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What is Motion?

September 17, 2010

Motion is a registered trademark of the privately-owned American security printing firm Crane & Co., applied to a particular kind of optically-variable security thread. This thread combines a repeating printed pattern with a surface of transparent polymer lenses, both exceptionally small, to create the effect of a moving image. The theory and mechanics of Motion are similar to a lenticular image. Crane states that the “images appear to move in response to changes in viewing angle. The movement is in a direction perpendicular to the angle of tilt, providing an effect that is easy to recognize and visually engaging. Achieving and maintaining public awareness is simplified because Motion is so visually captivating and can be seen in any light. The public’s task in authenticating this feature is refreshingly free of complexity.” The trademark registration for Motion was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office February 4, 2005. In 2008 / 2009, Crane & Company purchased Visual Physics (a subsidiary of Nanoventions), the firm responsible for the creation of Motion, thus giving Crane exclusive control of Motion. According to the previously linked article, Crane and Nanoventions / Visual Physics had worked together since 2004. The Motion thread was first used in Swedish Krona. It has most recently been utilized in the series 2009 (NCM) US $100 note. Crane’s US trademark application tersely describes Motion as an, “optically-variable security [thread] composed primarily of plastic.”

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