Holograms to maintain growth in 2023: Paul Dunn

Fake Covid cards, documents and vaccines biggest threat

Hologram on labelling will continue to become part of a wider function to track a product throughout its life, and post-life, cycle in 2023.

Commercial holograms will maintain robust growth in 2023 despite the global challenges, says Paul Dunn, chair of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA). Authentication and track and trace systems, which feature holograms, will continue to help to underpin international efforts by government and law enforcement agencies to bolster overt and covert protection strategies in the next 12 months, he says.

Fake Covid cards, documents and vaccines remain a big security threat in the months ahead and so governments, law enforcement authorities and global supply chains must consistently review their anti-counterfeiting plans and investment in security resources, he says. 

“Counterfeiting will remain a massive global threat, continually placing governments, brands and the public at risk — and will continue to be tackled effectively to minimize the impact on society. Despite the economic, social and global supply chain challenges, we expect to see global growth in 2023 with countries enhancing and bringing forward their anti-counterfeiting plans that feature holograms.

“These holograms will become even more integrated with other technologies to create intuitive brand engagement programs. Simultaneously, authentication through scanning a QR code on the label acts as a secondary product verification method. This provides a simple unified platform for brands to interact and engage with their customers.”

ID document producers similarly adopting hybrid optical technologies to protect against fraud

Dunn says holograms on labeling will continue to become part of a wider function to track a product throughout its life, and post-life, cycle in 2023. This combination of authentication and tracking will give brand owners complete visibility and control from sourcing raw materials through to recycling.

This year will see continued growth in high security print applications as increasingly, holography origination capabilities are brought in-house. This cuts the innovation cycle and enables printers to get their technologies specified for new banknote work.

Dunn also sees ID document producers similarly adopting hybrid optical technologies to protect against fraud: “I expect the trend of using color personalization and optically variable image devices to protect the secondary portrait on ID and travel documents to continue through 2023 as the threat of portrait morphing becomes more common.”

Sustainability will be one of the key themes of the next 12 months with manufacturers developing strategies to cut carbon footprint as part of their corporate responsibility strategies. “The IHMA will be leading efforts through its Sustainability Working Group to encourage best practice by sharing information and showcasing company wide initiatives,” Dunn said.

The next 12 months also mark the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the IHMA. Although impacted by the global challenges in recent years, Dunn says 2023 will be a year for growth and development on the back of the organization’s re-brand. This will feature a new logo and website improvements with a focus to expand the opportunities for membership among converters and equipment suppliers, as well as producers.

The IHMA is made up of more than 80 of the world’s leading hologram companies. Members include the leading producers and converters of holograms for banknote security, anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications around the world, and actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security and quality standards.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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