Printed Security Features


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Extrem feine Linien mathematisch berechneter, geometrischer Formen werden als Guillochen bezeichnet. Diese lassen sich mit herkömmlichen Druckern nicht reproduzieren oder kopieren, da für die Darstellung der komplexen Gebilde ein hochauflösender Offsetdruck mit 2400 dpi nötig ist. Schon das digitale Nachahmen einer echten Guilloche ist ohne die passende Formel eine sehr große Hürde.

Micro Text

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The very small letters of a micro text appear to the bare eye as a line and can only be read with the help of a magnifying glass. Micro text cannot be reproduced by ordinary printers – just like guilloches – because the display of these very small texts requires a high printing resolution. Only an offset printer can print readable micro texts in full colour. 


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Iris-print (or rainbow print) is the name of the printing technique by which guilloches and/or micro texts are printed with a continuous colour gradient which does not emerge from two grids. These complex printing methods require both a lot of know-how and a special offset printer which allows the processing of several colours in one inking unit. We are there to assist as a competent partner.

UV-characteristic & IR-chcharacteristic

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UV-colours appear to be transparent and are invisible in daylight or artificial light. However, if the printed area is looked at under ultra-violet light (UV-A), the printed image is illuminated in blue, red, or green. Here, the brightness is determined by the power and frequency of the UV-lighting source as well as the paint application. IR-sensitive colours can be made visible with the help of a camera with IR-light or a night-vision device. Both colours are primarily used as security features and can be realised in silk and offset printing.

Neon & Fluorescent paint

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Neon paints have an extremely high luminosity and create a big attention even from afar. Because of that they are commonly used on emergency vehicles and in advertising. On plastic cards they can also function as security features. Fluorescent paints on the other hand cannot be distinguished from ordinary colours in daylight. However, they contain special pigments which store light and slowly release it – the printed area glows 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 customised motifs offer a great forgery protection and verifiability without any special aids. Two- or three-dimensional images are worked into foils and pressed onto the card in a very elaborate production process. Copying or simulating such a customised hologram is impossible with ordinary equipment. Plasticard-ZFT works exclusively with certified European producers in the development and production of this type of hologram. 


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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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The HoloGraphic is a special of hot-stamping and similar to the customised hologram. With a HoloGraphic, very fine structures can be realised in a standard hot-stamping foil. Motif and outer shape are customised and the more complex the motif the higher the security level of this stamping. As a decorative element, HoloGraphics create a great deal of attention and offer an exclusive recognition value.

Pseudo Holograms

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Pseudo-holograms are created by combining hot stamping and blind stamping or by double hot stamping on a holographic deco foil. The pseudo-hologram is also a protection against copying and forgery of ID-cards via card printer. However, when there are high security demands we recommend the use of original holograms.

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 pressed as a run-through motif in a stripe of 3 to 10 mm thickness. Holographic striped are also possible under lamination. This solution offers additional protection and a higher abrasion resistance. This type of hologram application is often used with sovereign documents (ID-cards, driver’s licences, passports).

Material and Surface Effects

CLI and MLI / moveID

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CLI and MLI elements are so called lenticulars or colloquially “flip images”. Here, a lenticular grid is applied onto the card surface thus making differing motifs visible depending on the angle. These motifs can include varying data which additionally complicated forgery.


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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 the card are created through a complex process and can neither be copied, simulated, are printed on. Additionally to being a security feature, a partially transparent card is always a 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 is the name of very small line structures on the card surface. These are created by lasering of the lamination-plates which subsequently press their structure into the card during the process of lamination. Micro engravings are often used in sovereign documents such as a new German ID-card are driver’s licence.

Further Security Features

Security Signature Panel

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A security write-on field makes attempts to manipulate signatu¬res visible. The write-on coat has an additional print that will di¬sappear when wiped forcefully or when chemicals are applied. If the coat is removed completed, the card basis is visible expo¬sing, for example, the word ‘invalid’.


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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 –