Watermark

A watermark is an identifying image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light (or when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background), caused by thickness or density variations in the paper.[1] Watermarks have been used on postage stamps, currency, and other government documents to discourage counterfeiting. There are two main ways of producing watermarks in paper; the dandy roll process, and the more complex cylinder mould process.

A twenty euro banknote held against the light to show the watermark and the denomination.

Watermarks vary greatly in their visibility; while some are obvious on casual inspection, others require some study to pick out. Various aids have been developed, such as watermark fluid that wets the paper without damaging it. A watermark is very useful in the examination of paper because it can be used for dating, identifying sizes, mill trademarks and locations, and determining the quality of a sheet of paper.

The word is also used for digital practices that share similarities with physical watermarks. In one case, overprint on computer-printed output may be used to identify output from an unlicensed trial version of a program. In another instance, identifying codes can be encoded as a digital watermark for a music, video, picture, or other file.


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Watermark, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.