What is a Hologram?
The word hologram comes from the Greek term ‘holo’, which means whole, and ‘gram’ meaning message. It can easily be described as the recording of a 3D image on a 2D surface.
The hologram image is made from an encoded pattern that bends the light into the image we can see. When looked at closely through a microscope you can see the hologram as thousands of structured lines. Approximately 2000 lines make up just one millimeter of the hologram. These lines are called fringes, and have the lens effect properties, needed to make the image visible to the naked eye. They are encoded to the surface of the hologram at different angles and thickness, therefore emitting different colors across the surface.
Hologram images are recorded to the photo sensitive film using intense and even light sources such as a laser, and must be of a single wavelength. A white light of the same intensity can be used to produce a full spectrum of colors resulting in a colorful hologram. At least two light sources are needed to produce the hologram. The first is angled facing the surface of the film with the subject away from the surface. A lens is placed between the film and the subject diffusing the light, which is projected from an angle. The second light source is then added which creates an effect on the film, the result being a holographic image.
Many mediums may be used as the ‘subject’ such as film, computer graphics, hand drawn illustrations etc. The patterns however, are most effective when captured in sharp detail. Therefore, everyday air movement or vibrations should be removed and so holograms must be captured in custom studios.
When processed, the plate that is created shows areas of exposure and non-exposure as tiny grooves in the plate surface. Additional processing of the plate produces holographic ‘printing’ plates, used to emboss the pattern into appropriate materials, like polyester film, creating the final holographic image.
Kluge Hologram Technology – How it Works
The Kluge Hologram Registration Unit is built into the Electronic Foil Control System, Low Mount. It enables you to accurately register holograms using your Kluge press. Note: the hologram registration unit is not compatible with the mechanical foil control system.
Kluge utilizes fiber optic technology for the hologram registration mark detection system. The fiber optic sensor is mounted to the toggle base in line with the edge of the foil. The sensor is connected to the signal pick up device, also known as the ‘amplifier’ which is then electronically adjusted until the registration mark can be seen. This innovative system allows you to digitally align hologram foil on the die with registration accuracy of +/- .012″.
Two #30 gage wire guides are positioned on the toggle base just below the die, one is placed under the foil and the other is placed over the foil. These wire guides effectively prevent the hologram foil from curling as it is fed through the machine.
To keep inline with the developing hologram technology and meet user needs, Kluge has developed Hologram Registration Units for the EHD, EHF & WFE Series Presses.
Uses for Holograms
Hologram foils are truly unique expressions of creativity and a highly effective form of visual communication that demands attention. The unexpected rendering of a “moving” dimensional, color-shifting image interacts with the viewer in ways no other static, 2-D image can. Today foil holograms are being used for:
- P.O.P. and Packaging – a growing trend among retailers who need high-impact packaging in an over-crowded market. Holograms are also a preferred method of brand protection, used to prevent counterfeiting and as tamper-evident seals
- Print Ads, Direct Mail and FSI – with the volume of mail and ads today, hologram foils can really make a product stand out. Hologram foils can also be used very effectively to demonstrate aspects of a product, for instance, reflective objects such as the facets of a diamond, or moving objects that desire maximum impact
- Security – who today does not have a credit card with a security hologram? Holograms are also being used as anti-duplication devices for documents, event tickets, credentials, checks, transportation passes, and credit vouchers
- Sports Trading Cards – already replete with foil, holograms and stereogram images of sports heroes in motion represent the ultimate in trading card value
- Book Covers – in a long-time domain of foil stamping, many publishers are using holograms to add further impact to their book jackets. An example would be the famous National Geographic hologram cover of a pre-historic skull that became one of the magazine’s most requested issues.
Where can I buy Hologram Foil?
Visit our consumables area to locate manufacturers of all types of hologram foil.
Want to learn more about holograms and their value in today’s competitive print finishing industry?
Download the Kluge Users Guide to Hologram Stamping.