Spotlight on Security Printing

One of the most practical and common uses of hot stamp foils is Security Printing. Security Printing is the field of the printing industry that deals with the creation of important papers and documents in the hopes of preventing forgery. These documents include (but are not limited to) bank notes, tamper evident labels, passports, stock certificates, postage stamps and identity cards. This article is going to shed some light on some of the modern methods of security printing.

Special “Heavy” Paper

Most paper banknotes are made of a special paper that features cotton for strength and durability. Some of them feature linen or colored fibers to hinder counterfeiting. Many countries however make plastic banknotes (made of polymer) to reduce wear and tear as well as include a small transparent window that is very difficult to reproduce using common counterfeiting methods. In 2011, Canada joined the list of countries that employ this method of printing money.


A hologram can be employed with hot stamp foils. The hologram can be customized and altered according to the organization, as well as keeping forgeries out of date.  This method is used on credit cards, passports, bank notes and other valuable documents. Once stamped, they cannot be removed or altered, making it a great security technique.

Magnetic Ink

Magnetic ink can be read extremely quickly by computers, and magnetic ink character recognition in used heavily in banking (primarily in checks). The ink used in MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) greatly reduced errors in computerized reading.

Latent Images

Another use of hot stamp foils in security printing is the inclusion of latent images in an official document. When the document is viewed with a special filter an additional image comes into view. It is either gray or colored.


Watermarks are printed images that appear lighter or darker when a light is held behind the paper, due to a varying paper density. Watermarks can also be used on polymer bank notes, making them a versatile option in security printing.


Micro-printing is the application of text that is extremely small printed onto valuable documents. It is most commonly used on bank checks and currency. The text is often impossible to see with the naked eye, but is read by computers to confirm the validity of the document.

This concludes this article on modern security printing methods. We hope that you learned a thing or two while reading it!

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