Saturday, June 27, 2009

E-HoloGrams - Revolutionizing Print through Art and Technology

One of the very first articles written about me and holography was in “Sky” Magazine (1974, Delta Airlines) entitled, “Holography: New Light on a New Dimension” by Lionel Rolfe and Nigey Lennon (article @ .) One of the storylines was my involvement in pioneering optics and embossed holography with Michael Foster (my inventor/partner at that time) and also discussed some of holography’s potential.

“…Already, says Allen, Foster has patented a device called a thin lens, the implications of which could have the most profound effect on the field of optics since Galileo made his lenses. Basically, the thin lens is made holographically, but, more important, it can be embossed on plastic…

...It has been only eleven years since the advent of holographic technology. From Dennis Gabor’s first crude microscopic holograms, it now appears that we will soon be inundated with a promiscuous, mass embossing of holograms that can be made for literally pennies. The implications and applications are unlimited…”

Shortly after the article’s release I received letters from the Presidents of both Hallmark and Hoyle Cards excited about the use of holography for their cards. Unfortunately, it was premature, since there were no mass-production holography facilities existing at that time. Ten years later though, our embossing technique was utilized by National Geographic to make the first embossed holographic cover (the Eagle, shown above) for a major publication. Today, billions of embossed holograms are being produced primarily for the markets of holographic security and packaging. Because of this, the infrastructure exists and is in place to offer inexpensive, mass replications of holographic imagery and content to really take print to its next level.

I occasionally see some clever uses of the holographic technique in print but they really haven’t touched holography’s potential in this market. Eileen Borgeson and I are being pro-active in this regard and have been creating holograms that show ways of combining holography with art and design in what we call E-HoloGrams or HoloGraphics (for 3-D print commercials.)

Together we have collaborated on five E-HoloGrams for print including: the A&E Magazine cover (shown above), a magazine insert, a fine art print, an art poster and greeting cards. We also have an ongoing educational/marketing campaign focusing on Promax/BDA members, who have been receiving Eileen’s sculptures as their awards for 15 years.

The print media now has the opportunity to go beyond just words and pictures -which holography does. The print media (magazines, books, catalogs, newspapers, brochures, inserts, postcards, greeting cards, direct mailing pieces) are physically and personally delivered, which holograms need. So by combining these two mediums, we just may be seeing the perfect marriage that can re-invent the printing industry as well as holography.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jeff. I would like to invite you to join the holography social networking community over at

    You'll find many of your old holo friends and associates over there. Join and bring this story with you. I'm sure everyone would be fascinated to read about the holography inventions of you and your partner. All the best -- Frank DeFreitas