DIY Security paper

Logos

Now that your document has the background, it needs some logos and such. I used my ouroboros logo.

Step8: Apply your logos. Note the background pattern makes a repeating diamond.

Step8: Apply your logos. Note the background pattern makes a repeating diamond.

Note: I placed the logo toward the bottom right. You can use any number of logos, but the simpler the shape for this excercise, the easier the subsequent steps will be. Of course, simpler shapes may also be a hinderance to security. 

Duplicate your logo layer and hide the original underneath. Move this new layer above the original. Use the “Direct selection” tool to remove the inside path (you need to create a filled overall shape from this logo).

Step9: Create an outlined fill shape.

Step9: Create an outlined fill shape.

Click on the diamond background pattern created earlier and ctrl+click the this filled in layer. Then hit “Delete” to make a cutout shape in the background pattern.

Step10: Cut out the logo outline shape from the pattern background.

Step10: Cut out the logo outline shape from the pattern background.

Make sure you don’t deselect yet. Create a new layer and fill it with the same diamond pattern. Then reduce the opacity to about 8%. This will be the inner layer.

Now ctrl+click on the original hidden logo layer and click “Delete”. This will clear out the fill shape and leave the inner portion clean. Give it a color overlay of red or something.

Step11: Fill the inner selection with the pattern and change the overlay color.

Step11: Fill the inner selection with the pattern and change the overlay color.

Note: You should see your patterns all lining up perfectly if everything was done correctly. This is because Photoshop always uses the same origin point on the document when applying fill patterns. And this is why it’s so hard to line up everything if you try to print each element of the document by putting the same paper through the printer multiple times. The hardware printer is just no match to the software where ordinary inkjet printers are concerned. Hence the one shot print.

Now create another layer and ctrl+click the hidden logo layer again. Fill it again with the diamond pattern and give it a different color. Change the opacity to 18% or so.

You now have a basic layout of a security document. You can use the same techniques as above and add some more embellishments. In my case, I added two strips that extend the length of the document.

Final feature closeup

Final feature closeup

And another variant using a red-blue gradient as the fill color. This makes it look more like what you find in passports and such.

Variant using a gradient as the fill color. The logo itself is now composed of the same pattern.

Variant using a gradient as the fill color. The logo itself is now in pattern form.

It should be noted that I’m slightly colorblind in my left eye so it took some closeup winking to make sure. But, trust me, the gradient is actually there. Other colorblind people may have some serious difficulty with this, but having the gradients as light as possible is critical to making sure the content printed over it is as clear as possible. In fact, you may even want to reduce the opacity of the content being printed as to ensure some of the pattern and gradients come through. This will make duplication even more difficult.

And now your security paper layout is ready to print. But, of course, this is just the start for the final document. You still need to implement copy prevention features or this is just a decoration.

If you want to prevent someone from taking a copy of the document and passing it off as an original, something needs to be done to the paper itself.

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