As kids, we used to love playing with rubber stamps, experimenting with different color inks and leaving “our stamp” on just about everything we could find.
This was before the age of computer graphics, so the simple reproducibility rubber stamps seemed pretty cool.
It’s great to see rubber stamps making a comeback. There’s something about using them that makes documents unique–not quite handwriting but done by hand, nonetheless. Each stamped impression has its own shape, patterns, and gradations.
In this article, we’ll share some ideas about custom ink stamps and what they can do for your business.
But First, a Little History
It has been said (though it is still debated) that Charles Goodyear was the first to discover the process of vulcanization by accidentally dropping some rubber and sulfur on the stove.
This new material started to be used in dentistry during the early 1900s to adhere dentures to the gums.
The first use of actual rubber stamps was for some rather perfunctory printing jobs (stamping mail and so on). Then rubber stamps began being used in schools–to reproduce pictures for the pupils.
There had been other predecessors for printing with rubber stamps, such as wax seals (which date back to ancient times) and woodblock prints (which date back to China and, much later, Europe).
In the 20th century, rubber stamps became commonplace and served many functions–as we’ll discuss in the next section.
Rubber Stamps in Modern Times
Let’s chat a little more about rubber stamps in the 20th century.
The Postal Service
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has had many uses for rubber stamps over the years, as have most other countries’ postal services–most notably the postmark.
Canceled (i.e., postmarked) stamps and the enveloped they’re attached to can tell quite a story. Letters have reached many different destinations through efforts to locate their intended recipients. “The mail must go through.”
Rubber-stamped postmarks still exist today, although they have been joined by other “postage evidencing systems” such as meters.
Even well into the digital era, rubber stamps have been used in offices for a variety of reasons–mostly convenience.
As with the USPS, there are stamps such as “Fragile,” “Rush,” and “First Class,” which are used on packages. These usually are self-inking stamps.
There are also personalized self-inking stamps that are made from someone’s signature as a matter of convenience for that person’s assistant(s).
Artists and Hobbyists
Ink stamps–in a wide array of designs and with many ink color choices–are sold in hobby stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby. They are readily available in these places. A more eclectic mix can be found in boutiques and stationery stores.
Rubber stamping is a fun and thoughtful way to decorate cards and gifts, especially when you use the stamps in interesting patterns. Scrapbook hobbyists are also prominent users of rubber stamps.
Some artists will meticulously hand-color different parts of the stamp so as to make appear to be an original illustration–which, in effect, it is.
The Uniqueness and Cachet of Rubber Stamps
In a world of mass-produced products, anything hand-made is special. Just think of the popularity of the mail-order handicraft business Etsy–which, by the way, offers a large number of very interesting and original rubber stamps.
Why do various kinds of artists gravitate toward rubber stamps so much? Well, artists take a great deal of pride in the uniqueness of what they create. But that kind of creativity isn’t easy to set aside when they come across something novel.
Using Business Stamps Today
Time to expand on stamps nowadays.
As we’ve been discussing, there are many reasons why rubber stamps have continued to function as a way of doing repetitive printing quickly and easily. Printing return addresses on correspondence is just one example.
Branding different things by rubber stamping your logo is both efficient and creative. As we’ve said, each stamped impression is unique in some way.
Customized rubber stamps are so inexpensive that a business could have multiple stamps made from the same text or images. These could then be used to make various kinds of promotional giveaway items.
Here’s one example: there is a fascinating website that discusses the use of rubber stamps to apply print and patterns to cut-out cookies with royal icing. They look quite professional!
Rubber stamps can also serve as soap molds. Hand-made soaps with your business’ logo certainly would be an attention-getter!
Whatever your business is, it can be symbolized as well as “logo-ized.” Are you looking for a unique (and inexpensive) way to create tee shirts? Why not alternate stamps of your logo with icons that show what your business actually does?
Think about a dentist’s office having stamps of anthropomorphized teeth with smiles. Or an accounting business with stamped impressions of dancing numbers interspersed with impressions of logos? Great for tax time!
We’re remembering that bunches of rubber stamps with pictures make great gifts for kids of many different ages.
So, it also occurs to us that rubber stamps would make good corporate gifts for employees and business partners.
How about sets of custom self-inking stamps that include one with the company logo, another with the person’s initial and return address, and a third (or more) “just for fun” stamp(s) with slogans, quotations, or clever illustrations?
How and Where to Purchase Custom Ink Stamps
Often, these are available from local printing shops. And they’re not hard to find online, either. Look for an array of custom stamps on this site, for example.
The Final Stamp of Approval
Perhaps some of the promotion ideas just discussed seem far-fetched or too “artsy-craftsy.” But if the goal is to be memorable to potential customers or clients, why not do something different and unique with your brand?
In our highly standardized world, it would be a shame to see an end to the use of rubber stamps. They do the work of printing, yet there is something unique about every stamped impression that is made.
We hope you feel as drawn to custom ink stamps as we do. They are something to be treasured. Why don’t you purchase some soon so you can start having some real fun?
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