True Watermarks |
Watermarks can be used on documents to provide an effective
form of protection against counterfeiting. The watermark images are invisible
or difficult to view unless held up to the light or held at a 45° angle.
They can be applied as a true watermark which is applied to the paper during
the manufacturing process or as an artificial watermark which is applied by
a printing process. Either type of watermark provides a security feature that
is difficult, if not impossible, to copy by copiers and scanners. Shown below
is a description of a true watermark and an artificial watermarks.
True watermarks are made during the paper manufacturing process.
An image is formed when different degrees of pressure are applied to the paper
by a dandy roll, containing the image, while the paper is still wet. True watermarks
are also referred to as fourdrinier watermarks. Security paper with this feature
is distributed only to authorized manufactures, making it difficult for counterfeiters
A true watermark is visible from the front and the
back of the paper when viewed in regular light. The image of a true
watermark cannot be copied or scanned to produce the same effect.
The inability to be copied or scanned provides, to your document,
a high level of security against counterfeiting.
True watermarks are most often a standard watermark applied by the
paper manufacturer but can be applied as a custom application. A custom
watermark will add extra security to your document by making it next
to impossible for the counterfeiter to obtain your special watermarked
paper. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering the
use of a custom watermark. A dandy roll must be special ordered with
the custom image that is to be applied. The cost of the custom dandy
roll can add a substantial amount to the initial cost of the paper
but is usually a one time charge as long as the image does not change.
The cost per hundred weight of the paper may also be affected. There
are generally additional setup charges from the mill, minimum order
requirements, and extended lead times on delivery of the paper. These
issues need to be considered when determining the value of a custom
Artificial watermarks are applied after the paper manufacturing
process. They can be applied by the paper manufacturer or by the printer. Many
paper manufacturers offer stock security papers that have a standard artificial
watermark applied to them. The cost of the security paper with an artificial
watermark is generally a little less expensive than one with a true watermark.
An artificial watermark can be seen from one side
only. It is generally applied to the back side but can be applied
to the front side also. The watermark is achieved by printing the
image in opaque white ink, transparent ink or by using varnish. They
will all produce an image that is visible when viewed at an angle.
An artificial watermark is sometimes also referred to as ghost printing.
Artificial watermarks are nearly impossible to duplicate by copier
or scanners, making this a good security feature to add to your documents.
Adding a customized artificial watermark to your
document will make it even more difficult to duplicate. Customizing
an artificial watermark is less expensive than customizing a true
watermark. The customizing can be accomplished by the paper manufacturer
or the printer. The most cost effective alternative will depend on
the quantity of watermarked paper needed. Consult your supplier as
to what would be the best alternative for your needs.
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