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What Visual Security Features Are Available?

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What Visual Security Features Are Available?

Years ago, a plastic ID card offered reasonable security. Today, that is no longer enough. With the increased sophistication of counterfeiters, the need for card security and fraud protection has never been greater. Luckily, there are many ways to ensure the authenticity of ID cards, from low-cost, easy-to-verify visual security elements to sophisticated, covert options embedded in the cards and only read by lasers or magnifying devices. Security options can be used alone or in combination to result in the highest levels of security. Most can be built into ID cards regardless of the card printer being used.


Applied By Hand After Printing
Embedded in Card
Applied by Card Printer
Lower Level SecurityMid Level SecurityHigh Level Security
HoloMark SealX  X  
Embedded Holograms X   X
Metallized or Translucent Foil X   X
UV Printing  X X
Ghost Images  X X 
Thermal Transfer Overlaminate  X X 
Standard Holographic Overlaminate  X X 
Custom Holographic Overlaminate  X  X
Translucent Foil  X  X
Micro Text  X X 
Nano Text  X  X
Hidden Text  X  X

HoloMark Seal

The quickest and least expensive way to add a holographic feature is with the peel-and-stick, pressure-sensitive 3D HoloMark seal. This seal can easily be applied by hand to ID cards after the cards have been printed. Any tampering with the non-reusable seal leaves behind a checkerboard pattern indicating unauthorized manipulation. HoloMark seals are an affordable option to enhance the credibility and security of ID cards.

Embedded Holograms

For higher security levels, blank, standard CR80 ID cards can be embedded with 3D holograms. These secure foils give organizations without card lamination equipment a cost-effective way to layer tamper-resistant security features onto photo ID cards.

Standard HoloMark™ is a visual foil that changes color and appearance when viewed at different angles. These cards can be designed with hidden features such as nano text, laser-viewable images, micro text, ultraviolet printing and two-dimensional flip imaging. Standard HoloMark cards are ideal for organizations concerned about both budget and security.

Custom HoloMark™ cards use a foil made from a custom graphic, providing the ultimate in non-laminated protection against ID card counterfeiting. Using the same technology as standard HoloMark cards, they are easy to validate and nearly impossible to duplicate.

Custom VeriMark™ cards use hot stamp foils to embed a 2D logo, text, or graphic onto blank standard CR80 cards in one of eight selected positions. These difficult-to-duplicate silver or gold metallic foils are permanent, easy-to-verify counterfeit deterrents, making them ideal for organizations that want to add customized visual security with minimal cost and delivery time.

Metallized Holographic and Translucent Holographic Foils are embedded just below the surface of the card and provide a cost-effective, high-security custom security solution. Since these features are embedded into the cards surface, they provide maximum resistance to tampering or counterfeiting. Both metallized or translucent foil cards are available either blank or pre-printed.

UV or Fluorescing Printing

Ultraviolet (UV) or fluorescent printing adds yet another unique security element to an ID card. Images created with UV ink are invisible to the naked eye, but come to life when when viewed under ultraviolet light. To take advantage of this option, you need a printer ribbon that includes a special UV or F panel.

Ghost Images

Similar to how a UV feature may be used, a ghost image is a smaller, semi-translucent version of the original photo image on an ID card, added during the printing process. Special software is needed, but ghost images do not generally add to the cost of a printed card.

HoloKote™ by Magicard

HoloKote is an exclusive feature to Magicard printers and is an anti-counterfeiting watermark that is printed across the entire card surface during the normal card printing cycle, using the O panel of a standard YMCKO ribbon. This watermark can also be highlighted for visibility from a distance. While both generic and custom HoloKote images are available, a custom image provides increased security.

Standard Holographic Overlaminate

Thermal transfer overlaminate adds durability to an ID card. Plus, using an overlaminate with a standard embedded holographic design provides mid-level protection to your cards. Standard holographic overlaminate designs available vary by card printer manufacturer, and are affordable and readily available.

Custom Holographic Overlaminate

Like a standard holographic overlaminate, a custom holographic overlaminate embeds a holographic image in the surface of the overlaminate. Custom holographic overlaminates can be used with most laminating card printers, although the options and cost involved may vary by manufacturer. You can include a variety of visual security options, such as nano text and flip images, in the design of a custom overlaminate, making fraudulent duplication of an ID card virtually impossible and your cards highly secure.

Micro or Nano Text

Very tiny micro or nano text can be pre-printed onto the surface of a card. This microscopic text is so detailed it can’t be duplicated by dye-sublimation, ink jet, or laser printers. Micro text or nano text can also be used on custom holographic security overlaminates, providing an excellent covert feature for an ID card.

Hidden Text

Hidden text is one of the most sophisticated, covert ID card security options available today. Its alphanumeric type is invisible to the human eye, viewable only with a laser. Hidden text is often used for high-level security applications where authenticity verification is critical.

Custom Guilloche Design

Guilloche, or fine line design, consists of complex fine lines that curve and overlap to form a pattern on your card surface. These patterns can be easily verified by the naked eye, and are too small to be reproduced effectively by desktop printers.


Want to learn more about technology cards? View our selection of ID cards in our online store now! 

Have questions or need assistance? Talk with an ID Expert at (800) 910-5987, Chat Live, or email sales@IDZone.com.

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