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Lenticular Printing

Lenticular printing is a method that can be used to create many striking visual effects giving a normally static image the illusion of depth or movement.   It is a growth area, driven largely by advertising who use stunning 3D effects to make their products stand out from the crowd. There are a few different types :

Flip lenticulars – these are the simplest form.   Two or three different images (such as an open and shut eye) which appear in sequence when the lens is viewed from a different angle

Morph lenticulars - multi phased images allowing one object to transform smoothly into another such as one face changing into another 

Motion / action sequencing lenticulars - containing a sequence of images (five or more) which combine to give the impression of movement as you tilt the image or walk past. 

Zoom lenticulars use multiple images to create the impression of something getting closer

3D effect lenticulars give the viewer the illusion of depth without the need for 3D glasses


How are lenticulars produced?

A special lenticular lens is laminated to the face of a combined or “interlaced” printed graphic.    The thickness of the lens varies according to the intended effect and is made of plastic (generally PET). It has a raised surface of precisely measured, half-circular ridges or lenses called lenticules.  This measurement is expressed in LPI (lenticules per inch).

Before the lenticular lens is applied the “interlacing” needs to be carried out on the graphic file.  The set of images are input into a specialist software program, which slices them into narrow bands and arranges them in an alternating sequence.  Once the lens material is placed over the graphics and because each slice of graphic is perfectly sequenced, the visible slices always correspond to the same image.  When one shifts the viewing angle a different collection of strips comes into view, showing a different image.   It is possible to buy the lenticular software but in our experience most people are happy to rely on the expertise of the lenticular printer.


Most lenticulars use a lens which is around 0.5mm thick and has 75 LPI (this describes the fineness of the lines across the lens).   Quality critical work and particular effects require more a expensive, thicker lens with a higher LPI.    There are various production methods - offset printing, inkjet and flexo for packaging applications.  Our partner in China is a leading specialist lenticular printer with many years experience in developing the technology.

Applications


Once confined to the cereal box, lenticulars are used in many inventive ways for a multitude of products these days.  Used as a marketing device and on novelty goods lenticulars have grown in popularity over the last decade. We can supply trading cards, bookmarks, postcards, mugs, puzzles, DVD packaging, book and magazine covers - even lenticular bill board posters that grab the attention at bus stops and cinemas.  

If you would like to use a lenticular effect on your next project, please contact us and we will more than pleased to discuss your needs.

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