Prepress and Printing
Selecting a lenticular printer
When looking for a lenticular printer for your projects, it is best to work with a company that has proven experience with the product. However, many agencies and graphic design firms have developed strong relationships with a select group of printers, and are uncomfortable using a new printer, especially one that is not geographically convenient. If you are looking to use a printer that does not already offer lenticular printing, the following guidelines may be helpful:
The ability to print on nonporous substrates
Since lenticular is a plastic material, it is best to use a printer that has good experience printing on plastics. Plastics present a variety of challenges to a printer including drying issues and print registration. Good lenticular plastic printers are commonly UV or waterless printers in the point-of-purchase, loyalty cards or specialty markets, although UV is not necessary.
Up-to-date equipment and technology
Lenticular printing is particularly difficult and requires exceptional color registration and sheet control. The use of newer presses, or very well maintained presses is critical for good lenticular print results. In the pre-press arena, an up-to-date workflow and direct-to-plate capabilities are essential. Lenticular imagery will typically challenge any workflow, as the file sizes are very large and the resolution requirements are very high.
A well organized, reputable company with a close attention to the details
Executing good lenticular printing is a process that requires attention to an entirely new set of details and procedures. A printer needs to be committed to the product in the long term and willing to go the extra mile to assure the product is produced correctly. This requires a staff that is open to new ideas and procedures and will not get easily discouraged by a more difficult product compared to their everyday printing.
Helpful, but not mandatory, to have a well equipped finishing shop
Most lenticular projects require backside lamination of heat-set, opaque white, poly backing materials and die cutting. The ability to keep mounting, laminating and die cutting in house will save time and money and avoid mistakes by sending the project out to a finishing company that may not be familiar with the product.