updated 4/26/2005 8:27:14 PM ET 2005-04-27T00:27:14

After an initial test marred by computer pranksters, Stamps.com Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service are again offering people a chance to put their personal photos on postage stamps.

A new one-year test period will begin on May 17, the Santa Monica-based company said Tuesday. Stamps have also been redesigned to provide more room for images, with a sheet of 20 first-class stamps selling for $16.99.

The initial 7 1/2-week test last year sparked orders for more than 2.7 million stamps and generated $2.3 million in revenue for the firm. Consumers could imprint stamps with wedding and vacation photos or pictures of pets and children.

Despite efforts by the company to filter obscene or otherwise inappropriate images, pranksters were able to order stamps using the images of such notorious people as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and ousted Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Of the 83,000 images submitted during the initial test, nine inappropriate images were made into stamps, Stamps.com Chief Executive Ken McBride said.

In response, the company banned photos of adults. The Postal Service ended its test last September and said it would reevaluate the program.

"They did a very thorough review and decided to move forward with the program," McBride said. "We're happy with the outcome."

In the upcoming trial, Stamps.com will allow pictures of adults on stamps. More rigorous screening procedures, including a "watch list" of persons not allowed on the stamps, have been established.

The company also has hired specialists in world culture and history to help screen images.

"Overall, we've improved the process from something that was very good before to something that's much better now," McBride said.

Last year's test did not boost the company's profit much, adding less than penny per share to net income in the third and fourth quarter.

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