The art of stamp collecting

I will use this discussion topic in the coming weeks to share philatelic images I've created over the past several years.

I stopped collecting stamps over 20 years ago. I had realized that designing informative and visually interesting album pages was more fun (and cheaper!) that collecting the stamps. My experimentation with album page design led to my creating a few prints to sell as well as several digital designs that I created just for fun. I was already proficient in the use of the Photoshop software and used for much of this work. (I also used Microsoft Publisher and Coreldraw in the beginning for much of the album page design work.)

The title of this HipStamp discussion is based on my American Philatelist article that was published in their June 2011 issue. That six-page article displayed examples of album pages and prints I had created. I'll use this discussion to share some of those images along with other work, including digital framed stamps and some design elements that have never made it into any design project.


The following are the first four pages of an Ascension collection. These pages are designed for a three-ring binder, but I also experimented with a design for Lindner T-blank pages. I didn't photograph or scan the pages themselves to create these page images. The stamps had already been scanned separately and I placed the stamp images individually on the digital pages using Photoshop to demonstrate how they would look.

Ascension album title page w Downeaster painting share online

Ascension 3-ring album page 2 share online

Ascension 3-ring album page 3 share online

Ascension 3-ring album page 4 share online


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Wow! Gorgeously designed, written and laid out, Tom!

    Please show more! :smiley:
  • edited May 15 1 LikesVote Down
    Thanks, Dave! That's an especially appreciated compliment coming from you!!!!

    More will be coming..................
  • Absolutely beautiful, Tom. Love the small watermark image, too.
  • edited May 15 1 LikesVote Down
    Thomas, really nice work! The story and details behind the actual stamps, embellish their beauty.
  • Thank you Jeri and Andrew for your comments. Much appreciated!
  • This is a photograph of a framed copy of the Ascension print I produced. It was the first philatelic print I attempted and was created in 1998 or 1999. If I were creating this today, I would make a couple of changes. The image size is 12 by 17 inches; overall frame size is 18 x 23½ inches. Dad made the (red oak?) frame.

    Ascension Island framed print smaller
  • This first image was an alternate print design I created somewhat later than the framed example. The image size is 12 by 17 inches and would have been printed on standard 13 by 19 inch paper. The background is actually a scanned piece of 19th century blank paper from a large format book. Instead of the flag, I used the actual vignette from the stamps in this set. I enlarged and modified it in Photoshop. The compass is a modified and enlarged piece of clipart as is the sextant at the bottom of the print. The globe was one of a set of clipart images showing Earth at various points in its rotation. I modified this in Coreldraw and added the wraparound title and copyright text before exporting it to Photoshop and adding it to the print design. The lines across the bottom as well as the compass and the lines associated with the compass were added to suggest the background was part of a navigation chart.

    The second image shows the stamp vignette, much enlarged, as the centerpiece of the print. The stamp and the name tablet from the stamp are the other two elements of the design. I never actually finished way back when, but spent some time making it more presentable today. The size of this piece is 8.5 by 6.25 inches, but it would probably require additional refinement before printing.

    For those who haven’t yet noticed, this set of stamps was a favorite of mine!

    Ascension 12.5 x 18 with stamp vignette alternative share online border

    Ascension 21 with vignette as background and with ASCENSION tablet 700px
  • Beautiful work, Tom.
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