“We must stay one step ahead”

Dr. Wolfram Seidemann, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Louisenthal GmbH, reveals more about both the history and the future development of the ColourShift threads.

Trends and Insights: What brought about the development of the security threads?

Dr. Wolfram Seidemann: Foils were first incorporated into banknotes back in the 1990s, in response to the increasing use of color copiers. They provided effective protection against coarse attempts to reproduce them. Due to their distinctive appearance which allowed a straightforward authenticity check, embedded windowed security threads proved to be very effective with the public. They have been a major obstacle to counterfeiters ever since. As the manufacturingprocess involves extremely complex technology, the prospect of counterfeiting these optically variable threads is a great deal less attractive. Indeed they cannot be reproduced using photocopiers or scanners.

What new developments have arisen at Louisenthal in recent years?

It stands to reason that we must always be one step ahead of the counterfeiter and therefore we must continue to develop and improve our security features on an ongoing basis. Since 1999 we have been manufacturing our own foil elements in Louisenthal and an important milestone came in 2000 with our own origination. The latest product in the family is the “RollingStar” thread which combines dynamism with color shift.

What is the significance of ColourShift threads compared to other security features?

Security threads are completely integrated into the paper and are therefore very much at the top of the hierarchy of different security features. Demand for Louisenthal’s ColourShift threads is strong and we are now equipping the currencies of no fewer than 20 countries and more than 40 denominations with this security feature. To continue to meet this strong demand in future, we have already increased our capacities.

Where is development heading in the next few years?

The future trend will continue towards dynamic effects. RollingStar is the first time we have combined the ColourShift thread with micro-mirrors and achieved completely new effects. These have since been established under the name “Dynamic ColourShift Reflection.” The possibilities offered by RollingStar are however far from exhausted and we are already working on new intuitive and counter-intuitive designs and further variations of dynamic color change.


Dr. Wolfram Seidemann


Currency Conference

At the Currency Conference Louisenthal exhibited banknotes from around the world, all featuring ColourShift threads.