The World Cup on a postage stamp dedicated to the 21st FIFA World Championship.28.09.2015

For the first time in its 95-year-long history, the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak has printed a souvenir sheet of the round shape. The unique souvenir sheet is dedicated to the 21st FIFA World Championship of 2018 in Russia. It is the first issue within the philatelistic program of FIFA 2018.

The author of the souvenir sheet sketch is an artist of the Publishing and Trading Centre "Marka" Olga Shushlebina. An exact copy of the Football Gold Cup against the background of the stadium lit with spotlights and ball cells. It was no coincidence that the round shape was chosen – it corresponds to the shape of a ball.  

The specialists of the Moscow Printing Factory “broke their heads” over the printing technologies. According to Tatiana Ipatova, Head Technologist of the Moscow Printing Factory, it was necessary to hot-print the souvenir sheet and it was offered to the customers, the Publishing and Trading Centre "Marka", but the schedule was extremely tight. And partial varnishing was chosen to add extra volume to the Cup – the main hero of the souvenir sheet. The Cup and the stars on the hands holding it are partially varnished and gleam a little when the stamp is turned.  

The effect of a flight was added to the interesting sketch (that was the opinion of Goznak’s specialists who worked with the stamp) by the application of bronze paste – stars flare up with local bronze dots on the hands holding the Cup and on the Cup itself. It underlines the festivity of the coming sport event.  

The stamp processing is standard, in sheets, and only at the next to last stage the stamp is cut out. Cutting of square and rectangular stamps is an ordinary procedure. In this case we had to cut out a round souvenir sheet. Taking into account the fact that the stamp paper is much thinner than banknote one, we had not only to perform the cutting very accurately but also to sort it out.  

A new cutting plate was purchased specially for the task. Cutting with a plate is one of the major methods of printed product processing, a large number of products and semi-finished products are processed with it. Unlike the chopping-off and trimming processes where rectilinear incision of material is applied, the products are cut according to a defined stencil during plate cutting.  

Multi-ink (4-colour) offset printing, bronze paste and partial varnishing were applied in the souvenir sheet manufacture. The paper is for stamps, chalk-coated, with glue on the backside. The souvenir sheet diameter is 110 mm, the stamps size in the sheet is 37 x 50 mm. The stamp perforation is 12 comb-like. The stamp face value is 100 roubles. The souvenir sheet was issued in the number of 200 000 pieces.

The plate for the unique sheet production was made at the workshop of original and printing plates headed by Vladimir Senchenko. The employees of the workshop headed by Nikolay Vishnevskiy carried out printing and partial varnishing of the sheet.

Everybody who participated in the order production were very worried about the result, as well as whether the consumer would like the souvenir sheet of the round shape or not. The test samples were printed and brought to the laboratory to see whether they would curl or crinkle. The order has already been delivered to the customers but the test sheets are still at the laboratory as straight as ever.  

The commemorative ceremony of the souvenir sheet cancellation procedure took place on September 18, on the day when the countdown of 1000 days until the World Cup of 2018 was launched in the Red Square in Moscow.

By the way,

The FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia will be the 21st football competition. The World Cup will take place on June 14 – July 15, 2018. Russia will be the host of the FIFA World Cup for the first time ever. Also for the first time the World Cup will take place in the territory of two continents at once – Europe and Asia.

Holding the World Cup is planned at 12 stadiums in 11 cities of Russia. The final list of the cities includes Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Yekaterinburg.

The FIFA World Cup has been given to the best team of the world since 1974. The Cup is made of 18-carat gold with the weight of 5 kilograms, its height is 36.5 cm, the bottom with the diameter of 13 cm contains two layers of malachite. The total weight of the prize is 6.175 kilograms. The composition depicts two human figures holding the globe in lifted hands.  

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