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Accept no (l)imitations: the evolving technologies of security printing

SpecialChem / Aug 8, 2007

One of the unfortunate consequences of the digital revolution has been the greater ease with which all kinds of printed matter and manufactured goods can be counterfeited, and the greater speed with which international criminal activities can be organised. Globalisation, too, has increased the availability of counterfeit goods and improved their distribution. The forging of banknotes at one time required a highly skilled engraver to imitate complex printing patterns; today, high quality scanners and printers can be and have been used to produce low quality imitations - which may pass undetected in hasty transactions - with little skill. In response to these threats, the printing industry (in particular) is engaged on an endless spiral of developing ever more sophisticated methods to protect against theft, tampering and counterfeiting, while at the same time developing advances in general printing technology which quite accidentally devalue some of what were originally high-security features.

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