There are many different types of ink available that work as
security features to help protect sensitive documents from being altered or
duplicated. They all add unique features to your document. You will want to
select the ones that best fit your needs.
Bleeding ink prints in black but when exposed to any aqueous solution
it will produce a red stain. Authenticity of a document can easily
be tested without the use of any special agents. User can just wet
a finger and run it across the ink to instantly see the affect of
the bleeding ink. This ink is only available for use on dry offset
| Coin Reactive Inks
The image printed from this ink is white or transparent. The image
is revealed when the edge of a coin is rubbed over the ink. This provides
for immediate verification of document authenticity without the use
of any special devices. Coin reactive ink cannot be scanned or copied.
This ink is available for use with wet or dry offset and flexographic
Erasable ink is used on the background of a document so that when
an attempt is made to erase information, the ink rubs off in that
area. The ink will also react in the same manner as solvent/chemical
reactive inks do, giving you two security features in one. Erasable
inks are used on scenic or pantograph backgrounds on checks and certificates.
This ink is not recommended when imprinting a document through a laser
printer. The high temperatures associated with laser printers will
cause problems within the printer when erasable ink is used. Erasable
ink is available for wet or dry offset printing.
Pen Reactive Ink
A transparent ink that becomes visible with the use of a special
felt tip pen. The use of the pen is necessary to verify authenticity
but can also be used to void a document that is no longer in use.
Pen reactive ink is available for dry offset printing.
Heat Reactive - Irreversible
Heat reactive-irreversible ink is colorless when
printed. When it is exposed to heat between 185°F (85°C) and
212°F (100°C), sharp color appears and does not disappear
once the temperature is lowered. This feature helps protect documents
or sealed envelopes from being tampered with by the use of steam or
heat. Heat reactive-irreversible ink is only available for use on
dry offset presses.
Visible Infrared Inks
Infrared visible inks are available in readable
and disappearing ink. When printed they can look the same but when
viewed under infrared light, one will be readable and one will disappear.
One example of using these two inks as a security feature would be
to print a bar code using both inks. Print the actual readable area
of the bar code with the infrared readable ink and other areas of
the bar code with the infrared disappearing ink but making it look
like a regular bar code. When read by a bar code scanner, only the
infrared readable is read by the scanner. If a forger tries to duplicate
the bar code as it looks on the printed document, using regular inks,
the bar code would be rejected when read by the scanner because the
scanner would read the entire bar code. Visible infrared ink is available
for wet or dry offset printing.
Optically Variable Inks
The color of optically variable ink changes when viewed from different
angles. The special effect from this type of ink cannot be duplicated
by a scanner or copier. A small area of a document could be printed
in this ink to verify authenticity.
Penetrating inks contain a penetrating red dye that goes into the
fibers of the paper and will show through to the back of the document.
Penetrating inks are commonly used on the arabic and MICR numbering
of negotiable documents to deter forgers from trying to scrape the
number off from the document. If the number is scraped off the red
stain remains on the document. Also, if these documents are duplicated,
the reproduction could be easily spotted by checking for the appearance
of the red stain on the back of the document. Penetrating inks are
available for letter press or wet offset printing.
Photochromic ink can be colored or
colorless. When it is exposed to UV light it instantly changes colors.
Once the source of UV light is removed it will change back to its
original color. The unique properties of photochromic ink cannot be
reproduced by a scanner or copier. The authenticity of a document
with photochromic ink on it can easily be checked by exposure to sunlight,
UV lights or other strong artificial lights. This ink is available
in wet or dry offset and flexographic printing.
Solvent/Chemical Reactive Inks
This type ink reacts to solvents or chemicals, such
as bleach, alcohol or acetone. The solvents or chemicals are used
by a forger to wash away or alter information on a document. When
exposed to the solvents or chemicals, these inks will run, change
color, or cause a stain to develop. Tampering is easily detected when
chemicals or solvents are used on these inks. Solvent/chemical reactive
inks are available for wet or dry offset printing.
Thermochromic ink changes color when exposed to
heat and then changes back to its original color when cooled. When
an area of a document is printed with thermochromic ink, it can easily
be tested for authenticity by holding or rubbing the area between
fingers to activate the color change. This property cannot be reproduced
by a copier. Thermochromic ink is available for wet or dry offset
printing and flexographic printing.
Water Fugitive Ink
When water fugitive ink comes in contact with water
or any aqueous type of solution, it will run and stain the document.
If a forger tries to wash away an image it would be very obvious.
Water fugitive ink is available for dry offset printing.
UV Invisible Fluorescent Inks
UV invisible fluorescent ink is transparent white
or colorless and can only be detected under ultraviolet light. If
a portion of a secure document is printed with this ink, it can be
quickly checked for authenticity by viewing under a UV light. UV invisible
fluorescent inks cannot be reproduced on a scanner or copier. This
ink is available for wet or dry offset, flexographic and gravure printing.
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