The Kluge Tip of the Month for March starts a new 10 part series that focuses on Hologram Stamping.
The following topics will be covered:
- About Holograms
- Types of Hologram available today
- KURZ Transfer Products Feature: Exclusive OVD Security Product
- Common Uses for Holograms
- Hologram Foil Structure
- Basic Principles of Holography
- Hologram Technology – Kluges Hologram Registration Unit
- Up-and-Down Stamping on a Kluge Press
- Setup and Registration on a Kluge Press
- Glossary of Terms
This month, Kluge Tech Tip No. 27 introduces holograms and provides a little history on the industry.
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.
Holography is a process that creates the illusion of three-dimensions on a two-dimensional surface. Though discovered in 1947 by Nobel physicist Dennis Gabor, holograms were limited to the laboratory until the early 1960’s development of the laser, a device instrumental in creating a split beam of light.
During this period, holograms largely remained a scientific curiosity, simply because images could only be produced one at a time, and recorded only to the emulsion of photographic film in a tremendously time consuming process.
By the early 1980’s, technology had developed enabling holographic film images to be transferred to a metallic plate, and subsequently be mass-produced onto the mirror-like surface of hot stamp foil. This progression allowed a holographic image to be adhered to any surface that could be foil stamped, creating a new opportunity for foil stampers that has now come into its own.
Today, nearly any image or model can be transformed into holographic foil via hologram converting bureaus.