The Do's and Dont's of Lenticular Design

One of the most important aspects of designing lenticular is the concept. If you have a strong concept, lenticular designing becomes a much easier task.

A variety of effects can be used—and some even combined—yet, many times the best ideas use the least amount of effects. It might be a good idea to consult with your printer when selecting the optimal lenticular effect for your job.

Below are some guidelines that can help you get started with your lenticular design.

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3D Depth

Color choice and placement play a large role in the optimum "3D Lenticular " effect.

  • Bright and light imagery will often be the most successful.
  • Neutral colors in the background and brighter colors in the foreground work best.
  • It is best to use soft, less-detailed imagery for the extreme foreground and background layers.
  • Logos and typography should be near, or on, the middle keyplane where they will appear the sharpest and most readable.

Type and Font Guidelines

  • Stay away from "serif" and "italic" type styles.
  • The font point-size will vary according to the lens LPI. (Example: The larger LPI (fewer lines-per-inch) will require a larger font point-size. Smaller LPIs (more lines-per-inch) will allow a smaller font point-size.)
  • Avoid very fine type as the lenticular screen will reduce readability.
  • A simple test to determine font readability is to print out a proof of the planned font size at 100% and place the planned lens over it to see how it will appear. (Remember to make sure the lens is going in the correct direction.)
  • To enhance font readability, try outlining the type and applying various stroke sizes. Color is also a huge factor, so try changing the color until you find a satisfying result.
  • Should you have trouble placing the type at, or near, the keyplane during interlacing, try layering the text on the interlaced art. (Keep in mind that the type will need to be the same resolution as the interlaced art.) By doing this, the copy will become static and there will be no parallax shifting. However, this might cause the type to appear as though it's pushing into some of the 3D objects—depending on the depth and layout. Logos may also benefit from this technique.

Flip (2-3 Images)

In "Flip" animation, less is definitely more. The most dramatic visual presentation will result with fewer frames.

  • Color usage plays a large role in a successful lenticular effect. Bright and light imagery will often work best.
  • Avoid areas of extreme contrast in the main subject, logo, and/or product.
  • Elements that are not similar enough can cause one image to appear faintly over the other (known as "ghosting") when only one image should be seen.
  • Avoid overlapping typography that flips to other typography.
    (should your planned effect require overlapping typography, a bit of trial and error will need to take place to help ensure success.)
  • Stay away from very fine type as the lenticular screen will reduce readability.
  • To maintain sharp contrast between the elements, limit the flip to only two images.
  • The same cautions apply for type and font information as listed under 3D Depth.

Animation (or Video Motion)

  • While all master video formats can be used to create an "Animation" effect, digital betacam is the best source material to ensure high-quality motion. The amount of frames that work well are dependant on a number of factors such as image content, image quality, lenticular lens resolution, and imagesetter resolution. Testing different frame usages will need to be preformed.
  • Due to the vast array of variables involved in preparing digital files for lenticular "video" motion, it is best to consult your printer to assure the best results.

Morph

Elements similar in shape and color density work best for a clean "Morph" effect.

  • Two images will need to be created—the beginning and ending frames of the morph. (A good morphing software can create the individual frames that are needed.)
  • Elements that are not similar enough can cause one image to appear faintly over the other (known as "ghosting") when only one image should be seen.
  • Avoid very fine type as the lenticular screen will reduce readability.
  • See the type and font guidelines under 3D Depth.

Zoom

As with other lenticular effects, color choice and placement are very important when creating the best "Zoom" effect.

  • Cool, darker colors in the background and warmer, lighter tones for the element in motion tends to produce the best lenticular zoom effect.
  • Bright and light imagery will often be the most successful.
  • If a specific section of the image (logo, product, or type) is intended to be a separate zoom area, it should be included as a separate layer or file.
  • Again, see the type and font guidelines under 3D Depth.