Labels are integral to the packaging business. However, with increasing counterfeiting and pilferage in the retail market, it has now become extremely important for product labels to not just help identify a product but also function as security tags. This is where hologram security labels come into the picture. These labels function as a protective cover and hide confidential product information. A hologram security label can be used in various industries and different products, such as bank documents, prepaid calling cards, and debit and ATM cards.
In this exhaustive guide, we’ll throw light on everything you should know about hologram security labeling, why do hologram security labels matter so much, and how and what to look for in a hologram security label manufacturer, among other things.
What is a Hologram Security Label?
A hologram security label or sticker is a product label that incorporates holography or a holographic foil. Holography is basically a technique that facilitates the manufacturing of 3D (three-dimensional) images. The method entails the use of laser, diffraction, interference, light intensity documentation, and proper illumination of the document. The resulting hologram changes orientation and position with the angle at which the image is being seen. The patterns are generally simple – regular or marginally irregular lines of text or shapes – since they need not be extremely complex to resist counterfeiting or tampering.
Holograms are high-tech visual laser recordings of a 3D picture. The label usually bears several layers of customized artwork impressions. Along with robust security features, the label demonstrates how a bunch of images could be reconstructed or put together as one. Holograms have a complete depth of field and parallax effects due to their high light refraction. The images on them look like they are floating in space in front of and/or behind the 2D recording. The material used as a base is typically metallic silver because holograms pop more against a bright or shiny background. Upon movement, the diffracted light results in the shapes and colors appearing to move and shift.
Hologram labels create a dramatic effect that looks modern and authentic due to the use of vibrant colors, images and motion, and different depths. These hologram labels don’t just look professional or aesthetically pleasing, but they also offer security. In other words, these stickers offer a sign of authentication that is almost impossible to duplicate. Moreover, to create 3D holograms, having the original master hologram handy is imperative.
A hologram sticker that’s designed well offers the security that individuals and businesses need for uniqueness and easy verification.
Different Types of Holograms
To holistically understand holographic security labels and how they work, you should know the major types of holograms.
An extremely common hologram type, a reflection hologram hosts a true 3D image that is very close to its surface. For illumination, white incandescent light is employed. When held at a particular distance and angle, you can see the incandescence coming into play. Therefore, the image comprises light mirrored by the hologram. In recent times, reflection holograms have been made available in different colors.
Typically, transmission holograms are viewed using laser light, which is invariable of the same kind used for making the recording. The light gets directed from the hologram’s rear, with the image being transmitted to the side of the observer. The virtual image could be extremely deep and sharp. For instance, through a tiny hologram, you can see a full-size room filled with people as if you were seeing things through the window of the house.
If this hologram gets broken down into multiple small pieces, you would still be able to view the whole scene through every piece. Based on the piece’s location, you’ll get to see a different perspective. Moreover, if a straight laser beam is directed to the back via the hologram, an actual image could get projected onto any screen placed at the object’s original position.
Between the transmission and reflection types of holograms, several variations could be made. The following are some of those variants:
· Embossed holograms
To mass-manufacture holograms for applications such as credit cards, passports, and currency, a 2D interference pattern gets hard-pressed onto wafer-thin plastic foils. The master or original hologram gets recorded on a photoresist, a photosensitive material. When formed, the hologram would comprise surface grooves. A coat of nickel is then placed on this hologram and later peeled off, causing the metallic “shim”. A lot more secondary shims could be made from the original shim. The shim gets positioned on a roller. Subjected to high pressure and temperature, the shim presses the hologram against a composite material roll. Embossed holograms are essentially a combination of different kinds of holograms.
· Integral holograms
A reflection or transmission hologram could be produced from a string of pictures of an object. The object could be an outdoor scene, a person, an X-ray picture, or a computer graphic. The object usually gets scanned by a camera, thereby recording several discrete views. The views are then displayed on a laser light-illuminated LCD screen and are utilized as an object beam for recording holograms on a vertical narrow strip of holoplate (holographic plate). The subsequent view is recorded in a similar way on an adjoining strip until all views get recorded. Upon viewing the completed composite hologram, your right and left eyes would see pictures from various narrow holograms. A stereoscopic image is, thus, observed. Lately, video cameras are being used for the initial recording, so that the images could be manipulated using computer software.
· Holographic interferometry
Microscopic modifications on an object could be measured quantitatively by making a couple of unique exposures on the altering object. The two pictures engage with each other, resulting in visible fringes on the object revealing the vector displacement. In the case of real-time holographic interferometry, the object’s virtual image is directly compared with the actual object. Even objects that are invisible, such as shock or heat waves, could be made visible. Within this photometry domain, there are multiple engineering applications.
· Multichannel holograms
With alterations in the viewing light’s angle on the hologram, totally different scenes could be seen. This concept has immense potential for large computer memories.
· Computer-generated holograms
Holography’s mathematics is now properly understood. Basically, there are three essential elements in holography: the hologram, image, and the light source. If two of these three elements are ascertained beforehand, the third could be calculated. For example, if you are aware of the availability of a parallel light beam of a particular wavelength and there is a “double-slit” setup, you would be able to compute the pattern of diffraction. Moreover, by being aware of the diffraction pattern along with the double-slit setup’s details, you can compute the light’s wavelength. Therefore, you could come up with any pattern of your choice. After the wavelength for the observation has been decided, a computer can be used to design the hologram. This holography generated using a computer is a sub-domain that has been thriving in the last few years. For instance, the technique is used for making HOE (holographic optical elements) for scanning, focusing, splitting, and controlling the laser beam in various optical devices.
Types of Hologram Security Labels
The primary differences between hologram security labels boil down to three important aspects:
· whether the hologram image has customizations;
· whether any ink printing methodology has been used; and
· what’s the resulting holographic effect level and anti-counterfeit protection provided.
Though there are different kinds of holographic security labels, stock hologram stickers, and imprinted hologram stickers are very common. A stock hologram sticker lets you add serial numbering or text (or use it just as a seal) to safeguard your goods. This iridescent hologram is not just impossible to unsee, but when the sticker is taken off, a visible shiny silver dots pattern is left behind. Imprinted hologram stickers are usually available in a range of sizes and shapes. These stickers let you add any artwork or logo to them. You can also choose multiple colors for the same sticker. The label’s prismatic effect enhances visibility and deters duplication or forgery.
How Much Do Hologram Security Labels Cost?
The price of the hologram primarily depends on the hologram’s size, quantity, necessary features or specifications required for specific use cases, and a preferred level of anti-counterfeit security. To understand hologram security label pricing, you should know the various components that go into making them.
There are basically three major components that determine security hologram sticker prices:
· Origination (for creating the master hologram);
· Production setup; and
· Sticker production level.
Origination is usually the most involved aspect of the entire hologram sticker making process. Therefore, based on complexity, the master hologram usually ends up having the biggest impact on your project’s cost. Origination is required for the initial order only. Subsequent reorders that are based on the original hologram won’t require origination and the costs would, therefore, be much less.
Why Choose Hologram Security Labels?
There are different reasons why your product must have a holographic security label. The following are some of the major reasons why:
Enhanced Packaging and Improved Brand Awareness
Hologram stickers help your product stand out from the crowd. These labels not just help enhance your products’ packaging, but they also help improve the general awareness of your brand in the market. Not to mention, a hologram label’s attractive and unique features complement existing packaging, thereby creating increased customer-perceived value. Also, hologram stickers make buyers believe that the product manufacturer truly cares about their products’ overall quality. This would, as a result, boost the company’s reputation and its products would soon get synonymous with quality.
Counterfeiting risks come down drastically with hologram labels since traditional printing techniques cannot be used to copy the DNA of holograms. Making an original, high-quality hologram is an extremely technical, expensive, and time-consuming process. Equipment that counterfeiters traditionally use such as scanners, cameras, digital and analog printing methods, and color photocopiers don’t help reproduce holograms. Counterfeiting does not just lead to lost sales for your company but it also brings down the chances of fake goods damaging the reputation of your firm.
Hologram security labels function as a reliable measure of fraud prevention and authentication, which any reputable and genuine company would like to associate with.
Different Uses of Hologram Stickers
Hologram security labels are extremely versatile and offer a cost-effective way to protect, authenticate, and promote products. These stickers are fully customizable, verifiable and extremely tough to replicate. These are some of the many reasons why holographic stickers are used so widely in different industries.
From medicines, food and security documents to consumer tech products, hologram labels offer flexibility with regard to tagging, tracking, protecting and confirming product and document identity. The following are some common uses of hologram labels.
Security Against Tampering
A tamper-evident hologram is typically made to highlight attempts made to take the sticker off, rendering them ideal for making sure security of the product’s seal and asset tagging. There are different tamper-evident sticker designs, which include:
· A residual honeycomb design that helps determine when a hologram sticker has been peeled off
· Stickers disintegrating when there are attempts made to get rid of it
· A secondary layer reveals itself when a hologram sticker is taken off
Hologram security labels offer brands or established companies a secure and convenient way to safeguard their offerings. Personalized holograms or holographic stickers unique to a brand could be made, which would make it very tough for other people to replicate. Moreover, special dyes, such as foils with taggant, could be attached to holograms. These labels would need special readers for identification.
Hologram labels are ideal for promotion and packaging since they are highly visible and would stand out in any crowded scenario, such as when shelved with a plethora of other products in a warehouse or retail store. These stickers could be attached to any kind of packaging, which includes bags, boxes and hangs tags.
The majority of recognized global brands, such as Intel and Microsoft, use hologram stickers on their products. The holograms added help these companies increase their products’ perceived value and boost the general perception consumers have about them.
Hologram security labels are often used to categorically identify a range of documents, including identity cards, credit cards, and season passes. Since holograms are almost impossible to duplicate, risks of fraud go down considerably. However, like with hologram stickers devised for brand identification, you may even add extra protection by incorporating tagganted foils.
Flourishing Hologram Security Labels Market
The demand for hologram security labels has rapidly increased in recent times and it’s likely to keep its pace in the foreseeable future, primarily due to the exponential growth seen in the global FMCG sector. The worldwide security label market comprises North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and other parts of the world. The Asia Pacific dominates the market, thanks to the rapid growth in the region’s retail sector.
With the retail industry flourishing, the demand for hologram security labels has gone up. This is primarily due to the increasing incidences of theft witnessed in the sector. Manufacturing activities growing at a steady pace, particularly consumer good manufacturing, has also had its effects on the increasing security label demand. With disposable income increasing, consumer’s purchasing power has gone up, thereby creating a massive business opportunity for the security labels market across the globe. China, India, Indonesia, Japan, etc. are the major contributors to the Asia Pacific market’s burgeoning growth. China, unsurprisingly, holds the biggest share of the security labels market in the region. The consumer durables and food and beverage industries of the country have had a major say in this.
North America is second when it comes to the global security label market share. The growth in the continent is primarily based on the increase in consumer demand for beverages and packaged foods, which include frozen meals, ready-to-eat meals, and snack foods. The continual growth in North America’s pharmaceutical industry has also created an opening of sorts for the security labels market in the region. According to industry reports, the United States was leading the market based on pharmaceutical expenditure per capita in the year 2016. The countries immediately the following suit are Japan and Canada. America, without a doubt, contributes the most to North America’s security label market in terms of sheer numbers.
The Middle East or Gulf is an emerging market for hologram security labels. The demand for holographic security labels in the region can be primarily attributed to the growing retail sector and industrial base.
How to Look for Professional Hologram Security Label Makers
The hologram security label market is flourishing, thanks to their host of aforementioned benefits. Security holograms makers usually design and make unique holograms for a range of products made by big, medium or small manufacturing firms. Professional and experienced hologram manufacturers usually shoulder the responsibility of producing secure and attractive holograms. Sheet form hologram, color hologram, spool form hologram, 3D and 2D hologram, holographic aluminum foil, holographic strip, holographic wads, scratch hologram, etc. are some of the various types of holograms a reputable hologram label manufacturer should be able to make.
These hologram manufacturers usually consider specific product requirements to design, make, and develop holograms accordingly. These hologram stickers could be made for different purposes and for all kinds of surfaces. If you are considering hiring a company to manufacture hologram stickers for your products, there are quite a few things that you must look into. The following are attributes of a reliable and trustworthy hologram security label manufacturer.
Know the Company
The first thing you must do during your quest for a quality security label manufacturer has a clear picture of the company you have contracted with or are contemplating a business engagement with. In other words, you must have good knowledge about the company’s industry experience, its contact information, types of labeling work it has taken up and successfully delivered on in the past, work permits and accreditation, and every other relevant detail.
A transparent company is a reliable and dependable service provider. Transparency, in this context, means the service provider should exhibit how it will execute your project, the time needed to complete the task, the estimated rates, etc. A transparent company is likely to get in touch with you while the project is on to make sure the end result is exactly as per what you ordered. Transparency also implies the printing firm should be forthcoming enough to let you in on the different stages of the work. Such transparency is required to ensure the company is fully aware of your requirements and you are privy to every word that’s being carried out to execute your project.
Reputed and honest security label manufacturers do not make holograms for companies that sell fake products or replicas. If a company does indulge in such unethical business practices, it would not be too long before you see your product holograms getting duplicated and used on unimaginative, sub-par goods.
An established and reputable company should offer fully customized security label manufacturing services. If the company you’re considering doesn’t offer that option, view it as a red flag. There aren’t many companies that offer customized security label services, thereby helping you sieve your options significantly. You then are left with choosing a company from the handful of options you are left with. Working with companies capable of offering customized label solutions not just offers you high-quality, personalized labels, but you also end up working with them longer and saving money in the process.
A security label company may claim to offer a range of hologram sticker services. But the big question is whether the company is capable of walking the talk. In other words, does it have the equipment and human capital to do the job as per your requirements? Most amateur security label manufacturers may not comprehend your specific product requirements. Engaging with such companies, therefore, would be a total waste of your time and energy. To get a sense of a company’s capabilities, check how many years has it been in the industry. Look for registrations and licenses they hold. If the company is registered with and certified by an industry authority, you can almost be certain of zero counterfeitings and no security lapses concerning your product labels.
Get feedback from people or past customers of the company you have chosen for your security label project. Engaging with people who have had experience working with the company before would restore your confidence in the company and/or clear doubts you may have about its operations. If you are going through customer feedback online, in the form of customer forums and feedback, make sure you are not falling trap to fake reviews that the company may have strategically planted to boost its reputation online. Always look up customer feedback about the service provider on reputable, third-party review sites. This way you can make sure the reviews you are perusing are genuine and unbiased. Similarly, if your relative, friend or colleague has associated with a security label manufacturer before, try to learn more about their experience with the firm.
It’s not that difficult to hunt for a reliable security label maker. Though a basic online search would overwhelm you with companies that make security labels, you should be able to filter out most of the companies once you start doing some digging. In other words, if you visited the websites of these hologram label manufacturers, you would soon realize whether they are truly capable of what they claim to do.
Why LG Printing?
With total manufacturing and office space spanning 1500 square meters and approximately 80 employees on a roll, LG Printing is a duly licensed company that makes hologram security labels, along with several other forms of custom labels. The company has an industrial production permit, printing permit, high-tech product, and multiple patent certificates to its credit.
LG Printing has been in the security stamping label, packaging label, and hologram printing business for more than two decades. The primary technicians working in the company’s R&D and operations departments have more than a decade of printing industry experience behind them.
The company not just depends on its skilled and experienced workforce to get the job done, but also has all equipment it requires for the job, such as hologram printing machines, gluing machines, hologram cutting, and stamping equipment, color printing machines, digital number printing equipment, and quality control machines, among others.
LG Printing specializes in making hologram stickers, packing labels and security stamping labels that are used with products from different industries, such as food, healthcare, electronics, cosmetics, and wine. Thanks to its security label printing prowess and robust experience, LG Printing boasts clients from across the globe, including the Americas, Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
It’s pretty clear that hologram security labels are not going anywhere anytime soon. You should now probably have a clearer image of the existing market scenario that includes projected and historical market size with regard to value, governing and macroeconomic factors, and technological advancement. If you’re on the fence contemplating hologram security labels for your product, you are doing great injustice to your company. Get your hologram security labels made by LG Printing today so that you are not behind the curve.