The duel was concluded by Nicolas: despite its human, that is financial, cost to Phil@poste, there has to be engraved postage stamps printed in intaglio in France's philatelic program. With a number and a quality of issues sufficient to please the collectors-electors-clients.
How Phil@poste can make profitable this upper order and please the down buyers?
To call known engravers. No problem in France where these artists sign their stamps and are known and interviewed by regular collectors. For the Avignon palace of Popes stamp, Martin Mörck's touch is a quality proof for mixed printing in offset and intaglio.
Let's put the perforations to the right of the sheet. Reduce the left margin and we have a large right margin, large enough to include engraved portraits of the popes who lived in Avignon.
Sale potential: ten stamps with their margin.
Plus the beautiful postage amateurs who were missing commemorative stamps for the European Union and Switzerland.
But, some well placed color markers can suffice. They are, apparently, a necessity for the printers and the quality controllers at Phil@poste Boulazac, the French postal printing plant near Périgueux.
On the Menton stamp by Ève Luquet, the margin is pretty with these pastels: yellow, pink, clear blue for the sea, clearer to the sky...
Sale potential: two to three margin stamps.
Marketing can - sometimes - be useful, inspired and discreet. That is the France I like.