New Report Ventures into Printing Beyond Colour for Security Features

17 December 2021
Tags: Report

Many technologies and features with their roots in commercial printing have made, and continue to make, a substantial contribution to secure document production. However, these technologies have for the most part been concerned with producing visual colours, perceived by the unaided eye as conventional colour printing.

A new technology report – ‘Printing Beyond Colour: Commercial Innovations for Security Print’ – examines the latest generation inks and digital printing techniques that venture beyond visual colour into a domain filled with the potential to generate a whole new set of features for secure documents.

Some good examples already entering the commercial digital printing arena are white, metallic and clear inks. While these have been available for conventional impact presses for several years, the entry into digital printing and ink formulations opens up potential opportunities for new and interesting security features.

However, with this potential come threats. Given that the technologies and features used for commercial printing are often widely available, they are in danger of ending up in the hands of counterfeiters, thereby posing a real threat to secure documents. This report therefore examines these threats, in order to provide a balanced and pragmatic technical review of current developments.

The report includes in-depth technical analyses of a range of dispensing technologies with the potential to create novel printed features beyond colour. These include features viewed in ultraviolet and infrared light, optically variable features, features such as penetrating ink that interact with the substrate, 3D-printed features, and printed electronics.

In addition, the report looks at competing and complementary technologies that are highly relevant to authentication and that look likely to have a significant impact on the digitisation of print in the near term. These include smartphone cameras with multi and hyper spectral imaging opportunities, wearable electronics, and augmented reality.

The author of this new report is Dr Alan Hodgson, consultant in printing and imaging technologies, and the report has been published by business intelligence consultancy Reconnaissance International.

‘Printing Beyond Colour: Commercial Innovations for Security Print’ is targeted at companies that provide security printing and authentication solutions to the currency, ID, tax stamp and brand protection sectors. The report provides an informative technical analysis of what is coming out of the commercial printing arena and how this could be adapted and applied to the security world.

However, as advised by Alan Hodgson: ‘the challenge for security solution providers lies in using their specialist knowledge to combine commercially available, and often easily sourced materials and processes, to create novel features that are difficult to duplicate and alter. Furthermore, implementing these features together with established features in intelligent ways will allow providers to continue to add value and security to items requiring protection’.

The report is available to purchase in printed form or as a PDF download from our estore.