security printing: certificate of authenticity

Security Printing / Brand Protection Printing

How to stay ahead of the counterfeiters out to steal your brand

The Catapulting Counterfeiting Crisis

Counterfeiting is a global problem that is growing by leaps and bounds every year. The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) estimates that since 1982, worldwide counterfeiting has grown from a $5.5 billion per year industry to a $600 billion per year industry. It’s costing U.S. businesses a fortune. Between $200 billion and $250 billion dollars a year are on the line for companies as they seek ways to ensure that the products sold with their logos and branding are authorized and authentic. What’s worse is the counterfeiting industry is expected to reach $4.2 trillion (USD) globally, in the next few years. So why the huge spike in counterfeiting?

Another Symptom of COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19, the demand for essential products increased and more consumers turned to internet shopping. As a result, brand counterfeiting increased exponentially. Large online retailers like Amazon have stepped in to do their part in reducing counterfeiting. This emerging trend is driving change in the security printing and brand protection industry. It’s requiring brand owners and their converter/printer partners to work together to create a multi-layered protection plan so that their packaging and labels protect their brands and deter those trying to profit at their (and their reputation’s) expense.

What types of manufacturers fall prey and how can they protect their brands?

There are two types of manufacturers that are most prone to counterfeiting issues. They are (1) those involved in security printing, and (2) those involved in brand protection:

Security Printing

Governments, authorities, finance, and other institutions that deal with documents such as currency, identification, tax stamps, and secure documents. With the rise of the digital landscape and the wider use of e-payments, this segment is having to adjust to new market realities.

Brand Protection

Brand protection targets brands that are increasingly forced to confront counterfeiting issues, particularly in the nutraceuticals and wellness, cosmetics and personal care, spirits, agrochemical, industrial and automotive, and food and beverage industries. For this segment, increasing diversion problems, multiple SKUs, concerns around health and safety, and E2E workflow integration remain the key challenges.

security printing: product label under special light

How to outsmart counterfeiters

Using today’s digital printing technologies that build security and anti-counterfeiting measures into the design of the packaging and labels from the beginning can substantially increase a brand owner’s confidence that their products won’t be stolen or their reputation damaged. The investment in these measures is quite reasonable, and many of these measures are integrated directly into the digital printing process. These measures include:

  • Fluorescent fibers — These are fibers that have been mixed into the pulp during the paper manufacturing process and are not visible unless viewed under a special light.
  • Microprinting fibers — These small, embedded fibers are randomly distributed throughout the paper and can only be seen upon close inspection.
  • Reactive anti-fraud chemicals — These are chemicals that cause a reaction — such as a stain — to appear if a label is tampered with.
  • Watermarks — Watermarks can be embedded into the design of the package to authenticate products. These can be either generic or customized for a brand and can be very cost-effective when built into the prepress process.
  • Taggants — Taggants are microscopic substances that can be either added to the substrate itself, or to the ink or toner, to act as a trace. Taggants don’t impact the quality of the ink or the substrate, but cannot be removed. It takes a specialized taggant reader to detect taggants and verify that a product is authentic.
  • Embedded holograms — Two-dimensional holographic images can be embedded into the substrate either overtly or covertly and can be used for product authentication. They are very difficult to duplicate.
security printing

How our sophisticated security printing out-smarts other printing methods

Unlike conventional security solutions, our secure printing method allows for multiple layers of security elements to be applied in different security levels to any document, label, or package in one pass, with the power of variable data and serialization.

Using multiple serialization tools, our method is unique in that it combines overt, semi-covert, covert, and forensic measures to provide additional preventative layers that make it easier to catch out counterfeiters.

overt security printing

Level 1 — Overt

Visible security features that allow individuals to inspect packaging without specialized tools, such as holograms and color-shift ink.

semi-covert security printing

Level 2 — Semi-Covert

A visible security feature that needs an additional device to authenticate it, such as a QR code or microtext.

covert security printing

Level 3 — Covert

High-security features embedded into labels, product packaging, and documents that are invisible to the human eye, such as taggants and invisible inks that require purpose-built authenticators or inspectors for identification.

forensic security printing

Level 4 — Forensic

The highest level of protection, security features that are detectable only in a laboratory, with their exact nature held secret for security reasons. These are authenticated by an authenticated inspector.

We offer

Innovative Plug & Play Features

Mix and match a wide range of advanced innovative plug & play elements that are easy to print and hard to copy. Manufacturers include HP (Microtext, Micro 2D Barcodes, Guillache), Jura, Agfa & Haiyaa.

Cutting Edge Security Inks

Added security measures that protect the entire product supply chain and verify product authenticity.

Advanced Track and Trace Solutions

Advanced track and trace features — such as digital watermarks and protected bar codes — are difficult to duplicate, destroy and block. When combined with additional security features, protected track & trace ensures products cannot be intercepted, bypassed, or sabotaged by malicious parties, anywhere, at any point in the supply chain.

Locked-In Layers

A multi-layer, multi-purpose security solution — on one press, in one pass. Our technology enables you to cut out multiple production lines, duplicated waste, and unnecessary labor hours to create an adaptive shield using one asset, in one production step, all from one provider. Combine variable data, serialization, and multi-layer security features to create a digital armor that protects product authenticity.

security printing layers under UV light

How to learn more about our security and brand protection printing solutions

Phone us at (866) 811-0110 or use the contact form below to discuss options, discounted pricing, and production timelines.

Contact Us


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