Printed Security Features


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Extremely fine lines of mathematically calculated geometric shapes are known as guilloches. These cannot be reproduced or copied using conventional printers, as high-resolution offset printing at 2400 dpi is required to depict the complex shapes. Even digitally reproducing a real guilloche is a huge hurdle without the right formula.

Micro Text

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The very small letters of a microtext appear like a line to the naked eye and can only be read easily with a magnifying glass. Just like guilloches, microtexts cannot be reproduced with conventional printers, as the clean reproduction of these very small texts requires a high print resolution. Only an offset printing press can print real microtexts legibly in full colour. 


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Iris printing (rainbow printing) is a printing process in which guilloches and/or microtexts are printed with a flowing colour gradient that is not created by screening two colours. This complex printing process requires a great deal of know-how and a special offset printing machine that allows several colours to be processed in one inking unit. We are at your disposal as a competent partner.

UV & Infrared Feature

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UV colours appear transparent and are not visible in normal daylight or artificial light. However, if the printed area is viewed under ultraviolet light (UV-A), the printed image lights up in blue, red or green. The luminosity depends on the strength and frequency of the UV light source and the ink application. Infrared (IR)-sensitive colours can be made visible using a camera with IR light or a night vision device. Both colours are primarily used as security features and can be produced using screen printing and offset printing.

Neon & Fluorescent paint

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Neon colours have an extremely high luminosity and attract attention even from a distance. This is why they are often used on emergency vehicles or in advertising. They are also used as a security feature on plastic cards. Fluorescent colours, on the other hand, cannot be distinguished from a conventional solid colour in daylight. However, they contain special pigments that store light and slowly release it again - the printed areas glow in the dark.


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Paints with a latent image effect contain pigments which appear in different colours depending on the angle. Form a normal point of view the paint might appear orange, but changes to a green tone when looked at from a flat angle. Paints with a latent image effect are commonly known from the 50€ and the new 5€ bank note and can neither be copied nor reproduced by ordinary printers. As a security feature OVI can easily be checked visually without any special aids.

Holographic Security Features

Customised Hologram

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Holograms with a customised motif offer a high level of counterfeit protection and verifiability without the need for tools. Two- or three-dimensional image content is incorporated into foils in a complex manufacturing process and embossed onto cards. Copying or simulating such a customised hologram is not possible with simple means. Plasticard-ZFT works exclusively with certified European manufacturers in the development and production of such holograms. 


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Besides the customised holograms, Plasticard-ZFT offers cost-effective standard holograms in the motifs “Globe” and “VIP”. These have all the properties of a modern security hologram and protect cards effectively against copying and forgery via card printer. However, those standard holograms cannot be used exclusively. 


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Die HoloGrafik ist eine Sonderform der Heißprägung und dem kundenspezifischen Hologramm ähnlich. Mit einer Holografik lassen sich sehr feine Strukturen in einer Standard-Heißprägefolie realisieren. Motiv und äußere Form sind dabei kundenindividuell, je komplexer das Motiv gestaltet wird, umso höher ist der Sicherheitsgrad dieser Prägung. Als dekoratives Element erzeugt die HoloGrafik hohe Aufmerksamkeit und bietet einen exklusiven Wiedererkennungswert.

Pseudo Holograms

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The pseudo-hologram is created by combining hot stamping and blind stamping or by double hot stamping on holographic decorative foil. The pseudo hologram provides protection against copies or imitations of ID cards using card printers. For high security requirements, however, the use of original holograms is recommended.

Holopatch & Holographic Overlay

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Holographic patches or overlay foils are applied to the readily personalised card. These foils are transparent and contain holographic element which are similar to customised holograms (see above). The holo-patch consists of a PET-foils and offers additional protection to the card surface. Holographic foils protect the printed personalisation data on the card. When trying to remove the personalisation (picture or name) and reprinting it, the holographic motive is damaged. 

Holographic Stripes

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Customised holograms can also be embossed as a continuous motif in a strip 3 to 10 mm wide. Holographic stripes are also possible to be applied under laminate. This solution offers additional protection and greater abrasion resistance. This form of hologram application is mainly used for official documents (identity cards, driving licences, passports).

Material and Surface Effects

CLI and MLI / moveID

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CLI and MLI elements are so-called lenticulars or colloquially "wobble images". A lenticular is inserted into the card surface, which makes two different motifs visible depending on the viewing angle. These motifs can contain variable data, which makes forgery even more difficult.


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The Holophotic security feature is a transparent holographic element on the card surface. This feature is applied by changing the surface of the lamination-plate during the production process. A Holophotic is visible when the card surface is reflected in light.

Transparent Card Material

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Transparent areas within a card are created in a complex manufacturing process and cannot be copied, simulated or printed on. In addition to the security aspect, partially transparent areas in a card always represent a special visual highlight.

Surface Structure

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Raised or deepened structures on the card surface can be created by specially pre-treated lamination-plates. This results in an interesting visual effect and also constitutes a highly effective security feature. Additionally to the high-low-effect, an alternation of matt and glossy areas is possible.

Micro Engraving

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Micro-engraving refers to the smallest line structures on the card surface. These are created by laser engraving in the laminating sheets, which then press their structure into the card surface during the laminating process. Micro-engraving is often used for official documents such as the new German ID card or driving licence.

Further Security Features

Security Signature Panel

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A security signature panel makes attempts to tamper with signatures visible. The writable coating has an additional imprint that disappears when the card is wiped hard or chemicals are used. When the coating is completely removed, the card base becomes visible, which may be printed with the word "invalid", for example.


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The watermark is a feature on the surface of the card. Like blind embossing, it is only visible when the card surface reflects the light. The form of the watermark can be chosen freely and is printed on the finished personalised cards.

picture credits

© Marina Lohrbach –
© andreyphoto63 –

© svrhologram –
© final09 –

© Dietlinde DuPlessis –
© Taiga –