Security Holograms

20th February 2018

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1. Introduction
1.0 What is a hologram?
1.1 History
1.2 Types of holograms
2. Manufacturing
2.1 Embossed holograms
2.2 Photopolymer holograms
2.3 Comparison of embossed /photopolymer
3. Product Forms
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Foils
3.3 Labels
3.4 Laminates
3.5 Threads
3.6 Packaging
3.7 Other product forms
4. Application Methods
4.1 Foiling
5. Holograms and security
5.1 Threats to holograms
5.2 Holograms in document security
5.3 Holograms in brand protection
5.4 IHMA/ Hologram Image Register
5.5 The importance of training and education
5.6 Hologram features and terminology
5.7 Hologram trade and trademark name
6. Future Developments
7. Summary


Published in December 2003, this report presents an impartial guide and an introduction to holograms as security devices. It is intended to be useful and accessible to non-technical readers, as well as to a more technical audience. It is not intended to be a detailed text on optical physics and includes only a very brief description of hologram origination. The main focus is on the various applications, application methods, security features and security issues relating to holograms in document security and brand protection. We also hope to provide assistance in jargon busting by explaining some of the many different terms that are used to describe different types of holograms and features.

From their invention in the 1940s and their first mass production in the 1970s, holograms have developed into arguably one of the most successful security devices in recent times. Their success stems from a number of factors: their striking visual appearance, the wide range of product formats in which they can be used, and their ability to incorporate overt, covert and forensic level authentication and tracking capabilities. They can also provide a platform or substrate for other security technologies.