Stamp Guide – Types of Stamps

By Nicole Tinkham
With so many different types and options, stamps can become more complicated than you think. There are pre-inked, self-inking, and rubber (or traditional) stamps. On top of that, you have custom stamps, daters, signature stamps and more. Before making your stamp purchase, it’s best to understand your options. This post contains everything you ever wanted to know about stamps (and more). Let’s begin by talking about the three main types of stamps.


Self-inking stamps are pre-loaded with ink which saves time when stamping. The piece of rubber actually hits a separate stamp pad as you stamp. When ink runs out, you can either re-ink or replace the pad.


With pre-inked stamps, the ink and stamp are together. Please note that using the wrong ink can dry your stamp out. Remember, we can always help you find the correct ink for your pre-inked stamp.

Rubber (Polymer)

These are traditional stamps which need to make contact with a separate rubber ink pad.

Now that we understand the main types of stamps and how they work, let’s talk about all of your stamp options. You may even discover a stamp you didn’t know you needed!

Custom Stamps

You’ll notice message stamps that are ready to order (meaning they do not need to be custom made) in our catalog and on the Keeton’s website. These include basic messages that read “COPY”, “DRAFT”, “VOID”, and more. If you find a pre-made stamp, great! But if you do not see what you were looking for, it can always be custom made. Custom stamps are available in a wide range of sizes including rectangular, square, and circular. Custom stamps are available in black, red, blue, green and purple ink (except when ordering notary stamps). You do have options when it comes to how the impression will appear including typeface, justification (left, right, and centered), and boldness. You may have a lot of choices when ordering a custom stamp but we’re here to help you along the way. Just give us a call (941-747-2995) or stop by the Copy Center to place a custom stamp order.

Signature Stamp
Believe it or not, signature stamps come in a few different styles.

• Mobile/pocket (compact)
• Self-inking
• Initial (only initials)
• Traditional

To order a signature stamp, sign three times on a blank piece of paper in black ink about 2 ½” apart. Email the signatures as an attachment to with the details on what you need including ink color. Do not fax as this distorts the signature!

Notary Stamp
Notary stamps are available in all state templates for official notary use. To order a notary stamp, you must provide a copy of the certificate with commission number and expiration date. These stamps are ONLY available in black ink.

Date Stamps

Daters can either contain one line with just the date or multiple lines with a custom message. These can be all one color or two colors (the date in red and the rest in blue, for example). Date stamps may seem fairly simple but you actually have a few different options.

• Self-inking office date stamps: For lightweight, indoor office use.
• Self-inking heavy duty date stamps: These have a heavy duty frame allowing for smooth and quiet stamping.
Traditional (or conventional) date stamps: These need to make contact with a separate rubber ink pad.
Numbering stamps: These have a series of numbers (letter bands can be substituted for number bands at an additional cost). You can either get a self-inking or one that’s used with a stamp pad and you have a choice of number size as well as the style (regular or condensed).

Art Stamp
Art stamps can also be custom made. When having one of these made, you want to make sure your black and white image is crisp and clear. You can either email the artwork to or bring in the original.

Environmentally Friendly
As with many office supplies, you have environmentally friendly options. Universal, 2000 Plus, and Xstamper stamps all have green options.

As you can see, there are many types of stamps with different options. By now, you may be wondering how to go about ordering one of these stamps. Feel free to stop in or give us a call (941-747-2995) to place a stamp order. We will also have a future blog post on ordering stamps to guide you through the process!

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