The published articles are meant to primarily educate the students in printing to supplement their knowledge in the field of Printing. These are not simple Glossary of printing terms, but to the extent possible every term has been explained in brief so that it can be of some use to the students who appear in some sort of examinations and interviews.
I served the Printing Industry for over 40 years
in various capacities, a major part in an Security Printing Organization. In order not to waste the printing and paper related knowledge which I gained over years, I decided to keep them in public domain for the reason stated in prepara. Most of the illustrations - over 90% - have been generated by me to explain the terms suitably.
While I am not sure to what extent the published content will help, if the content is going to be of use to some one in some manner, I will be greatly satisfied.
Your views may be sent to me ( for my record and correction wherever needed.



- Over 400 terms-

Click on this line to read from 'A'

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Printing Presses and Allied Industries -Brief Summary

Before September 1556 the word printing was unknown to India. It was only in the year 1556 when Jesuit brother Juan de Bustamante (1536-1588), who knew the art of printing landed in Goa with a printing press. The art of printing entered India for the first time only then that too through Jesuits.

Following the establishment of the first Printing Press in the year 1556 in Goa, in the year 1670 the first Printing press was brought in Mumbai (then Bombay). This was followed in Tamilnadu sometime in 1714, in Kerala some time in 1800 and within the next few years many Printing Presses were established in many parts of India. Initially all those presses were established by the efforts of Christian missionaries to print Bible in different languages. Other than Bible the presses established in the then named Bombay and Poona printed regional subjects in regional languages. During 1925-28 two Printing Press to print of postal stationery & stamps and Bank Notes were established in the district of Nashik in Maharashtra.

Over the years, the Printing Industry has been rapidly growing in all parts of Globe and so is in India. The Printing industry in India with its allied industries like Packaging, Ink manufacturers, Printing equipments and machineries manufacturers and the manufacturers of raw materials and consumables for Printing put together ranks third in the world in growth and supplies. As per one of the Economic survey reports the Print industry's' market was around $25 billion with a growth rate of 12 to 13 % per annum in the year 2011 when data for 2006 was compared. True to the said projection the growth has been around 12 % per annum from the year 1990 when reforms were introduced.

The Printing Industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors in India and is estimated to have over 2,50,000 printing presses in small, medium and large sizes. Some other survey puts the figure as 1,50,000 Printing Presses (Rama Reprographics, Sivakasi) and another as 1,37,280 Presses (India Trade Promotion Organization). Sivakasi alone is reported to have 450- 560 registered Printing establishments as per some of the statistics available from different sources for the year 2011. It is quite possible that many small level unregistered in house units that includes Graphic arts which is almost a household industry in this town may not have been included in the survey that gives lesser figures. Few possible reasons that could be attributed to the conflicting versions are :

-Hand operated treadle machine presses were aplenty decades ago in every nook and corner of the streets catering to small jobs and smaller lot orders like bill books, coupons, tickets, receipt books. They may have been still accounted in spite of the fact that many may have been closed down with the advent of mushrooming Desktop printers and publishers or shifted to new premises or some may have even converted into new units the facts of which the surveys overlooked.

- Many in-house small printing presses with table top equipments may not have registered with the Registrar of shops and establishments and therefore remained un accounted.

-Desktop printers in every nook and corner may have been accounted under presses in some surveys while others may have omitted it.

-Many presses proposed at some places may have obtained registration (Vat and CST Nos) but due to extraneous reasons like finance failed to establish but still remained on Paper as Press. They may have been accounted.

-Large no of Signboard presses are found throughout the country with due registrations operating on commission basis. They may not have Printing machines or equipments of their own and execute the job with others yet delivering consignments in their Press names. By some they may have also been counted as Press.

One of the biggest obstacle in compiling true data on Presses in India have been the absence of a Centralized or even state level agency or Association which can generate the factual data every year after due verification process. This has not been happening and whatever data is arrived at is based on the enlisted members of several of the Associations or Societies and registered with the Registrar of Shops and Establishments in every state. While the registered ones are accountable, the unregistered cannot be accounted. Many signboard units may also be operating as in house unit with small equipments and machineries without registration for Vat and CST. Therefore in order to compile national data on the Presses in India - the established units, both with and without licenses, but omitting the signboard Presses - the facts have to be gathered by some study group through well organized study. Such a exercise will only reveal the true picture on the growth in Printing Industry in India. I wish few Associations from different states join together in this common cause and compile a consolidated data and publish them in the name of Data on ''Printing Presses and Allied industries in India''.

Whatever is the case, it is generally projected in all surveys that the overall growth in Printing Industry since 1990 has been to the extent of 12 to 14% per annum that includes allied industries like Printing Machinery Manufacturers, Packaging industries, Paper manufacturing and Ink manufacturing units. As per one of the Economic survey reports the current annual turnover in Printing Industry has been to the tune of 50,000 crores in Indian rupees. As per another report available, the Capital Investment in this industry is over 83,000 million rupees (Rama Reprographics, Sivakasi) and a third report mentions the figure as 80,000 million (India Trade Promotion Organization) rupees. As per Sivakasi Printing group, the Printing Industry in Sivakasi is worth 1000 crores and employs over 50,000 workers of different cadre. Also Sivakasi stands next to Germany in respect of having largest number of Printing Machines.

The print industry has evolved dramatically in the last few years. Globally Indian Printing Industry has been rated within top ten Countries along with USA, China, Brazil, Mexico etc. Technology is changing every day. Printing Market across the world is looking for more and more exciting print products with faster delivery, and this requirement is met by India and perhaps this is the reason for the high growth of Printing Industry in India in recent times. The volume of Print material in the form of News Papers, Periodicals, Text books and learning material is continuously on the upswing and this cause more and more presses to emerge or expansion taking place in the existing presses in India. This is the case in respect of Security Printers too whose work demand is growing with modernization of plants. The Export* of printed books, Newspapers, Periodicals, printed pictures and other products from printing is 246.64 million US $ equivalent to 112,276/- lakhs in Indian rupees, and during 2011-2012 it was 377.22 million US $ equivalent to 181,351.35 lakhs in Indian rupees ( * Ref: India Export-Import Trade Statistics)

According to one of the surveys conducted it came to light that over 3/4th of the total presses established in India are run by family members and remaining function as Private Limited Presses with share holders. Over 12 lakhs employees of all cadres are employed in all forms of printing industries. In printing industry alone (without allied industries in printing) over 4 million employees are working that includes indirect labours. As per a Sivakasi Printing group, the Printing Industry in Sivakasi employs over 50,000 workers of different cadre. Over the years India has witnessed rapid modernization in Printing industry, particularly after 1990-91 when liberalized reforms were initiated in economy and more and more Privatization in Public sectors commenced for several reasons. The Security Printing industry too fell in privatization mode.

In respect of Packaging industry which is allied to Printing (as the Cartons and Boxes are also printed) the ever growing consumer markets require more and more printed Cartons and boxes. The requirement of printed cartons in Pharmaceutical industry has also tremendously increased. Blister packs contain  security featured prints which is newer phenomenon seen in recent years in the Pharmaceutical industry adds up to the growth of security printing. As per one of the survey results revealed by German machinery manufacturers group, at the end of 2007 the  market share in printing by Printed Packaging industries was around 35 %. There are about 600-700 packaging machinery manufacturers  out of which  95% of   were in the small and medium sector located all over India.

More and more Modern technology, Machineries and Equipments were allowed to be imported and established in the name of reforms and cost effectiveness in spite of the fact that it indirectly axed the labour force.  26% direct investment from foreign firms were allowed in respect of News paper and Periodicals which own their own presses. The daily News Papers record strong growth, so are the Periodicals and Children Magazines. This caused higher growth in Printing Industry. During last two decades with the emergence of more and more Universities, Schools and other Educational institutions the demand for the printed text volume is tremendously on the increase especially as the literacy rate grew over 66% in the year 2001. It is anticipated that the growth will additionally pick up by 4-5 % every year as export market is also catching up in respect of Print material as labour force and many raw material is cheaper in India. However India struggles to compete with tough client China which has more cheaper labor force.

On the technological front, much development has taken place in printing industry in post independence India. In the last two decades entire pre press industry has transformed from conventional pre press to computerized digital pre press and digital printing thus speeding up the print process. Computers and electronics have intruded into all the departments of printing to improve quality, faster reproduction and to upgrade the quality with speed even though the initial establishment cost were high.

With the emergence of Desktop publishing in 1984-85 , digital and laser printing have taken the process to newer heights, allowing printers to do more than ever before. High definition State of the Art digital technology, Pre press Technology, Inkjet Technology have all added more credence to the Print Industry. Similarly the digital printing industry has seen significant transformations with new technologies & applications providing cost-effective and customized solutions. The growth of Digital Printing Industry is somewhere around 2.5 billion US $ in the year 2012, a fourfold increase compared with previous 5-6 years of growth. These developments have caused closure of the very small printing establishments which were operating with hand operated treadle machines.

One of the reports mention that during last two decades the growth in Printing industry has been in the range of 12%, the printing linked Packaging as 16 % and the Printing Ink manufacturing industry's growth around 12%. The Indian Printing Ink Manufacturers Association mention that the packaging industries have witnessed a growth of approximately 12.5% and the Corrugated packing industry has grown by over 8%. The flexible packaging industry's growth is in excess of 15% with the expansion of the food and retail industry. The growth in the packaging industry is due to the ever growing demand of cartons and boxes for consumer products and Pharmaceutical industry. The Label Printing unit is another area that is growing fast. The Indian label industry fast growing and has recorded highest growth rate of 19%. Bar-coded labels are also growing by 30-35% .

Since the Printing Ink manufacturing is allied industry to Printing their growth too adds up in the overall development or growth of the Printing and Allied Industries in India. The Printing Ink in several varieties are used by Commercial Printing presses, Security Printers, and Packaging Industry. Ink manufacturing industry is rapidly growing due to ever increasing Periodicals and News Papers, Printed cartons, text books, and other advertising material. As per the report of the Indian Printing Ink Manufacturers Association, the Indian Printing Ink Industry is valued at approximately Rs. 1,800 to Rs. 2,000 Crores with an average growth rate of 12–15% annually by volume. In terms of tonnage of ink manufactured in India, it is estimated to be 110 million tones. The ink demand in the Newspaper Industry grew rapidly over the past 3–4 years by nearly 20%.

In respect of the usage of Printing machines at one time India's small Offset presses were equipped with more of Chez and East German machines under brand names 'Romayor' 'Planeta' and so on while some of the small Offset Printing machines were also imported from UK under brand name 'Rota Print' and 'Multilith'. Over the years India started manufacturing their own small Offset and Letterpress machines with HMT showing the way. Printing machines, equipments and allied tools are manufactured in different sectors in India. Punjab, U.P, Gujarat and Noida has many Printing and packaging machinery manufacturing units. Several firms are exporting single color, double color, four color sheet fed, offset printing machines and newspaper rotaries to the developing as well as developed countries across the globe like USA, CIS, African and Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal etc. The Pre press chemicals and Plate making Chemical supplies are more from Mumbai and Sivakasi.

All India Federation of Master Printers, New Delhi which represents more than 16 million printers in India, reveal  that  the Growth of ''Indian Print Media, Industry and Marketing"   is in the following order:-
  • Projected Growth of Indian Printing and Packaging Industry for 2007-08 is 14 %
  • Projected Growth of Indian Label Printing Industry for 2007-08 is 18 %
  • Value of Equipments and Consumables for 2007-12 in India's Print and Allied Items is: 



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Colour shift Security Features

( Written by N.R. Jayaraman )

''  .......Besides the common Security features adapted
by different Countries on their Security
Documents, some special features are emerging
in the world to deter Counterfeiting menace.
The most effective format amongst them is the features 
with Colour Shifting Properties which prevents forgers 
from duplicating them. An brief analysis on the features........ ''

Of late one can notice every single Bank Note/Currencies issued by different nation across the world contain  Colour shift features ranging from OVI inks to several other types of Holographic images. Even though there are more than  twenty time tested and universally acceptable security features are incorporated in Bank Notes and Currencies, still the features were not effectively stalling counterfeiting menace which remained unabated till few years back.  The menace was challenging to the issuing authorities especially to the European nation as the value of their Currencies were considered  strong  in the International  trade. 
When the Bank Notes/ Currencies were issued several decades back, more reliance was placed on the Cotton based Paper, embedded Water Marks and the Metallic Security Thread which were considered sufficient enough to counter the menace of counterfeiting. As the counterfeiting  posed serious problems, many new features were introduced to protect the Bank Notes/ Currencies . 
In the mid 80s several security features were available which of course were well tested features to meet all weather conditions and ensured durability of the Notes. Various denominational Bank Notes/ Currencies issued by different countries contained some or all the security features as listed below. However all the features were not incorporated as a rule in all denominations, but the features varied with the denominational value. The higher denominational value was,the features incorporated were more while the lower denominations had limited features.  However one thing found common in all Bank Notes and Currencies were the use of Cotton based Cylinder mould water mark paper embedded with  two and three  dimensional images as Currency to print  with and the second being insertion of metallic Security thread to authenticate the notes at first look. 

The most commonly used security features around the world were:
1) Cylinder mould water marked Paper with 100 % combed Cotton - Both three dimensional and two dimensional images embedded
2) Security thread- windowed or plain with printed text or without text
3) Raised print - Intaglio
4) Micro letters
5) UV glowing Florescent Inks
6) Pearl Luster Inks which had microscopic transparent Mica Flakes
7) Guilloche patterns and designs
8) Latent image
9) See through images
10) Rainbow printing
11) Blind marks
12) Iridescent Planchets
13) Magnetic inks
14) Thermo chromatic inks
15) Carefully created Halo/ Ghost images below actual images which can be viewed under powerful lens seen in a particular angle only
16) Electrotype secondary water marks
17) Florescent Metal dust called  planchets ( to fluoresce on the surface of paper when viewed under UV light) and Fluorescent Fibers on paper
As the year progressed, even though sufficient features as listed above were available and incorporated as security features on security documents, the menace of counterfeiting did not come down and the Bank Notes/ Currencies were prone to attack from counterfeiters. Therefore backed by the experienced experts from the fields of optics, physics, chemistry and design continued efforts were carried out to innovate more and more features  to impede counterfeiting.  Many of the  security features innovated remained  Patented products of  several firms engaged in the R&D in security features.   During the period 80-90 time tested anti copying features in the form of Colour shifting features emerged which effectively checkmated the counterfeiting menace. The advent of Colour shift features was perhaps the beginning of a tough war between the Counterfeiters and the issuing authorities of security documents including Bank Notes and Currencies.
As stated initially, when the Bank Notes or Currencies were issued the issuing authorities of Bank Notes in different countries mainly relied upon the Water Mark Paper, Security thread and the specialty inks to impede counterfeiting and forgery. However with the emergence of Colour Copiers, the Bank Notes could be easily copied in true colors, a look alike notes produced on suitable Bond Paper which at first look appeared as though they were genuine Bank Notes.  In view of the same certain restrictions -like when the Bank Notes or Currencies were kept for copying, the machine would produce only black and white picture or failed to copy - were imposed on the manufacturers of  Colour Copiers as accepted by the international community of industries; still it had little effect in curbing the menace.  Since the restrictions were only mutually acceptable  and had no International legal sanction, the scheme failed to work.
Therefore in order to effectively counter the menace of counterfeiting after the advent of the Colour Copiers, the colour varying inks which changed shades when turned in different angles were innovated and introduced.  M/s Sicpa, the pioneers in the field of Security Ink manufacturing came out with the novel ink technology that changed colour when viewed from two sides. The specialty ink invented called 'Optically Variable Inks (OVI)' could show two different shades of ink when viewed in two different angles. During 1987-88 Thailand is understood to be the first Country that adapted this technology in their currency. Initial  success though was heartening, and OVI with Intaglio became an important element in the Bank Notes designs. However it was realized that the grey area in the use of OVI was  limitation in shades available.  Only two shade variations could be effected at that time- black to blue and Green to Black.  While black to green shade was supplied to USA for incorporation in their notes the other shade available Green to Blue  was open to others. Since the other OVI  was not Country specific initially, the same shades could be obtained by any other Country for incorporating in their Currencies and this particular had devastating effect across the world when enemy nations were able to procure the same inks and duplicate the Currencies of their enemy  nation.  Therefore one or two more time tested Colour shift OVIs like Green to Violet and Green to Gold  were formulated. Though invention of OVI resulted in over 90 % of the Bank Notes and Currencies now  in circulation in different parts of the world carrying OVI feature, the role of OVI on Bank Notes/Currencies  alone was not found  sufficient enough and had to be further supplemented with another strong anti colour copying feature. 

Based on the experiment of OVI emerged  prismatic effect inks and OVD features. The OVD   foils and patches   were characterized by the iridescent display of colors when viewed from different angles. The advantage seen with the OVD was that the iridescent rays reflected by them could not be colour copied as the colored Xerox prints can not show the variation in the ink shades when the documents were viewed from different angles as the colour shifting properties of  OVD was angular dependent. In respect of OVI  the pigments in the ink  effected shade variation. The Pigment particles used were so tiny and magnetized and specially cut like crystals to reflect different rays to show variation in colors.

With the advent of OVI and its success, slowly the choice to incorporate Colour shifting properties of products as security feature for use on Bank Notes/ Currencies gained momentum as it became impossible for   counterfeiting  the notes by Color copiers and other means unless they were able to procure the actual security featured material used on specific Bank Notes/Currencies.

Besides difficult to duplicate the other important aspect in the use of color shift features was that the features were more  public friendly and widely accepted feature because they could be easily identified with naked eye without use of any gadgets. Specially the feature when incorporated in the form of patches, foils or threads offered more flexibility in integrating various design elements which were also not available in commercial markets. It was also found possible to incorporate the colour shifting properties on the security threads. Subsequently even double sided colour shift featured threads were developed that enabled viewing different images and colors on either side of the thread. The added advantage of the feature is the possibility of viewing the third image under transmission. One such product has been the patented product of 'Toppan's' invented  under brand name 'Double sided Demet thread'. Romania is understood to be the first Country that used the colour shift thread on their Bank Notes some time during 1990. 

 (Pic Courtesy :

In the last two years it is learnt that around 100 denominations issued by several countries that include South Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica, Angola etc were incorporated with some form of colour changing features  in the Bank Notes/ Currencies issued.  This will illustrate that next to the Paper and Ink the level of security for Bank Notes and Currencies tilted to colour changing features that played an important role in strengthening the security features of the documents  like Passports, Visa, Driving Licenses including  that of  Bank notes.

Varieties of Colour Shifting property features are available world over many of them being Patented products of some firms. Some of the features are in the form of Kinegram, Hologram or OVD foils or OVI in inks. An optical variable device or optically variable device (OVD) is an iridescent image that exhibits various optical effects such as movement or color changes which  cannot be even colour copied or scanned to produce multiple copies. 
Since OVDs are based on diffractive optical structures and gave appearance of having different patterns, colors, and designs depending on the angle from which they are viewed, the first use of a holographic OVD (Optically Variable Device) as security feature was adapted on a Banknote  in the year 1989. Optically Variable Device (OVD) has commonly been used as security feature for showing iridescent display of colors. OVD show various tilt effects like kinematic effects and colour shifts. All innovations like Kinegram® , Holograms and other varieties of holographic mediums used as Bank Note protection feature came under under OVD family.

Toppon, a UK based firm came out with several OVDs as security features. The firm, pioneers in the manufacture of Holograms are in the field from 1975.  The firm claim that their OVDs are in use on  more than 12 billion Bank Notes across the world.  Some of their patented products on OVD by Toppon has been the following:
  • Crystagrams:-  These are supplied with Nano and Micro texts.  One of their 'S' type  Crystograms when rotated through 90 degrees show both negative and Positive images.
'S' Type Crystagrams 
(Pic Courtesy :
  • Asterium:-  This when viewed straight will cause the image to  appear black and when tilted,   show clear image in two color shades. 
 (Pic Courtesy :
  • Nanorius:-  Like Hologram, it has colour shift effect, but unlike colour shift ink, micro-level text and images can be achieved.
(Pic Courtesy :
  • Jeweltone :-  This is also under OVD family but with nano level moulding technology.  It gives three colour effects, first  tilt will show black and white image. Further tilt will show third colour effect or design change compared to original image. 

 (Pic Courtesy :

The Kinegram®, a vector oriented Colour shift security feature also came under the family of OVD. Kinegram® is proprietary technologies from Kurz, a German firm and their product is understood to have been introduced first in Saudi Arabian Passport in the year 1980. In the year 1988 Austria brought out 5000 Schilling Bank Note which is the first foil application under Kinegram.The Kinegram® contains special types of computer-generated diffractive optical elements with symmetric and asymmetric surface reliefs (gratings). It is the world's leading foil based optical security device for the production of Bank Notes and other security documents and is a custom made. A Kinegram image is formed by fine lines of different thickness and shape. As angle of the light changes, the image of Kinegram also changes, producing the effect of even a moving picture. It has two dimensional images and when Kinegram image is tilted both in horizontal and vertical axis one can see changes in the images like moving, rotating, changing colour effect images or change the image pattern itself. This is called Kinematic effect. This feature can not be copied or imitated, the product being proprietary technology of Kurz and technology kept secret.

The Kinegram images are produced through diffractive theory deploying e-beam and high resolution laser and by combining the two images produced by them through precision process the final Kinegram image is produced. Apart from diffractive control elements, it is claimed by the firm that it is possible to integrate some of the security features directly on to Kinegram foils by printing on them. As per the information from the firm over 100 countries have adapted Kinegram® technology for various security documents produced by them that include Bank Notes and Currencies. 
(Pic Courtesy :

Further to Kinegram® Kurz has come out with another feature called 'Kinegram Volume®' which is fundamentally different and show only one colour in narrow viewing range but have an exceptional diffraction efficiency that results in clear and bright images with depth and display large colour shifts in one patch. They are also transparent and show the images printed below Kinegram Volume (Information Courtesy : Currency News, May 2013).

'Kinegram Volume®' on photo polymer material  is foil based technology that produces highly visible, clear images under all standard lighting conditions with very sharp image transitions.

 (Pic Courtesy :

 (Pic Courtesy : Currency News, May 2013 issue)

Another OVD group of Colour shift security feature is known as Holography which enables viewing of three dimensional images. Though the Rainbow effect has been introduced in the Hologram in the year 1969, the Holographic feature has been reportedly introduced as security feature on Bank Notes only from the year 1980 as the embossed rainbow Holograms were available in commercial market only from then. With suitable illumination combined with the use of laser, interference, and intensity of light beam scattered from the object, both the 2D and 3D images are formed. The Holographic technique is photography based to produce three dimensional images. Various types of Holograms made under this technique include transmission holograms that allow light to be shined through them and the image to be viewed from the side, while others are Rainbow Holograms. One advanced amongst them is called Holographic stereo gram, which is used to enhance the security of documents including that of Currencies and Bank Notes. 

As the world’s largest integrated commercial banknote printer De La Rue have also come out with several innovative security features in the Colour shift Holographic feature. De La Rue Holographic is world leader in Optical Micro Structure technology, specializing in high security anti-counterfeit and tamper-evident technologies. De La Rues' holograms are reportedly used on over 90 denominations covering more than 40 countries. The firm claim that their Holographic products have sharper resolution, deeper images, controlled colour effect, and the technique not available in the commercial markets. The effects seen in their Holograms are distinctly different, has instant public recognition properties, simple to verify  and rated to be the highest feature in anti counterfeit features available. The firm has few Colour shift Holographic features some of which are:-
  • Depth image TM Hologram: Visible depth in images, easily recognized by public, can be applied as OVD patch.

  • Dual image TM Hologram: Three dimensional images and can be applied in OVD patch format 
  • Combigram TM Hologram: combination of classical and E beam technologies in perfect register with covert features integrating different OVD effects. 
  • Multi image TM Hologram: Can be applied as stripes, combinable with Dual image Hologram