Look what I just discovered! The US Postal Service is letting people design their own stamps. You can actually upload a photo, choose a denomination, and order a sheet of twenty. Make no mistake; these are not just another version of pretend stamps that look real but need to be accompanied by legitimate postage stamps if you actually expect the post office to deliver them. These puppies are valid postage. The downside is that they will cost you far more than regular stamps, and, when you factor in the cost of shipping (Yes, you actually pay postage on your postage.), you'll be paying as much as three times the normal rate.
Is it worth it. Well, for me, no. I never write letters, and all my bills get paid online. Six or seven years ago, I would have embraced the service, but now it's too late for me. For others, however, the service may turn out to be a godsend. I'm thinking specifically of Receptionista who has stated repeatedly that she loves getting and sending letters. Now she can put her author pic on a stamp and astonish her friends and relatives. She can have another set of stamps made with the Pinprick logo for sending packages to her customers.
And then there is Bakerina. She's been known to send out such baked goods as camouflaged lemon curd to selected fellow bloggers on more than one occasion. What could be better than receiving baked goods with this image on the stamp? And that's not just a rhetorical question. Bakerina has been promising for years to post pics of her boobies. Now she can do it on an official US postage stamp, which may be a better option for her, so the pics don't end up online. (Of course, that wouldn't prevent me from scanning the stamp and posting the image myself in order to respect the public's right to view.)
So far, Leo is the only person on my blogroll to design a stamp. (Actually, I heard about the service on his blog, not the other way around.) But I'm sure there will be many more. What's next? I'm hoping the US Mint will start letting us design our own money. Wouldn't that be fun? I know someone who would jump at the chance.