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Holograms & Foils

Orion’s involvement with holograms dates back to the late 1980’s when our team were the first to successfully apply a metallised hologram to paper tickets for Wembley Stadium.

Holograms have since become the single most secure device on documents ranging from tickets to Banknotes.

Over the years advances in technology have enabled more and more sophisticated features to be included in hologram designs keeping them ahead of any potential counterfeiting attempts.

Orion have originated holograms for countless blue chip companies, bolstering their corporate identity whilst giving the utmost protection against counterfeiting.

Holograms fall into two distinct categories:

Registered Image: Where the same fixed image; logo/picture etc appears on every hologram

This type is normally a bespoke design specific to the client and would only be used on their company documents.

Hologram manufacturers usually have their own “house” design of registered hologram that is available to security printers for use as a generic hologram on any secure document.

This saves the cost of originating a bespoke design and ordering a minimum amount of foil which is often more than some clients would ever use.

Wallpaper Image: As with a roll of wallpaper an image is continually repeated to form a pattern.

The advantage of this type of foil is that bespoke shapes can be stamped out of it making it very versatile.

Again, the origination costs would not be borne by a single client but spread over a number of orders, making it more affordable for small users.

Within each of the above categories holograms are further split into different graphic types:

2D: a flat 2 dimensional fixed image changes colour when moved in the light source.

3D: 3 dimensional depth gives the appearance of different layers within the design

2D/3D: is a combination a fixed 2 dimensional image and the depth of 3D

Dot Matrix: similar to 2D but with more complex detail including microtext.

Fixed Colours

It is now possible to have fixed colours within a design which allows corporate colours to be retained whatever angle the hologram is viewed at whilst the rest of the image changes through the rainbow colour spectrum normally associated with holograms. Fixed colour holograms are one of the best ways to prevent counterfeiters from duplicating.

2D/3D are by far the most common type of hologram – consisting of two or more images stacked in such a way that each is alternately visible depending upon the angle of view, displaying unique multilevel, multi-colour effects that have one or two levels of graphics appearing to float above or at the surface of the hologram giving an illusion of depth.

Concealed images

Concealed or “latent” images can only be seen at specific (usually acute) angles and provide an excellent discreet check of authenticity.

Microtexts and Nanotexts

Dot matrix holograms are capable of embedding microtext at sizes from 50 – 150 microns. Microtext smaller than 50 microns is referred to as Nanotext and can only be observed with a microscope making them a very discreet covert feature.

Image flip

This is a two or three channel effect of 2D/3D holograms which displays different images from different angles. The combination of 2D/3D and flipping images can create very striking visual effects.

Covert Laser Readable (CLR) images

CLR imagery utilises a simple laser device to verify the hologram’s authenticity.  There are two types: Dynamic and Multigrade

Dynamic CLR uses laser readable fragments that produce animated images on the screen as the control device moves along the hologram surface.

Multigrade CLR images produce certain images on the screen of the controlling device.

Hidden images may also be created as part of the hologram.


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