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For the archival lm processing technique that repro- tations related to the enlarging of photographs. It ocduces images of documents, see microform.
curred to Albert that if he could reduce rather than enlarge photographs this technology may enable publicaMicroprinting is the production of recognizable patterns tion companies and libraries to access much greater quantities of data at a minimum cost of material and storor characters on a printed medium at a scale which requires magnication to be read. To the unaided eye, the age space. Over the following decade, Boni worked to
develop microprint, a micro-opaque process in which
text may appear as a solid line. Attempts to reproduce by
methods of photocopy, image scanning, or pantograph pages were photographed using 35mm microlm and
will be translated as a dotted or solid line to the repro- printed on cards using oset lithography.U.S. Patent
duction machine which cannot identify and recreate pat- 2,260,551AU.S. Patent 2,260,552A This process proved
terns to such scale. Microprint is predominantly used as to produce a 6 by 9 index card which stored 100 pages
an anti-counterfeiting technique due to its inability to be of text from the normal sized publications he was reproducing. Boni began the Readex Microprint company to
easily reproduced by digital methods.
produce and license this technology. He also published
Microprinting is employed as an anti-counterfeiting fea- an article A Guide to the Literature of Photography and
ture under the assumption that it would be exceptionally Related Subjects (1943) which appeared in a supplemendicult for an individual to reproduce accurately without tal 18th issue of the Photo-Lab Index.[2][3][4][5]
access to resources which are not readily available to the
Further information: Microform
general public.




1 Usage

to the

Literature of Photography
and Related Subjects



Doarterly Supplement No. IB

Generated on 2015-10-08 08:31 GMT /
Public Domain, Google-digitized /

for the

The Cumulative

Formulary of Standard

Recommended Photographic







Publishers of Standard Photographic Books






Close-up of microprint incorporated on US $100 paper currency

Currency commonly exhibits the highest quality (smallest

size) of microprint because it demands the highest level
of counterfeiting deterrence.[6] For example, on the series
While microphotography precedes microprint, micro- 2004 United States $20 bill, microprint is hidden within
print was signicantly inuenced by Albert Boni[1] in the border in the lower left corner of the obverse
1934 when he was inspired by his friend, writer and editor Manuel Komro who was showing his experimen- Bank cheques as well as various other items of value may
A Guide to the Literature of Photography and Related Subjects
published by Albert Boni (1943)

MP microprint commonly used on personal bank cheques


Preparing a lithographic printing plate

also commonly leverage microprinting methods, but generally not of such extreme size. For example, personal
bank cheques commonly denote the characters MP next
to the signature line of the check; these characters represent microprint and are used as an anti-counterfeiting 3 Microtext
feature due to their dicultly in being reproduced and
simple deterrent as a warning that the item employs microprint.

and Microfonts

While microprinting on such medium may be readable to

the human eye without microscopy; there is no dierentiation between micropinting at these dierent scales.
The rst US postage stamp to incorporate microprinting was the American Wildower Series introduced by
The United States Postal Service in 1992. It was also
the rst commemorative stamp to be wholly produced
by oset lithography. The USPS has since issued other
stamps with more complex microprinting incorporated
along with dates, words, and abbreviations such as USPS
and even entire stamp designs composed of microprint
Further information: Security printing


Microprint of the smallest scale is only producible by

hand using engraved oset printing plates or some other
Examples of several microfonts used in digital microprinting
method of Intaglio (printmaking).
Digital microtext printers utilize specially designed fonts
and ink for the purpose. The ink used is most commonly
MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) toner particles but may also be polyester based toners and styrene
acrylate polymer based toners. The ink is not limited to
grayscale only, but may also use color toners or even more
specialized toners containing dyes sensitive to ultraviolet
or infrared radiation and producing uorescence when
exposed to those radiations.[8]

Microprint of the scale capable by other printing methods

can not be produced by a digital printer regardless of the
resolution of the device . Some digital fonts are designed
specically for the purpose of microprinting. These
pseudo-microprint fonts are referred to as microtext.[8]
Xerox was acclaimed for developing a microtext font
which they claimed could result in characters 1/100th
of an inch tall.[9] 1/100th of an inch is equivalent to

0.71999999999999 points.[10]
In April 2015, Videojet Technologies announced the release of their new 1650 High Resolution (HR) and 1620
HR Continuous Inkjet (CIR) printers said to be capable
of printing sub-pixel size characters as small as 0.6mm
in height (equivalent to 1.700787402 points). The printers utilize a 40-micron nozzle which outputs more than
100,000 drops per second of ink. While these printers
make microprinting faster and easier to produce using
digital technology, they still have not reached true subpixel size output which would be of a size less than 1

[3] Erickson, Edgar L (March 1951). Microprint: A Revolution in Printing. Journal of Documentation (MCB
UP Ltd) 7 (3): 184187. doi:10.1108/eb026173. ISSN
0022-0418. Retrieved 8 October 2015.(subscription required)
[4] Boni, Albert (Summer 1951). Microprint (PDF).
American Documentation: 150. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
[5] Raney, M. Llewellyn (April 1940).
The Minicam turns scholar (PDF). Quarterly Journal of
Speech (The University of Chicago) 26 (2): 180186.

The smallest scale microtext can produce on a laser

printer is 0.5pt.[12]

[6] Trimm, Harold H (2005). Forensics the Easy Way. Barrons Educational Series. p. 276. ISBN 0-7641-3050-1.
Retrieved 2015-10-05.

[7] Chenevert, James. Security Features of United States

Postage Stamps 1974-2009 (PDF): 1. Retrieved 201510-07.


[8] US patent 7270918, Printing system, process, and prod-

Using gold nanoparticle inks on a glass substrate, scienuct with microprinting, issued 2007-09-18, assigned to
tists concluded that it was possible for them to control the
Eastman Kodak Company
production of print patterns to a scale of 2 microns. After printing, the nano-particle ink suspension was heated [9] Xerox Scientists Develop Microtext Font; Digitally
Printing Tiny Words And Numbers Will Help Make Docusing a gaussian laser, as it was heated, the glass would
uments More Secure. Xerox Corporation. Retrieved
expand due to the thermal conductivity of the gold nano2015-10-05.
ink. In further experiments, they were able to fuse the
nano-particles together into a tighter formation a continu- [10] This article incorporates public domain material from the
ous conductive line. Such experiments did not directly inNational Institute of Standards and Technology document
clude font characters but could translate to such usage.[13]
Conversion Factors for Science, Engineering, and Industrial Terms (retrieved on 2015-10-05).

See also
Point (typography)
Preservation (library and archival science)


[1] Price, Miles (April 1953). The Microcard Foundation

39. American Bar Association: 304305. ISSN 07470088. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
[2] Metcalf, K. D. (1945-03-01). The Promise of Microprint: A Symposium Based on The Scholar and the
Future of the Research Library (PDF). College & Research Libraries (Association of College and Research
Libraries. American Library Association) 6 (2): 170
183. doi:10.5860/crl_06_02_170. ISSN 2150-6701.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2015-10-08.

[11] Anderson (2015-04-09). Enhanced Microprinting Technology Featured in Latest Videojet 1000 Series Release
(Press release). UBM Canon. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
[12] A Comparison of Laser Printed Microprint Fonts and
Practical Considerations for Use in Prescriptions (PDF).
16 Jan 2009: 3. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
[13] Bieri, Nicole Rene (2004). Transport Phenomena in the
microprinting and laser annealing of Gold Nanoparticle
Inks (PDF) (Ph.D.). Zurich, Switzerland: Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology. p. 167. Retrieved 2015-10-05.


Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses



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