(Illustrating portrait of Quaid-e-Azam)
By: F. Aleem Sundal
Construction: Light bluepaper of about 60/65 GSM was used. Overall size of the pocket being the same as the issuing authority standardized it at 159x116 mm (considering crease markings the face of envelope should be 160x115mm). Proper folding of envelope is rarely met, resulting variation in size of the envelope up to 2mm either way. The two side flaps were identical in size and shape. However, the closing flap was 75mm in breadth while lower flap was tailored at 68mm with broader round at its tip.
Imprint: Quaid’s portrait - a painting was adapted for stamps impressions vertical green frame of 28x35mm house the picture in brown, this is extending downwards by 4mm to accommodate name of the country in English and Urdu in reverse green. Another element in the vignette is the denomination Rs.2, printed in black at bottom right of the illustration.
Maxims: On the opposite side of the imprint a double lined box of 21x26mm is placed to house Quaid’s maxims; FAITH/UNITY/DECIPILINE in three lines. The box is green in colour having rounded corners; the outer frame line is thicker than the inner one.
Postcode: The postal department has always suggested public to adapt writing postcode on all types of mail. For that, bracketed instruction in Urdu (postcode) is printed below five boxes intended for writing area postcode of delivering office. Postcode boxes 35x7mm and Urdu inscription are printed in magenta.
Reverse side of the stationery has two main elements; three lines for sender’s address each 71mm long spaced at 9mm in between, followed by five boxes (size same as before) and a short Urdu sentence, translated as “sender’s postcode” all printed on closing flap in magenta. The other element on this side is also printed in magenta denoting “Stationery Charge/25p”, but it is placed at the bottom flap.
Under prints: The printer, for its own reference applied two different types of under prints. In the second printing (the first had no under print at all) a star was printed on the right flap and date at the left, which escape sight being overlapped by the bottom flap, in ready envelope. This arrangement was later changed and both were shifted to left flap.
Development: The first such reference was recorded in January 2000, when a solid green star of 3mm was printed inverted on right flap; the colour of star was later altered to magenta. The second batch came up with date “1/2000” in brown printed on the left flap. Third assignment during the period shows the star being shifted to left flap spaced 16mm away from date towards its right. This development continued but position of star altered; as up right, inverted or diagonal, star in smaller size is also common.
Environment Slogans: The month of February witnessed introduction of slogans related to different aspects of human health, nature and protection of environment. Twenty-six different slogans were applied, one for each envelope, printed in magenta between stamps impression and Maxims in Urdu manuscript. The following month these slogans were repeated and four more were added, by April, these were withdrawn.
The printer kept on changing date almost on monthly basis. In May 2000, the star was brought to the left of date printed in magenta, while date remained brown. This month the reign of Quaid’s maxims ended.
Family Planning slogans: Postal department tried another group of slogans to disseminate call of the Family Planning Department. First two slogans in the new series also in bold Urdu manuscript were boxed in double frame of 27x27mm, with rounded corners saying; “Beta Naimat/ Beti Rahmat”, and the second
“Chhota Khandan/Khushall Pakistan, The following month two more were added
“Chhota sa Gharana/Khushiyon Ka Khazana” and
“Chhota sa Gharana/Tandrust wa tawana”.
The last in this group was the slogan, which remained on the scene most of the time.
“Chhota Khandan/Zindagi Asaan”.
The life span of above slogans was up to July 31, 2001, when postal rates were increased
and new large size envelopes were brought into use.
Printing Varieties: Litho offset always concedes printing mishaps; plenty of shifts are known, value coming out of the frame so was the head printed away from its center; missing colour are very interesting; vignette is totally omitted, value not printed; in case of magenta omitted, postboxes and inscriptions are not there; omission of green vanishes name of the country and the/maxims/slogans etc. Faulty registrations up side down are amazing; part of stamps impression coming at bottom or on the reverse side; magenta inverted brings postcode boxes in between stamp and slogan box. Varieties in basic design are worth collecting. In slogan “Chhota Khandan/ Khushall Pakistan”, the inner frame of the slogan is removed. It may have happened in others as well. Maxims design version shows four different types of Urdu inscription on front of the envelope
b) with vocalic sign over second character,
c) redrawn inscription,
d) With vocalic sign over second character.
e) It will not be out of place here to state that Quaid’s portrait was printed in brown and black. Where brown is omitted, the impression will there in black and vice versa. Besides that, the date, which is also in brown, remains intact because both were not printed in the same action.