How can we advertise with stamps?

In the Netherlands we have been allowed to design our own stamps since 1998, making us one of the few who are able to do this, many countries still prohibit designing your own stamps. But how do we get our own stamp? And what are the conditions? Personal stamps add a flair to every letter that is sent or are a piece of advertising for the company that had such a stamp designed.

The stamp

We all know it, the small piece of paper that you stick on an envelope or package to send it. Until 1998, there was only a fixed selection of stamps that could be used, namely stamps with, for example, someone from the royal family on them or a special theme. (Just think of Christmas stamps or an anniversary). If a human was depicted, it was a requirement that he was also dead. Living people can do crazy things and such a stamp travels all over the world! This still applies in America, so you won’t find Obama on a postage stamp in the short term. Since 1998 it has been possible to have your own stamps printed in the Netherlands. Previously, permission had to be requested from the Minister of Water Management and Transport. Today you only have to ask permission from PostNL and, if someone from the royal family is being printed: also permission from the Queen’s Minister.

Conditions of advertising

There are two types of ‘personal’ stamps that can be made. There are specials, which are often the sheets of stamps that you see on Valentine’s Day, or with a theme of art and culture, a tradition or an anniversary. These are the stamps that can be purchased by anyone at, for example, the post office or Dr Bruna. The requirements for these types of stamps are very strict, of course no offensive or hurtful matters may be included, religion is not allowed, no bloody scenes, hateful texts or sex. The process to produce such a stamp goes as follows: You write a letter in which you motivate your suggestion, for example the 100th anniversary of a national company (such as Dauwe Egberts). It is important that the idea is original and that it the Netherlands represented. There is no point in submitting a design yourself, PostNL has its own designers. If the idea is found interesting, a designer, who is only asked once every five years to maintain diversity in designs, is given the idea, usually works on it for a month and then comes back with his or her idea. With each new theme we try to use a different type of artist, for example PostNL uses sculptors, photographers, draftsmen and architects. PostNL prefers various layers of stamps, so they are very fond of stamps that have scratch layers, for example, or their own scent or even a 3D-like stamp.

Example: Personal stamp / Source: Neveah

Personal stamps

It is also possible to make personal stamps. These stamps will not be available in stores but will be sent to you for a fee of 9 euros for 10 stamps. Here too, the stamp is in no way violent, offensive, offensive, religious, bloody or hateful. Sex is of course also excluded. Ultimately, the stamp passes from hand to hand and you never know exactly whose hands it will end up in during the processing process. To make your own stamp follow the following steps:

  1. Go to PostNL personal stamp
  2. Choose your own image or use the online catalog at PostNL to choose a suitable photo and, if necessary, choose a background color.
  3. In the photo preview, edit the position and size of the photo.
  4. Choose whether you want the texts around the photo to be orange or gray and whether you want them to be in double size.
  5. Choose the number of sheets.
  6. Enter your name, address and other details and choose the payment method.

History of the postage stamp




Mail was delivered in the hope that the recipient would pay money for it.


An aristocrat decided that it was ridiculous that the recipient had to pay for the post, so he introduced Postage Receipt.


In the Netherlands it is now also possible to pay in advance when sending mail. However, this is not necessary.


After French rule, the Netherlands obtained a postal law, the postal service became part of the Ministry of Finance and the government set postal rates.


The Scottish Hames Chalmer invented the postage stamp, on May 6, 1840 England was the first country to have an adhesive postage stamp. The name of this stamp is Penny Black because it is printed in black. It depicts the head of Queen Victoria.


The Netherlands now also has its own stamp, this stamp is blue and costs 5 cents, the stamp shows the head of King Willem III.


The first stamps with a serrated edge are printed, now the stamps can be torn off instead of cut off.


From now on you always have to pay for your mail and the amount is based on the weight, not the distance.


From now on, photos will also be introduced into the stamp market.


Since 1998, personal stamps have been allowed to be printed in the Netherlands.