Since their introduction on Mastercard and Visa payment cards in the early 1980s, holograms have become one of the most common overt or public security features on value documents and branded goods, their presence both indicating the authenticity of these items and providing a powerful deterrent to counterfeiting.
Why? Because they work.
Holograms cannot be copied by conventional reprographic means (copiers or scanners and printers). Their effects cannot be reproduced or simulated by conventional printing or finishing techniques. The skills, technology and investment involved in their design, origination and manufacture ensures that their production is beyond the reach of most would-be counterfeiters, while even the most determined forgers will be unlikely to produce holograms that are effective and accurate copies of the original.
Holograms are also highly versatile. They can be applied cost-effectively to a wide variety of substrates and products as part of conventional printing, packaging and labelling processes. And while they are essentially overt features that can be recognised and verified by the public, they can also be integrated with other security technologies – inks, taggants, numbering, RFID etc - to provide multi-layered security solutions combining overt and covert security with track and trace capabilities.
As a result, holograms are widely used on all manner of security documents including banknotes, personal identification documents such as passports and ID cards, fiscal stamps, tickets, vouchers, cheques, payment cards etc. They are also used to protect branded goods from counterfeiting, adulteration, substitution and parallel trading, featuring on many of the world's leading brands of pharmaceuticals, IT products, automotive components, luxury and consumer goods.