G+D Magazine
Close up of a banknote with a colorful peacock feather

Print effects to improve aesthetics and security

Printing is a defining process for a banknote. Exclusive intaglio printing in particular gives the note a high-quality appearance, striking colors, vivid motifs and tactile relief. There are also exclusive special-effect inks for making the notes more easily verifiable and for anti-counterfeiting security.

Retrogravure has been an element of artistic expression since the Middle Ages. With intaglio printing and our innovations in process engineering, contemporary banknotes become little works of art – with individual security effects. All users can immediately feel and see the value of banknotes, making authentication easy. In addition, high security printing significantly contributes to the aesthetics, anti-counterfeiting security, machine-readability, durability, and acceptance of a banknote.

Printing technology is associated with special printing inks that of course are not freely available. Visual effects such as color shift, or variable visibility from certain angles, make it easier verify real banknotes. These are applied to the banknote using an array of printing processes. Covert security features that are only made visible with the aid of sensors further increase the security level for automated inspection.

Intaglio printing

Illustration of banknote with intaglio printing and a colorful peacock
Close-up of intaglio printing on banknote worth 50

Tactile security

Intaglio printing, which has a long development history, gives banknotes a unique appearance which protects them against counterfeiting. It is characterized by rich colors and tactile structures. The banknote paper is not only printed with ink, but also shaped and compressed in the process, giving banknotes a clean appearance that lasts. Over the decades, we have continually refined intaglio printing in order to drive forward evolution in design and security.

Close-up of a banknote with intaglio printing and a depicted 50
Close up of intaglio printing on banknote

Fine Intaglio Technology (FIT®)

Our FIT® system is a combination of computerized engraving and laser technology that enables the realization not only of very fine lines, but also translucent, multi-tonal structures that create new colors. This provides scope to make designs even more individual, colorful and vivid. The element is embedded directly into the intaglio master by means of high resolution laser engraving and then embossed onto a reflective metal patch of the banknote paper. Three-dimensional structures are reproduced to an exceptional level of quality. The precise engineering guarantees that originals remain unique, whilst each reprint is identical to the base stock.

Special-effect Inks

Close-up of a banknote with optically variable effect color printing, upright particles
Close-up of a banknote with optically variable effect color printing, partially flat lying particles

Fascinatingly secure

Color-shifting special-effect inks enable fascinating security features that are easy to recognize, and difficult to copy. Depending on the viewing angle, motifs are either visible, can disappear or completely change color. Whether iridescent or color-shifting, special-effect inks can be very successfully integrated into the overall design, for each multicolor screen printing process, in perfect register – making any customer request a design reality.

Iridescent Inks – instant security

Iridescent color effects on a banknote with the inscription "varifeye".

Iridescent print effects are based on special inks that make the printed motif visible or invisible when the banknote is tilted. The iridescent special effect can also be enhanced with UV-fluorescent pigments, making them look different under daylight or ultraviolet light. This effect is amplified by duplicating the color shift effect with our RollingStar® and Galaxy® security threads.

Related topics

Close up of Galaxy security thread for banknotes

Galaxy® security thread

A new dimension in security: Galaxy® brings together dynamic 3D color shift effects with machine-readability, to meet the highrest security requirements, for public and machine authentication.

Close-up of Rollingstar security thread for banknotes

RollingStar® security thread

Striking, secure and efficient: the machine-readable RollingStar® combines compelling color shift with dynamic effects. It makes any banknote instantly perceptible – for security at first glance.

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If you have any questions about our end-to-end business solutions or about our SecurityTech company, seek expert advice, or want to give us your feedback, our team is here to support you, anytime.