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Anti-counterfeit Ink List - Ink is lifeless, but the design is alive!

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

Under different conditions such as special light sources, angles, and temperatures, the ink will appear, change color and undergo various changes. This kind of ink is anti-counterfeit, firstly because the ink is variable and not easy to obtain, secondly because there is a certain technology threshold for printing, and thirdly because under normal condition counterfeiters do not know that there is a special ink hidden inside that there is no way to imitate it. This type of ink is certainly not used for security purposes only that it is also popular for generating creative printing effects on many sorts of designs. In this article we have sorted out various security inks, almost all the anti-counterfeit inks in the world are included. If there are any items not listed, please let us know, and Holo Solution will add them up accordingly.



1.Invisible Fluorescent Ink | Shortwave Ink


Invisible Fluorescent Ink appears transparent under natural light, and specific colors and patterns can be visualized under a counterfeit detecting lamp. The strengths of such kind of inks are as follows:


  1. It is not easily noticed under natural light thus may be ignored by counterfeiters.

  2. It has a high process threshold and cost, and it features anti-scanning and anti-copying functions.

  3. It is easy to authenticate

Design inspiration: This successful design was inspired by the idea that a client used invisible fluorescent ink to print a restaurant's menu for a Halloween magic-theme event, allowing diners to experience the mystery of finding a wordless book…


1.Invisible Fluorescent Ink | Shortwave Ink


2. Infrared Excitation Ink | Longwave Ink


Infrared inks are transparent and colorless when viewed under natural light. The use of an infrared projection pen can visualize light spots of specific colors. The infrared projection pens do not give rise to any reactions on normal inks, only infrared inks.

2. Infrared Excitation Ink | Longwave Ink



3. Photochromic Ink - Solar Discoloration Ink


Solar Discoloration Ink appears transparent and colorless under indoor daylight and colored under natural sunlight (or UV light). If brought back indoors, its color will last for a short period of time. Invisible fluorescent inks will change color after exposure to UV light but will fade immediately when the light source is removed. The main difference between Photochromic Ink and Invisible Fluorescent Ink is that Photochromic Ink will maintain the color for a short period of time after removal of the light source and will not fade immediately.


You may be curious about why we say that UV light causes photographic inks to develop color, but these inks are also known as daylight discoloration inks. Is it sunlight or ultraviolet discoloring ink? Actually, sunlight contains ultraviolet light! This ink is also known as sunlight discoloration ink because the ultraviolet rays in sunlight are strong enough to change the color of the ink.


Design inspiration: Some customers have printed photographic inks on the bodies of hand-held drinking cups as a marketing gimmick.


3. Photochromic Ink - Solar Discoloration Ink


4. Luminous Ink


Luminous Ink can maintain its brightness for a period of time in a dark environment after absorbing sunlight. Luminous inks are self-luminous inks that maintain their brightness for some time after absorbing enough energy from the sunlight, while fluorescent inks are non-self-illuminating inks that require a continuous supply of UV light to trigger luminescence.


Design inspiration: A full-print luminous ink printing can be made firstly, re-print with a color print, and then it will appear as an ordinary color print in natural light, but will glow at night to result in psychedelic and surprising effect.


4. Luminous Ink


5.Temperature-Sensitive Ink


Temperature-Sensitive Ink is a kind of ink that changes color with the change of temperature. In addition to differentiating temperatures and colors, there is also a reversible/irreversible distinction. It looks just like normal ink. It can be used in the field of anti-counterfeiting to identify the authenticity of a label by simple frictional heat.


Design inspiration: High-temperature discoloration (being changed to transparent) is the most common type of temperature-sensitive inks. We may print a hidden pattern first and then overprint the top layer with the temperature-sensitive ink. At room temperature only the full-print temperature-sensitive ink is visible, while at higher temperatures the rich pattern printed underneath can be shown, highlighting a sense of contrast. It can be used for high-temperature alerts, body temperature measurements, water temperature alerts, creative mug merchandise, and more.


5.Temperature-Sensitive Ink


6. Coin-Reactive Ink


Although invisible inks are good for being not easy to find out, sometimes we would need some special equipment to authenticate. As to coin-reactive ink, you can simply take a coin that is easily accessible to you and scratch gently to see a color change or a hidden pattern for authentication! It can be used very conveniently for gift vouchers and meal vouchers in the complex channel or catering industry.


Design inspiration: Coin-reactive inks are often designed to be concealed, allowing the users to pick up a readily available coin and scratch out the concealed pattern to provide a differentiated experience or for anti-counterfeit identification purposes.


6. Coin-Reactive Ink


7. Mirror Ink | Polarized Ink


The mirror ink has a shimmering metallic appearance in natural light and appears with different colors under different filters. It is easy to distinguish the true from the false by the differentiated results.

7. Mirror Ink | Polarized Ink



8. Optical-Variable Ink (OVI)


Optical Variable Ink (OVI) can be seen at different angles for different ink colors. The Optical Variable Inks have their unique features due to the complexity and variability among different manufacturers’ formulas. For example, the photochromic inks used for banknotes are subject to the control of government units and it is extremely difficult for other printers to tune for the same color patterns.

8. Optical-Variable Ink (OVI)



9. Laser Hologram Ink


The production of Hologram anti-counterfeit labels generally requires the fabrication of expensive printing plates. Therefore, the batch scale and unit prices are higher.


Laser Hologram Ink allows for the production of simpler holographic patterns, while at the same time exhibiting the texture of a holographic s anti-counterfeit label.


Design inspiration: The ordinary holographic film processing techniques have their limitations. With holographic inks, it is easier to integrate into the general printing process to cope with color printing to achieve a special and eye-catching color application.


9. Laser Hologram Ink



10.Scratch-off Ink | OVI OCEP available


The scratch-off ink is falsely attached to the surface of the material and can be scraped off with harder materials such as coins. QR Code, barcode, serial number and other information can be covered under the scratch-off.


You should use a coin to scrape off the scratch-off ink to see the information hidden in the bottom layer.


Scratch-off Ink | OVI OCEP available

Scratch-off Ink can also be combined with OVI (Optical Variable Ink) and OCEP (Optical Changeable Effect Pigments)


The OVI or ICEP ink has good anti-counterfeiting identification, and you can see different colors with different angle of view. The scratch-off ink with OVI or OCEP can be used for lottery scratch cards, color coupons, anti-counterfeiting verification labels and other products.


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