What are OVDs, and why should a business use them?
Optically Variable Devices (OVDs) are holographic images produced by a laser or electron beam that can provide overt security features for businesses. OVDs are typically produced in highly secure facilities. They can be used alone or in combination with printed security features to make it difficult for counterfeiters to duplicate using traditional photocopy or scanning techniques.
OVDs come in various forms, including 2D/3D, 3D, Dot Matrix, Filmed Stereogram, and Combination Images.
Designing a hologram
When designing a hologram, the artwork provided is selected based on the surface it will be applied to and the graphics it will interface with. A design proof is provided as an animated video file and a hard copy color print to highlight and explain the security features within the hologram. Changes can be made during the design phase before the OVD is considered “originated” or created.
OVDs can be registered or continuous, depending on price, application speed, picture security, and aesthetic appeal. A registered image is a unique, discrete image applied to every paper in the same place. At the same time, a continuous design is frequently referred to as wallpaper and is typically created for cost-effectiveness.
Stripes, continuous pictures, and registered images
The OVD will be either a registered image or a continuous image when it is created. You will choose based on price, application speed, picture security, and aesthetic appeal. A unique discrete image can be considered a registered (specific) image (a portrait of yourself). Even though there may be a need for millions of images, even though they are all “separate” things, they are all identical. Every paper that goes through the application press has the registered image applied to it in precisely the same place. This kind of OVD is used on IDs and credit cards.
A continuous design is frequently referred to as wallpaper. This is due to the image’s design, which ensures that all components will be present wherever an impression is made, albeit possibly not in the same order as the preceding impression. Continuous images are typically created for cost-effectiveness rather than for total security or aesthetic reasons.
The OVD stripe’s introduction is a new development. In most cases, the stripes are applied in a continuous OVD design with a minimum width of 10mm. Strips have the advantage of having very fast application speeds, which lowers the unit cost. Because of this, OVD stripe application is perfect for lengthy trips. Both the £20 note and the Euro bills have an OVD stripe.
Metallization, De-metallization, and Targeted De-metallization
Metallization of the etched hologram is accomplished through vacuum deposition. The hologram appears metallic as a result. During manufacturing, lacquer finishes can be used to change the hologram’s color to produce gold, red, blue, etc.
It is also feasible to substitute high refractive index coatings for Aluminium during metallization. This enables the OVD to be completely diffractive at some angles of view while being transparent at others. This item is perfect for ID apps where a transparent hologram is used as a security measure to shield a picture or crucial information.
Selective metallization is a further procedure that can considerably boost the OVD’s security. Following metallization, this procedure removes metal from the OVD picture. It is possible to create designs with fine details, including micro text. When this procedure is combined with a high-security image, the result is a product that would be very difficult to copy accurately. The only drawback of de-metalized security is that it can double the cost of hologram manufacturing. De-metalized security provides passport and banknote levels of security.
A pressure-sensitive (self-adhesive) label or transfer foil appropriate for hot or cold stamping by rotary or platen application are both options for the OVD. The OVD images are also available as lamination sheets that can be used for packaging purposes.
The OVDs on bank cards, cash, tickets, printed documents, and checks are typically used as hot stamping foils with high-speed, precise machinery.
Hot stamping foils
A lot of security hot embossing foils are used by most security printers. They are made to exact specs and applied with specialized tools to goods made in their factories. As some have platen and rotary application techniques, they can apply registered images, continuous images, and stripes. Paper or polymer (plastic) substrates are typically used with heat-stamping foils. The OVD is applied to the surface of a pre-printed substance as it is quickly passed through an application press. OVDs are applied using this procedure to checks, labels, tickets, and other financial papers. Since the application procedure is typically precise to +/- 0.25mm, the production run will be consistent.
OVDs may also be provided as tamper-evident stickers. These can be used for hand-held applicators, high-speed labeling devices, or manual applications. If an effort is made to remove them, the most common types of tamper-evident labels you can buy will either delaminate, void, or fracture/crumble, displaying their tamper evidence.
Suppliers can also create labels that mix security attributes with OVDs to improve the performance of their goods and let customers run a quick test on the label. A product with print and OVD can be much more visually pleasing than one with OVD only. The more prominent labels can be printed with variable data and barcodes, and the labels can also be indelibly numbered.
Cheques, event tickets, gift cards, lottery tickets, swing tags, tamper-evident use labels, asset protection labels, tax documents, parking permits, identity documents, and access control passes are some of the items that fall under this category.