The digital revolution has caused an increase in plastic cards printing and reduction of paper cards. Plastic cards can not only print human readable information and photos or images, but can also carry countless other types of invisible, machine readable information.

Visible security elements

For most purposes such as schools, clubs, recreational facilities and more, visible security elements such as the ones described below are more than sufficient. They can include the following:

1. Background color of the card. Besides branding, background color of the card can be very effective in signifying the access level for the photo ID card bearer. With a quick glance at the card, security personnel can verify the bearer access to a particular room or building.

2. Photo and ghost photo. These are clearly highly functional features of the card. Ghost photo or shadow photo is a reduced-size, reduced-contrast, and reduced brightness copy of the photo which makes the card difficult to copy accurately.

3. 1D or 2D bar codes and signature. These are easily added to the card, are clearly visible and can be read by naked eye or by an optical reader.

4. Hologram. Another feature that is impossible to copy using a standard color copier. Hologram will show a 3D image and will show a different perspective when looked at from an angle. Or, the image will shift left and right when the card is tilted. Or, the color of the image will shift when the card is tilted. This feature is highly effective in preventing forgery when customized. It can either be implemented in the plastic card or in the lamination of the card.

5. Small print. Small print, less than 0.5 mm in height, can be added in random places on the card. It is possible to read the print with a naked eye but very difficult to copy accurately using regular photo copier and scanners. It could blur from text into a line upon copying.

6. Metallic card surface. The surface of the plastic card can be made in metallic color finish which reflects a diffuse light. This, again, is difficult to impossible to copy with a standard color copier.