Out with the Old: Micro Format Owner Weighs in on Use of Old Pantographs

How reliable are pantographs?

Is it time to VOID old pantographs? Aaron Singer, owner and security expert at Micro Format, thinks so. Aaron was asked to weigh in on the subject of old pantographs in a recent article featured on the Print Services & Distribution Association website.  A pantograph in security printing is a method of making copy-evident and tamper-resistant patterns in the background of a document. Usually invisible to the naked eye, they typically spell out “void”, “copy” or some other indicator message. The pantograph becomes visible when the document is photocopied. As technology continues to advance, criminals are finding new ways to exploit security features meant to protect documents, including traditional pantographs. This means security features must evolve, too.

The VOID pantograph has long been a popular security feature. Because it is a de facto feature and has been in existence for so long, security experts are concerned about how reliable it really is when protecting documents. Micro Format sells prescription pads and other security papers that include the VOID pantograph, but they don’t count on the VOID alone to protect the document. All Micro Format security products use layer-on-layer security features to keep documents secure.

the right features for maximum security

This is one reason Micro Format will only use the Panto4000. This is a new feature that builds on the traditional VOID technology.  Instead of giving clients a choice, Micro Format has chosen Panto4000 as their default because it’s one of the best security features. Aaron says, “The older technology is based on the dot pattern, and the Panto4000 is based more on a line, giving the copier more surface area to appear.” Aaron is confident he’s giving his clients the best feature to protect their documents. “The others are okay and they work, but I’d rather not offer something that could have more problems. The Panto4000 is better than the public domain pantographs that exist,” he says.

not your mother’s document security

But Aaron is adamant that customers not rely on one security feature to protect important documents. Reliable security depends on the use of both covert and overt features. Covert features simply mean a hidden image invisible to the naked eye. Think invisible ink or a secret message that only appears only once a document is photocopied. Overt is a visible security feature. A hologram sticker or watermark are examples of overt features. Mixing covert and overt features ensures all documents are protected with layer-on-layer security.

To read the full article featured on the Print Services & Distribution Association website, click here.

When document security matters to your business, contact one of our Document Security Experts. For more information about Micro Format Inc., reach out at [email protected], call us toll-free at 1-800-333-0549 or visit our website here.