Interestingly this issue cropped up. I noticed this on the first day of issue and thought that our standard of English has gone down. However on closer inspection, it was another type of script and coupled with the shadow effect, it looks like an “x”. I realised the level of scrutiny was high after the issue with the royal titles and the correct use of TRH. It shows Pos Malaysia’s English is high!
I am no expert in script writing but here is a shot at it. Script experts, do jump in and give your thoughts if you are reading this.
I went through various scripts and this is the closest I can find to match the font used on the stamp issue.
Notice the gap in the “x” and the flowing lines in the “z”?
Have a look at the magnified images from the First Day Cover envelope:
This is the magnified image from the miniature sheet:
As you can see from the Pos Malaysia images, it is a stylised “z” with the base being curved up too much. Looking at the top of the “z”, it is clear it is a slightly curved line.
There is also an absence of a “top left” to “bottom right” diagonal common in an “x” in script. Again this is arguable as there are some scripts without a diagonal line. This argument does not apply in this case as it will not match the stylised curve effect of the image shown on top.
This is a more conventional script font (refer below). As you can now clearly see, the “z” is much more familiar to us! This is the main contributing factor to the impression it is an “x”.
Note: The “h” in the image is slightly truncated due to the application.
I would like to acknowledge the use of http://www.fontspace.com/category/cursive in my search on the possible fonts that contributed to the error. The scripts were created using fontspace.
To sum up, the “x” factor was caused by:
(1) The use of a stylised script (which I find is beautiful and fitting).
(2) The shadow effect.
(3) Over curved based of the “z”.
(4) A not so familiar “z” script.
Overall this stamp issue has drawn a lot of attention as it is the first time the British Royal Family has been featured on a stamp since independence. Note: In 1998, Queen Elizabeth II was actually featured on a pre-stamped envelope commemorating the closing of the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
This issue also has a change in the wordings on the emblem (I was told by a Persatuan Setem Malaysia (Philatelic Society of Malaysia) that this error was not due to Pos Malaysia – anyone who can verify for me??) which was probably the only error.
So what next? Well, look for any sheetlets with the original wordings in the market. Sell me one if you have, I am keen to keep one copy for comparison in my collection. If Pos Malaysia prints the corrected Folders for SODA, those will be harder to get than those with the correction stickers!
Okay, so you have my 5 sen worth of thoughts. Any armchair comments? I really hope Pos Malaysia or the designers will enlighten the collectors. That will be the only way to get to the correct version. All the same it was a great hot issue!
Pos Malaysia HQ (Dayabumi, Kuala Lumpur) recently released the type of font used for the issue and the comparison using that particular font for Elizabeth and Elixabeth. I guess it is self explanatory. I would have preferred if there was an official press release. Well, I guess the explantion presented in this page does not conflict with what Pos Malaysia has issued.
Certainly this issue has generated a lot of interest and not to mention price increase in the market. I was not surprised when I was checking out the market that most dealers just replied “Well…, some say it is an error, I am not sure.” Politically correct answer and also useful to justify the price hike! Collectors like me will need to pay more if I have not queued early enough on that day! That’s life!
If you want the set, just drop me a note.