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How do holographic security stickers work?

You have probably come across more than one hologram security sticker without being overly aware of them. They are part of your passport and credit cards and many high-value products.

But what really are they? And how do they work? Can you just use a holographic sticker to secure your products? Read on to find out.

Circle holographic sheet labels applied to an amber jar with beard oil

What are security holograms?

Security holograms are used to protect official documents and products. They are hard to counterfeit and are available in different levels of optical security incorporated. This is why they are often used to prove the authenticity of a document or make something hard to copy - perfect for copyrighted brands.

How are security holograms made?

Security holograms are made using a metallized film. This film is made from a layer of polyester or other clear plastics. Then, a thin layer of metal is applied on top of that. Together, these films are run through embossing rollers.

These rollers have your design engraved onto them. By rolling them over the material, your design gets stamped into the material. There are also laser-based processes that burn your design into the sticker.

Rounded corner holographic sheet labels with victoria west logo applied to cardboard soap boxes

Do hologram stickers have security features?

Holographic stickers are not security holograms. Holographic stickers consist of a similar material: a vinyl base with a metallized film applied. However, this material gets printed on with a digital printer, not a laser or an embossing roll.

What you can do with holographic stickers is tap into the associations of hologram stickers. Custom security holograms can get expensive, which is not always economically viable for small businesses. Minimum orders for such security holograms can be around 30,000 units.

Holographic stickers are much cheaper and replicate a similar look: the hologram catches light waves, so the holographic image appears to have a rainbow effect. You can submit any design you would like, and we can create a custom holographic sticker or even a hologram label for you.

How can I create a holographic image?

A good alternative, allowing you to create low cost similar-looking holographic stickers, is to print a design that imitates a security hologram. This allows you to get a small quantity of 50 stickers from only £28.

Creating a holographic design can sometimes seem tricky. But it does not have to be. Here are a few examples and a downloadable design for you to edit

But you can also create your own holographic sticker design in no time with Graphic, our free online design tool. Simply open the interface and choose the holographic material. The background will then change, and you can get started.

You can play with the holographic effect by adding several layers of colour. One option is to simply print a single layer of any colour on top of the material. This will create a coloured metallic look.

If you want specific parts of your design to have an opaque look instead, we print white between the colour and the material. You can see that in the image below. The white and black parts have white ink behind them, giving them a vibrant look.

Die cut holographic stickers applied to honey jars

And that's all you need to know about security holograms. You can either check out our custom holographic stickers right here or continue learning about the world of sticker printing by visiting our blog.

If you are still unsure, why not try a holographic sticker sample? For only £9 you can get 10 stickers with your design printed on. The ideal way to put our holographic material to the test. You can, of course, always ask our experts for recommendations or help.