Microprinting is utilized in many types of documents for authentication and anticounterfeiting purposes. Elements of microprinting are usually text and not readable to the human eye without the aid of magnification. A series of test targets were developed to evaluate the capability of the Kodak NexPress 2100, the HP Indigo 5000 and the Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 printing systems to render micro text. The primary criterion that determines the ability of a printing device to render micro elements are: addressability, spot size, font selection, workflow (e.g. file processing), and resolution. All three devices were capable of reproducing micro text. While the 600 spots per inch device was capable of reproducing acceptable results under specific conditions, the devices with higher addressability performed proportionally better under the same conditions. San-serif fonts found in Adobe Illustrator can be used for microprinting and the programming of custom Postscript fonts is not necessary. Among the four fonts tested in this study, Lucida Console was the best suited for microprinting. Workflow greatly impacted each device’s ability to render the micro text. While it remains true that the photocopying of micro text will render only a continuous line, the ability for digital print devices to render micro text directly suggests that there is a need for a re-evaluation of current techniques for forensic identification of specific print processes. However, for print service providers, the ability to produce micro text on digital printers provides an opportunity to expand services or enter new markets.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Security printing--Testing; Digital printing--Testing; Printing--Production standards
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
Landolt, Kevin, "Development of test targets for microprinting applications on the Kodak Nexpress 2100, the Hewlett packard Indigo 5000 and the Heidelberg Speedmaster 74" (2007). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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