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Senior Editor, Printing Impressions Magazine

Printers’ Pulse

By Erik Cagle

About Erik

Erik Cagle is senior editor for Printing Impressions magazine. He has reported on the graphics arts industry for 11 years.


Print or Collect Stamps? Interview Subjects Needed

In the grand scheme of life, I like to think of myself as being rebellious by nature. My wife, on the other hand, would probably counter that I merely whine when I don’t get my way. That cuts deep. Your typical first-wife remark.

OK, let’s stay focused. I’m rebelling against electronics, all the digital devices, video games and other impersonal technology that cloud the mind and muddy the soul. Expressionless faces text endlessly as they sit in cafes, occasionally sitting with people who are doing the same thing. Texting is taking the place of phone conversations, in some cases. People are living their lives for all of us to see on Facebook, overloading us with the random and inane.

While I’m guilty of FBing, I never text or play with my phone. Video games, other than baseball-related titles, give me a headache. To me, an xbox is all your possessions thrown into a cardboard container by your former wife and left on the curb. My Twitter account is as unused as a New Year’s gym membership. I don’t have satellite radio or GPS; when I get lost, I just deal with it.

Not trying to sound like your classical curmudgeon, but I tend to believe that electronics can take a little bit of the experience out of life. Magazines, bicycles, kites, roller skates—anything that stimulates the mind and body simultaneously is a good thing in this writer’s book.

Thank you for reading this far, as I’m finally at the point of this communique.

Postage stamps have become an all-encompassing obsession with me during the last few years. It can be stimulating and relaxing to sift through a pile of newly acquired stamps and literally journey around the world, visiting countries you might not ever see in person. It’s culture, history, people, places, cute kittens, tribal masks, comic strips, sheiks, Homer Simpson(!), Elvis, Dag Hammarskjold, Egyptian pyramids, Easter Island heads, the Queen Mum...OK, point made.

When you consider how amazing the Internet is and the impact it has made on bridging the gulf between people (even, in some cases, sparking revolutions), you gain appreciation for those little squares, triangles and rectangles for providing a snapshot into worlds beyond your own.

Well, it’s time that we give stamps their (postage) due. I’m looking to interview stamp printers for a feature on the evolution of this still-viable niche. We’ll explore how the technology of stamp printing has progressed over the years, and what could be in its future.

Or, if you're a printer who collects, I’d be interested in getting your views about stamps, their print quality and aesthetics.

If you’re interested in participating, please drop me a line at and we’ll set up a time to talk.


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