Evolis Custom Hologram ID Card Ribbon Guide

National ID cards, drivers licences and other official documents have very high security standards. For ID cards such as these, it is important to add additional security elements to fight counterfeit fake ID card forgeries and ID card wear and tear. Customized Evolis ID card holograms help ID badges to reach their highest security level thanks to the unique, registered designs. ID cards protected with Evolis custom ID holographic overlaminates are very resistant to attempts of falsification, which if attempted are very obvious and visibly apparent.

ID Card Holograms are three-dimensional images, which appear as stereoscopic and are created with photographic projection. They are an optical device which produces an image with variable colours (rainbow) and variable image content and they can be animated. Unlike 3D or virtual reality on a two-dimensional computer display, a hologram is a truly three-dimensional and free-standing image that does not simulate spatial depth or require a special viewing device. To reproduce the image of an object, a hologram is illuminated by coherent light, ideally the original reference beam. Holograms produce two sets of diffracted waves; one set forms a virtual image coinciding with the original object position and the other set forms a real image on the other side of the plate, both are three-dimensional.

Today Evolis Custom Holograms for plastic ID cards must meet two fundamental requirements. They protect the ID card data against falsification and protect the data against abrasion and other physical and chemical aggressions.

Holography dates back to 1947, when British/Hungarian scientist Dennis Gabor developed the theory of holography while he was working on improving the resolution of an electron microscope. Dennis Gabor coined the term hologram from the Greek words “holos”, meaning “whole”, and “gramma”, meaning “message”. The development of laser technology in 1960 made holography a reality.

Why use a hologram as an ID card security feature?

  • A hologram is impossible to duplicate with a scanner or a colour copier
  • It is not possible to imitate with standard printing technologies
  • The initial levels of visual security can be used to integrate additional levels of control for a card
  • The optical images of the ribbons are shinny, very high definition, 3D animated and with very high resistance against counterfeiting
  • Ribbons are used to seal the information contained on the plastic cards. The information is therefore authenticated and protected from falsification or substitution

What is a security hologram?
A combination of:

  • A holographic image
  • A carrier to support the image and manufacturing process (hot stamping foil, laminate, self-adhesive label…)
  • A device produced in a secure environment and under strict security procedures.

Targeted Markets:
– Protection of fiduciary documents: Banknotes, checks, credit cards, tickets…
– Protection of identity documents: Passports, identity cards, visas, drivers licenses, event ID badges
– Authentication of brand products: Luxury goods, industrial spare parts, sportswear…

– Government organizations: Central banks, Ministries of Interior, Ministries of Finance, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Transport, National Elections Authorities…
– Integrators: Security printers, credit cards, manufacturers, packaging companies
– Industry Suppliers: Consultants, machine manufacturers
– Brand Owners: Automobiles, Perfumes, Jewellery, Watches, Industrial Parts, sportswear…

The Evolis Custom Hologram:
Custom Evolis ID Card Holographic Films are designed according to your company’s specific requirements and are entirely secure, guaranteed to not be sold to anyone else. To create your own Custom Evolis ID Card Hologram to be printed with your Evolis ID card printer, consider the type of ribbon you want and the level of security and features you need:

  • Varnish Ribbon (continuous): This ribbon is recommended for applications requiring a low durability (up to 2 years lifespan) and a minimal temper resistance. This ribbon is continuous which applies a thin layer (about 4 microns) to the ID card, edge-to-edge.
  • Laminate Ribbon (patch): Recommended for applications requiring a medium to high durability (from 3 to 7 year lifespan) and high tamper resistance. This ribbon is made of patches and is available in 0.6mil (15 microns) and 1.0mil (25 microns) thick. The patches do not cover the entire ID card surface.

Abrasion measure for each type of films:

  • Varnish Overlay- 800-1000 cycles
  • 0.6mil Patch- 1500-2000 cycles
  • 1.0mil Patch- 3000 cycles

(cycle is a quantitative measure representing the abrasion resistance of thin films.)

Evolis Custom ID Hologram Security Levels:

– LEVEL 1: When the secured ID card will be viewed by the public. This hologram has features that are visible and discernible to the average person who has no training or instruction. The images, lines or text are immediately obvious to the viewer.
Supports OVERT features

– LEVEL 2: When the secured ID card will be subject to inspection. This hologram includes features that are not immediately discernible to the average person. These elements are only discernible when an examiner utilizes an additional tool and possesses some level of training. The tools used to expose the feature are simple items such as a magnifying glass, flashlight, or laser pen.
Supports OVERT ␣ COVERT features

– LEVEL 3: When the secured card is subject to forensic examination. This hologram includes features that are visible or discernible only with complex laboratory equipment. Persons investigating these features require more extensive training.
Supports OVERT ␣ COVERT ␣ FORENSIC features

– LEVEL 4: When the risk of counterfeiting is extreme. This hologram includes features that are technically unique and often have only one source of production. These sources produce a variety of unique optical technologies that do not rely solely on the holographic process.
Supports OVERT ␣ COVERT ␣ FORENSIC ␣ UNIQUE features

Hologram Features:

1. Single Axis CLR (Covert Laser Retrievable) ‒ Images or characters that are undecipherable to the human eye. They are decoded by illuminating the coded area with a laser device and looking for the refracted light projected back at a specific angle. (Level 2 ‒ Covert)

2. Halftone Dither Effect – Propriety banknote software is used to create unique effects which cannot be created with standard laser origination methods. Same software used for item 3 Line Width Modulation. (Level 2 ‒ Overt/Covert)

3. Line Width Modulation (LWM) ‒ Various image and text effects that can be created by the mathematical manipulation of width, length and height of lines. (Level 3 ‒ Overt/ Forensic / Level 4 – Unique)

4. Guilloche Patterns ‒ A series of high resolution lines, curves and rosettes or any combination of these elements. These designs are generated by using very sophisticated software. Each element can be assigned a predetermined color shift to create an illusion of synchronized animation.
(Level 1 – Overt)

5. Micro Imagery ‒ True color images or photographs that are reduced in size to as little as three square millimeters. (Level 3 – Forensic)

6. Embossed Effect ‒ Optical illusion of relief created by a highly diffractive surface oriented grating that can be applied to images, text or lines in a hologram. (Level 1 – Overt)

7. Rainbow Coloring ‒ Images, lines or characters that refract light using the full color spectrum. The color changes as viewing angle changes. (Level 1 – Overt)

8. 2D3D or Multiple Plane Effect ‒ Images, lines or characters that are composed of elements on the surface plane, above the surface plane or in the background. Elements above the surface plane or in the background exhibit a sense of depth and parallax.
(Level 1 – Overt)

9. Animated Geometrical Shapes Morph – Geometric shapes that morph color as they are rotated. (Level 1 – Overt)

10. Multiple Channel (Switch) Effect ‒ Two or more distinct images that occupy the same area of the hologram. These images shift from one to the other when viewed from different angles. (Level 1 – Overt)

11. Nano Text – Diffractive or non Diffractive text that ranges in size from 175 to 40 microns. The text can be clearly seen only through a microscope. (Level 3 – Forensic).

Additional ID Card Security Features:

Gray Scale Coloring ‒ Images, lines or characters that have no color refraction, but are composed of black, white or neutral variations of gray. (Level 1 – Overt)

Dual Axis CLR (Covert Laser Retrievable) ‒ Images or characters that are undecipherable to the human eye. They are decoded by illuminating the coded area with a laser device and looking at the refracted light projected back at a specific angle. Dual Axis CLRs have more than one set of images or characters that are viewed at ninety degree angles from each other.
(Level 2 ‒ Covert)

True Coloring ‒ Images that refract their true colors only when viewed at a very specific angle. (Level 1 – Overt)

Micro Text ‒ Is diffractive or non diffractive text, whose size can be as small as 175 microns. And can be clearly viewed only with an eye loop or a magnifying glass.
(Level 2 – Covert)

Stereogram ‒ An optical illusion of depth and movement created from one or more flat, two- dimensional images. (Level 1 – Overt)

Font Specific Text – Lines made from random fonts or words that look like ordinary lines until magnified to reveal the true object. (Level 2 – Covert)

Wireframe Text – Outline of words and objects that can be combined with other effects to make a more complex image. (Level 1 ‒ Overt)

Holographic Watermark ‒ A translucent relief of an image or text that causes some part of the image or test to appear convex. (Level 2 – Covert)

Latent Effect ‒ Images, lines or characters that are designed to refract light at a very severe angle. The hologram has to be rotated ninety degrees in order to see the feature.
(Level 2 – Covert)

Hybrid Micro Optical Structures ‒ The intentional manipulation of the optical structures that compose the hologram in a predefined, undisclosed area to create a unique fingerprint. (Level 3 ‒ Forensic)

Combined Effects ‒ In some instances two or more effect can be combined on the same area or feature of a hologram in order to create a unique hard to duplicate heterogeneous effect. For example, LWM and Micro Text can be combined to create a very unique feature. (Level 1 to Level 3)

Floating Image: A unique covert feature whereby a pair of images are projected and appear to float above the surface of the hologram when illuminated with a standard flash light. Available in 2012. (Level 3 ‒ Forensic/Level 4- Unique)

Email Advantidge today at [email protected] or call 800-965-5932 to order Evolis secure custom ID card holographic overlaminates for your Evolis ID card system. We provide excellent customer service!


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Traditional RFID cards, referred to as proximity cards, are not as secure as they used to be. Just like with any security technology, they longer they exist, the more that people can learn to get around it. With proximity