RPSC panellists explore innovations in exhibiting

By Diana Revelins

The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC)’s latest Stamp Panel featured ideas on how to make exhibits visually inviting.

Kathy Johnson, both an exhibitor and a philatelic judge, created and competitively exhibited 28 multi-frame and 14 single-frame exhibits across the classes of exhibit types, and countries of origin. She had tips on how planning storylines can help with your exhibits.

“A lot of the title pages we see are really bogged down, and are not inviting,” she said. “Remove some of the lengthy background and historic perspective, and have just a sentence or two. Get more into that on pages two, three, et cetera, but don’t have the title page be a whole block of text.”

The title page is important and should clearly identify what you’re presenting. A statement of purpose should follow shortly after the title.

“People are worried about the chronology and that’s important,” Johnson continued, “but be careful about showing items prior to the time that the exhibit is about.

“Time spent on a very clear title page is a great invitation to your exhibit. Pick a nice looking font and be short on words.”

Some general blocking tips:

• Title should run along the top (could be a title across two pages)

• Include space for your purpose and scope

• Exhibit plan should be general rather than listing everything

• Provide the nature of the rarity

“The exhibit plan drives the heading that you use, so spend some time looking at this in a very aggregate way,” Johnson added. “Just block and tackle your scope right up front.”


Duncan Barber, a well-known judge and exhibitor, started collecting stamps around 1966 and may be the only person to help with mounting exhibits at all four modern CAPEX shows (1978, 1987, 1996, and 2022). He presented some insights on paper usage for exhibiting.

“The most common page size used is ‘letter’ (8.5 by 11 inches), and is almost always shown as ‘portrait,’” he said. “Double sheets are twice as wide (11 by 17 inches) and are called ‘ledger’ when used in landscape mode and ‘tabloid’ when used vertically.”

Advantages of ledger pages include:

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