OVDs Shine at Global Forums

Optical technologies, including holograms, continue to garner global accolades of , recently winning several awards at different events. From high-security applications to packaging, the technology is once again demonstrating its diverse range and colour in securing the world’s best brands, documents and banknotes.

In this article, Holography News™ (HN) reviews some of the winning developments.

IACA Awards

Firstly, from the International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA) 2024, Excellence in Currency Technical Awards. Sponsored by Currency News, these were presented at the recently held Banknote Conference on 15 May 2024 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The winner of the Best New Banknote Features, Product or Process was Louisenthal for its Green LongLife™ banknote, engineered for both durability and the minimal use of plastic. Launched last year, it has a life twice that of standard cotton substrates and a high biobased content. Green LongLife™ can also host a dynamic range of security features.

Specific attributes of Green LongLife include 50% FSC C1388716 wood pulp, 100% certified organic cotton, a soil repellent paper coating based on renewable raw material, mineral oil free use of Simultan inks and transfer with 70% recycled content for the Galaxy® thread and RollingStar® LEAD Mix (a combination of hologram and micromirror technology) in the note. This is the second award for the note, the RollingStar LEAD Mix having won the Best Applied Security Product category in the IHMA Excellence in Holography Awards 2023.

At the same awards, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) won the Best Limited Circulation/Commemorative Banknote category for the $2 note issued to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Designed and produced by De La Rue in close collaboration with the ECCB on SAFEGUARD polymer, the front of the multi-coloured note features legendary West Indies cricket star Sir Viv Richards, also known affectionately as ‘The Master Blaster’, as well as the 40th anniversary bank logo, turtles, and fish. The back of the vertically designed note combines fish, coral, turtles and a map of the islands in contrasting bright blue.

The banknote’s visual impact is enhanced by features including the first appearance of an aqua-blue tinted holographic foil, turtle imagery, along with the silver of the Argentum and vibrant colours of the ILLUMINATE™ feature within the note’s window.

It was the second award for the banknote in as many days. The previous day, the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announced that the $2 note had been voted winner of its Banknote of the Year Award for 2023 by an overwhelming majority.

The ECCB then scored a hat trick by winning the Best Commemorative Banknote in the Regional Banknote of the Year awards presented on 6 June at the High Security Printing (HSP) conference in Santiago, Chile, which focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean.

To complete the roster of awards featuring holograms, Bundesdruckerei (BDR) won the award in IACA’s Best House Note category for its Ignis house note. The name Ignis is derived from the Latin name for fire, denoting brightness and passion.

The designs and motifs on the note all celebrate different aspects of fire – from the dazzling sun on the front and the temperature at which it burns (6000°C) to the flames in a foil stripe on the reverse, and a three dimensional representation of the alchemic symbol for fire.

The substrate is Landqart’s Durasafe paper-polymer-paper composite, with the paper layers dyed directly at the papermill with the blackest black ever used for banknotes. This is a new level 1 anticopy feature because copies will always appear grey compared to the original.

Furthermore, dark banknotes can be made even more secure by using a whole new spectrum of colours and effects.

The house note contains various security features ranging from luminescent inks excited by black light that can also be used to print light on a black substrate, and a chip with a thickness of just 70 microns which incorporated into the Durasafe layers in the cavity of a half window to serve as a bridge between physical banknotes and digital payments. Protecting the chip is an Applied Patch Label (APL) from KURZ, with dynamic diffractive effects set perfectly on the black background. As such, the APL serves the dual function of protecting the chip and the banknote itself.

A KINEGRAM COLORS laminating foil from KURZ was applied in register to the reverse of the note, showing the image of flickering flames to their best advantage against the dark background. The fiery theme concludes with a three-dimensional triangle, which is the alchemical symbol for fire, created with SICPA’s SPARK Flow.

BDR created the Ignis note by partnering with SICPA, Landqart, KURZ, Zeiser, Infineon, Gietz, and Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions.

Hologram & OVI mark their presence in IDs 

Even ID documents were not behind in winning awards for OVDs.

At the recent HSP Latin America conference, the Canadian, B’ Series ePassport won the joint award for best regional passport. As there is no separate HSP conference or awards programme for North America, the award to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for the new Canadian ePassport was presented alongside the HSP Latin America awards.

First issued in 2023, the polycarbonate data page is embedded with a chip visible in a transparent window. Designed and developed by Canadian Bank Note Company, in addition, it includes a KINEGRAM, Diffractive Identity Device (DID), OVI, Optically Variable Magnetic Ink, and other security features that demonstrate what can be accomplished when the fundamentals of security printing are leveraged to their maximum.

Meanwhile, the Best New Regional ID Card award was made jointly to Panama’s Electoral Tribunal and the National Registry Directorate, along with Mühlbauer ID Services, for the Panamanian identity card.

The polycarbonate ID card is personalised by laser engraving and contains enhanced security measures, including holograms and optical variable ink (OVI) that are visible in natural and UV illumination.

Packaging shines with holography

Shifting from high security to packaging, FSEA gold leaf awards once again recognise the innovative work of hologram companies.

Foil and Specialty Effect Association (FSEA) organised the 31st Annual FSEA Gold Leaf Awards this April in Texas. Altogether, there were 30+ categories highlighting their innovation in embellishment, binding, and finishing. HN focuses on the category of best use of holographic.

Case Paper won the gold for its captivating ‘Between The Sheets Issue 3 ‘, printed on K Laser foil, which showcases the innovative use of materials and design.

Hazen won silver in this category for its Hazen 2024 Super Bowl Stadium Editions Program.

Precise Digital Printing was awarded the bronze in the category for its project, the Precise Digital Printing Christmas Card. KURZ provided the film, Breit Technologies cast and cured it, and it was printed on a Scodix machine, demonstrating a collaborative effort to achieve excellence.

Hazen secured a total of three awards, including gold in a separate category for best use of foil embossing for the Hazen Paper 2024 Lion Heart Calendar and silver for transfer metallisation for the 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Booklet (which also won the Best Applied Decorative Product category in last year’s IHMA Excellence in Holography Awards).

On another continent, Uflex won multiple awards at the SIES School of Packaging (SOP) Awards held in March in Mumbai, India.

In the labelling and decoration category, the company was recognised for its 3D Flipogram label for the perfume industry and registered holography pack for coffee packaging. The 3D Flipogram label is a tamper-resistant label created from microoptical technology to create a distinct lenticular effect without special lighting or device(s). The registered holography flexible pack is a 4-layer sandwich structure comprising a 12 micron metallised PET holographic film sandwich between metallised PET and aluminium.

Excellence in Holography Awards

This reminds us to update about the IHMA Excellence in Holography Awards 2024, which will be held with The Holography Conference™ online from 12-13 November 2024. The Call for Papers for the conference is now open, and submissions for awards will be announced soon.

For more about the awards, visit https://ihma.org/excellence-in-holography-awards/ or holographyconference.com for the latest updates.