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Orion’s principal objective is to provide our customers with the highest level of document protection available in the market.Security inks are just one of the vital components that can be added to the production process.

Security inks have improved considerably over recent years and differ significantly to standard inks due to the wide range available and the complexity of the products.Orion have developed the necessary skills in utilising specialist inks to deliver high quality secure products across various sectors.

Different considerations are required when trying to safeguard a document and today’s inks have advanced to reflect an ever changing market.It is very important to verify the target authentication method.How is the product checked – overtly or covertly?

Visual effects such as fluorescent and heat reactive inks are notable methods for instant verification of authenticity, alongside concealed features for covert detection are both crucial when protecting against fraud and counterfeiting.   

Below are a few examples of the type of inks that are widely used on secure products and a brief description on the characteristics of some of them.

Thermochromic Ink

Thermochromic inks, usually known as heat reactive ink are sensitive to temperature change. The inks disappear or reappear when subjected to various temperature ranges and have been effectively used as an overt feature on products such as certificates, tickets and vouchers. Various colours and specifically formulated inks are available and temperature points range from low refrigeration through to body heat and higher temperatures are available. When making a choice of which ink is most suitable to your requirements you need to take into consideration the climate or location they are going to be used in.

UV Ink

Ultra Violet (UV) ink is used extensively as a covert feature on security products.The UV ink is invisible to the naked eye and can only be detected when viewed under a UV light source. When exposed to the specific light source the ink will appear and glow.There are a variety of UV colours available and this security ink is generally used on currencies, cheque printing or any item that requires revenue protection.

Tamper evident

Where there is a concern that fraudsters are likely to alter or tamper with your document, there are measures that we can put in place to help identify that interference has occurred.A diverse range of tamper evident inks are available to aid detection when a document is susceptible to fraud.

Solvent Sensitive ink has been devised to identify when there has been an attempt to remove or amend printed data from items such as cheques or tickets. The ink will smear or change colour when exposed to solvents. This will ordinarily be applied on printed watermarks and fine line designs.

Adhesion Promoting Varnish can be applied to documents that have an element of personalisation printed. The purpose of the varnish is as the name suggests is to aid the adhesion of toner to the substrate. Another feature of this product is that it can only be viewed using a UV light and if the toner has been removed or altered there is an apparent colour difference.

Fugitive inks (aqua) have been developed to protect products against fraudsters trying to tamper with documents with the use of water or water based solutions. Any bid to remove with water will cause this ink to run or blot giving anyone who is verifying a chance of identifying a forgery. There is also availability of a solvent sensitive & water sensitive ink that combines both ink characteristics.

Orion firmly believes that security inks combined with secure design, use of hologram and personalisation will offer your product the ultimate brand protection.


For other variations of security inks please contact a member of the Orion team to discuss further applications of our secure print services.

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