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What Is Holographic Tape?

By Bryce Clinton
Updated May 16, 2024
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Holographic tape is tape that has highly reflective properties or some variety of holographic image printed along its non-adhesive side. Like regular tape, it comes on spools and has a side that is adhesive, allowing you to affix it to various surfaces. Unlike regular tape, the non-adhesive side is printed using holography technology to give it the appearance of having 3D or three-dimensional images on a two-dimensional surface. These holographic images give the tape a unique quality that is very useful for certain applications.

The images on holographic tape might depict something recognizable, like an animal or corporate logo, or they might contain language. Sometimes they show only a complex three-dimensional pattern. The tape is printed using special technology that includes high-resolution dot matrix printers and holography devices. Images or patterns can be customized by the buyer and made to be very unique and almost impossible to copy. In some cases a laser reader or magnifier is needed to read micro text contained within the image.

When holographic tape is made specifically to be unique, it is often used for security purposes such as ID badges, currency, official documents, laboratory samples, or tamper seals. Sometimes it is imprinted with words like "genuine" or "safety sealed." If someone were to attempt to remove the tape, it might be made to leave behind words indicating it had been tampered with, such as "void" or "tainted." Probably the most popular use for holographic tape is for security.

Holographic tape is highly reflective and its surface can be rendered with any background color. This includes extremely bright colors outside of the normal spectrum, or which show up well at night. Even lower resolution varieties will show all the colors of the rainbow and brightly stand out from moderate distances. The tape is therefore frequently used in any number of eye-catching applications calling for reflective surfaces, including signs marking hazards and warnings, road signs, motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrian clothing and accessories.

The many adaptations of holographic tape are not limited to security, brand protection, anti-counterfeiting, transportation, and aviation. In addition, holographic tape can used to scare off birds and animals, and it can be used to catch fish. Various types of holographic tape make an excellent lure that resembles minnow skin and other bait fish. Due to the presence of certain harmful materials used to produce the tape, one of the goals of certain manufacturers is to produce tape that is environmentally friendly.

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