Generic and Custom Holographic Overlaminates for ID Cards

Some ID card printers have the option of an in-line card lamination module. This device can apply a generic (off-the-shelf) overlaminate to cards immediately after they have been printed. The purpose of these materials is to protect the cards from wear and tear. This is especially the case if the cards are used in some types of card readers where the reader rubs the surface of the card and causes damage to the printed image. These overlaminates can be clear or can carry a medium or high security off-the-shelf or a custom design hologram to make the cards less easy to counterfeit.

Overlaminate Materials

In general, there are two materials in common use. One is an undersized polyester patch material, usually available in either 0.6mil (15 micron) or 1.0mil (25 micron) thickness. This is a CR79 size that is around 1mm under the size of a normal credit card. It is undersized to enable the printer’s lamination module to place it easily on the card without there being any overhang which would tend to cause the patch to peel back over time. These patches normally carry trademarks such as PolyGuard or DuraGard. They are heavy duty and designed for use where cards are swiped in magnetic strip readers which cause extensive wear to the image on the card face. They are usually supplied on 250 count rolls.
Secondly, there are thermal transfer (thin film) overlaminates that are normally 0.2mil (5-6 microns) thick and are slightly over sized compared with the card. When applied to the card face they produce a true edge-to-edge effect with no border that is not covered. This material costs less that the patch material and is normally supplied in 500 count rolls.

Generic Holographic Overlaminates

These are high resolution 2D/3D holograms that are available off-the-shelf to anyone so, although they are very secure in themselves, they can be purchased on the open market without restrictions, so should not be used for very secure cards such as law enforcement or military.

Custom Holograms

If a user has a requirement for a unique, custom designed hologram for use on a very secure card, then these are available to order.
In general, there are two styles of holographic design, “Secure” and “High Secure”. “Secure” is a basic on/off, 600 dpi design with random image placement i.e. the holograms are usually small and in a wall paper pattern. “High Secure” is a 2D/3D design at 1,200 dpi with the images being registered i.e. always in the same place on each card. “High Secure” designs offer a choice of up to 4 Visual Security Elements (VSEs) in the price of the origination. VSEs are unique security features such as Nano Text, Morphing Images etc etc.
For more information on VSEs click here

The prospective user will be asked to supply high resolution artwork or a layout of how they want the finished holographic design to look. The hologram and the layout can be designed from scratch, in house, at Bannerbridge, assuming that suitable artwork is supplied, but this is chargeable hourly. After the layout has been done, it is submitted to the hologram manufacturer to design and create the tooling to manufacture the holographic overlaminates. At this stage, it is necessary to pay an upfront origination charge, which is not cancellable. Once this has been done a proof will be sent for approval. Any last minute alterations can be done at this point without cost and when this has been done, a final layout proof together with a forensic proof will be submitted to the client. Once this has been approved, the manufacturing can begin. This is done by specialist manufacturers in the USA or Europe who work with the printer manufacturers.
Custom holograms are specially manufactured and there is a standard lead time of 8 to 10 weeks from final proof approval. There is also a minimum order and re-order quantity of 50 rolls of material which equates to 12,500 or 25,000 images dependant on the material used.
Once a design has been done and the hologram created, it belongs to the final end user and is only available to purchase through the original manufacturer’s partner.