Security Printing

Security printing is a specialty area of printing that handles printing items such as banknotes, passports, tamper-evident labels, stock certificates, and identity cards. Security printers have a large responsibility to maintain confidentiality and protect items from forgery and counterfeiting.

Security printers use a variety of processes to protect the items they print, such as:

  • Special paper particularly for banknotes that is strong and durable with a variety of special colors and fibers for protection against counterfeiting.
  • Watermarks are specific patterns or images that show lighter or darker that the surrounding paper and specify the item is legitimate.
  • Printers also use intaglio printing using copper or zinc plates to create incisions by etching or engraving an image into the paper.
  • Microprinting is often used on currency, such as banknotes and bank checks. Microprint is incredibly small and can be seen when magnified.
  • Security printers also employ processes and techniques such as the use of holograms, security threads, magnetic ink, and serial numbers to track and protect the items printed.

Security printing is often government regulated and firms that participate must abide by a variety of rules and printing standards. Many state laws require that security printers abide by requirements such as strict procedures for verifying the identity of those ordering security printing, verification of delivery procedures, and security and safety measures in place.