Lenticular Printing

Published On: February 17, 2020

Standing out in today’s competitive market is vital to keeping your brand alive – no matter what industry you’re in. Since packaging is the first part of a product a consumer interacts with, brands strive to create eye-catching packaging designs. However, what happens when everyone is creating packaging with unique shapes and popping colors? It’s time to take it to the next level with lenticular printing.

What is Lenticular Printing?

“Lenticular” means “pertaining to lenses.” Furthermore, “lenticules” are plastic lenses that create an impression of dimensional in-depth imaging. Lenticular 3D graphics is the process of adding depth or motion to a printed marketing display, by placing “lenticules” over a two-dimensional print. This allows the eye to concurrently view alternating sections of multiple images.

Lenticular Printing Technology

Lenticular technologies are becoming increasingly popular. While they have been around for a while, the number of images able to be on a card has dramatically improved. Early lenticular technologies only could have two or three images, however, new ones can hold enough images needed to simulate a video. Furthermore, No special equipment is required and lenticular printing is adaptable to many types of installations and uses.

How Lenticular Printing Works

The two main components in lenticular effects are flat printed images and the lens. The lenticular lens is made of extruded clear plastic lenticules (“ribs”) running vertically – ranging from 40 lines per inch to 150 lines per inch. Dependent upon the angles of your eyes and how you’re viewing the piece, a lenticule reveals only portions of an interlaced image at a time, allowing the images to convey depth and motion. The image is composed of two or more graphics interlaced together.

In order to obtain your desired results, the images must be prepared in a certain way. Using a software program, the designer slices the images into strips and “interlaces” the images together in a repeating pattern. The width of the strips that the designer slices them into is determined by the lenticular lens that will be used, as well as the printing device’s resolution.

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Lenticular Printing Effects

There are two types of lenticular effects – animation and 3D. 3D lenticular effects create the illusion of depth by positioning visual elements on different spatial planes. Animation lenticular effects, on the other hand, play image frames like a motion picture projector and can be comprised of computer-generated animation, video, time-lapse photography, and motion picture film. The three categories under the animation category include, zoom, flip, and morph.

Zoom Lenticular Animation Effects

The zoom element forces visual elements to be propelled forward or jump out towards the view. This effect is great for grabbing and focusing the attention of consumers on your logo or a featured product.

Flip Lenticular Animation Effects

The flip element turns visual elements of an image on and off, granting the ability for one image to completely change to another. This is great for demonstrating a “cause and effect” or “before and after” idea.

Morph Lenticular Animation Effects

Rather than turning an image on or off like the flip effect, the morph element transforms one visual element into another. The morph animation effect is a great way to show a retroactive comparison, such as a previous logo or product to a new one.

Combination Effects

While these elements can be used individually, many times you will see combinations of the effects within the same product. Common combinations you’ll see are Flip/3D, Motion/3D, and Motion/Zoom. Combining lenticular effects can create brilliant results. However, careful preparation and planning must be executed in order to create a successful result.

How to Design for Lenticular Printing

You’ve researched many lenticular printing companies, and you’ve found one you want to work with — what’s next? First, you’ll need to come up with your concept and gather the content needed to produce your design. Then, storyboard your concept. Creating a storyboard will help convey how the lenticular layers will play off of each other. You’ll then need to collect all of your images into a single Photoshop file.

What to Look for in Lenticular Printing Services

When looking for lenticular printing services, a great way to know if you are choosing an adequate lenticular printing company is looking at their past work. Although there are many factors to consider, lenticular printing companies that execute the following are likely to create a stunning design for you.

  • Use two frames in the Flip Effect.
  • Consider color choice and image placement
  • Use bright, strong imagery
  • Run lines horizontally when animating otherwise images will become fuzzy
  • Consider the viewer’s distance from the image
  • Start with video films or equivalent when animating
  • Include elements similar in shape and color in your design

Designing Your Lenticular Prints – What to Avoid

A lot goes into creating impressive lenticular effects. Therefore, it is important to know what to avoid when creating your design, so you do not create a subpar image. Things to avoid when creating a lenticular design include:

  • White or extremely light colored backgrounds.
  • An overly-complex animation
  • Movement that goes from one side of the card to the other
  • Extremely small type
  • Serif and italic font styles.
  • Fancy or complicated font styles

Lenticular Printing Cost

How much does lenticular printing cost? The answer is that it varies depending on several factors. This includes the type of finishes and effects that you use, as well as the quantity. The more that you print, the more cost-effective your lenticular printing project will be.

Contact JohnsByrne for Your Next Lenticular Printing Project

At JohnsByrne, we are lenticular experts! With 20+ years of experience in producing lenticular/plastics, a G7-certified pressroom, and more, our experts can work with you and help you create a stunning lenticular print design. If you are looking for lenticular printing companies in Chicago or Los Angeles, keep JohnsByrne in mind. We are based in both areas! Schedule a free consultation with us today.

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