Commercial holograms will maintain robust growth in 2023 despite the global challenges, says Dr. 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 said.

Dr. Dunn sees fake COVID cards, documents, and vaccines also remaining a big security threat in the months ahead, so government, law enforcement authorities, and global supply chains must consistently review their anti-counterfeiting plans and investment in security resources. 

He says, “Counterfeiting is and will remain a massive global threat, continually placing governments, brands and the public at risk—and will continue to be tackled effectively to minimise 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 which feature holograms.

“These holograms will become even more integrated with other technologies to create intuitive brand engagement programmes while 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.”

Dr. Dunn also sees the hologram on labelling continuing 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 also 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.

He also sees ID document producers similarly adopting hybrid optical technologies to protect against fraud: “I expect the trend of using colour personalisation 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 also 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 companywide initiatives,” Dr. Dunn said.

The next 12 months also mark the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the IHMA. Although itself impacted by the global challenges in recent years, Dr. Dunn sees 2023 as a year for growth and development on the back of the organisation’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. 

About the IHMA

The IHMA ( is made up 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. 

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Paul Dunn is chairman of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association. He has been involved in the Optical Security industry for 30 years with an array of experience in teaching and technology development, and is currently Director of Technology Innovation at OpSec Security Ltd.

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