball’s textured panels; and,
- the different raised patterns of a football, basketball and kickball.
Mark Saunders, senior public relations representative at USPS, told Printing Impressions in an email that the high viscosity, UV coating that was used on the stamps creates a feeling "similar to an emboss with a tactile feel." He explained that the coating was applied "using a laser-imaged flexo plate coupled with a high volume anilox sleeve" as a spot application.
The idea for the stamps came from a pool of 40,000 stamp suggestions that the USPS receives every year, according to Saunders. He continued by explaining the process taken to choose the subject matter of the stamps:
"These suggestions are reviewed by the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee and brought together as a stamp issuance working with the Committee, USPS contract art directors and the Stamp Development Postal Service staff. Working together, we strive to create stamps that interesting, engaging and reflect the best of America."
USPS is encouraging customers who buy the stamps to share them on social media with the hashtag #Haveaballstamps.