Lenticular Printing

If you’ve ever looked at an image which has changed after you’ve walked past or after you’ve angled it differently in your hands, there’s a high chance it was created using a Lenticular Printing technique. Read on as we give you an insight into this often overlooked type of printed media.

Whilst some of the other printing techniques we’ve covered on the FMS Blog like Giclee Printing and Flexographic Printing have gained more exposure as time has progressed, Lenticular printing has actually been around for more than 70 years. Often referred to as holographic printing, this is not the case as the effect requires a different process to a holographic image. Originally, this type of printed media was particularly aimed at children through toys and collectables such as trading cards and other trinkets. More recently, it has been adapted to create exciting and innovative poster designs, flyers and even large shop displays.

How are Lenticular Prints created?

As technology has developed over the years, Lenticular prints are much more common to see used in promotional marketing due to the sudden impact they can make. To create a lenticular design, tiny lenses are embossed onto the surface of a plastic sheet. These are referred to as lenticules. After this point, a number of images are selected to create a sequence and are digitally interlaced together which in turn, creates a separate digital file. The digital file is then printed onto the back of the lens sheet mentioned earlier. This then creates a clever visual effect when looking at the final printed image; the lenses embedded inside block all but the main photo or piece of text you are viewing. As the image is turned or viewed at another angle, the embedded lenses hide the previous image and reveal the next one in the sequence, creating a fluid animation.

The Power of Lenticular Printing

There are many examples of how Lenticular printing has aided advertising efforts or has caught the attention of the public. One example is how fast food chain McDonalds had a lenticular poster installed on the side of bus stops in New Zealand. As someone would walk past the poster, the image would change from the photo of a man yawning to gradually holding a Big Mac burger in his hands. Their aim? To get across the message of that no matter how late it is, you can always grab a McDonalds burger. This is just one of the many clever and unique ways that companies and designers take advantage of Lenticular printing methods.

 

FMS Blog McDonalds Lenticular Poster

 

Next time you step outside to travel to the shops or elsewhere, have a look around and see if you can spot an example of Lenticular printing. You may find more uses of it than you first realise!

Sam Rose