First Korean photo gravue stamp issued (1969)

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On May 1, 1969 the Republic of Korea released its first postage stamp produced by means of newly installed photogravure printing equipment. The 7W blue regular stamp features the flag of Korea. The photogravure production represents a distinct advance over the lithographed stamps which have been produced by the Korean Government Printing Agency since the early 1950s. The photogravure production of postage stamps is a comparatively new process which first made its appearance with the Bavarian regular issues of 1914-19 and subsequently has been adopted by most of the world’s stamp printing plants.

Essentially, the photogravure process involves the photo reproduction of the design thru a very fine mesh or “screen” of dots which are etched on the printing plate to various depths to hold lesser or greater amounts of ink to produce the gradations of shading required in the design of the stamp.

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