Holograms — or holographs — are three-dimensional (3D) images created from storage of scattered light particles. When these images are placed on a flat sticker, they are known as holographic labels. They can come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, but are often transparent. Individuals often use holographic labels for their aesthetic value or for security purposes.
Holography works by storing light particles before they break apart. This light can then be rebuilt so that a viewing device can see the image the light represented even after the light has dissipated. As the stored light particles move in conjunction with the viewing device, the image may appear to move or grow larger, thus giving it a 3D quality.
Particular images placed on holograph labels vary. Text, like a name, is one common feature. Visual images, on the other hand, may range from symbols to small photographs. In security situations, a holograph is often embossed with a string of numbers that serve as a form of identification. Security labels may also have invisible bands placed on them that can be read by a certain type of machine.
The type of holography used in holographic labels is often known as a rainbow transmission holography, and experts create these labels with a few aids. Film made from polyester and lacquer is one important component. The surface patterns, often made from invisible ink, are placed on these substances. A coating of aluminum foil is then placed atop this portion, which reflects white light and thus helps to rebuild the image. An adhesive coating is then applied to the portion of the label that will stick to an object.
Holographic labels are often used to brand a company's product. In addition to identifying a company by logos or name, these labels may also serve as a form of protection for the products. The pressure-sensitive nature of the labels makes tampering evident. As such, these objects function as a seal for papers, bottles, or other devices that contain valuable contents. Further, holographic images are more difficult to replicate, which would curtail the aims of counterfeiters.
A form of holographic labels, holographic stickers, may be available for individual purchase and entertainment purposes as well. When reflected against light, the images often emit a rainbow-like glow that makes them attractive and interesting to consumers. Manufacturers may take advantage of this fascination by offering products like kids’ stickers with holographic cartoon characters, holographic sports cards, or even holographic name tags and business cards.