Frequently Asked Questions About Lenticular
1) What is lenticular and what does that odd name mean?
Lenticular images are digital files that have been specially prepared and then printed onto a lens material. This material is a special plastic made up of lenticules, hence the name lenticular printing. The image, viewed through the lenticules, appears to move as it is turned creating dramatic animation or depth.
2) What are the minimum/maximum order quantities?
Our minimum order is typically 500-1,000 pieces on small format and as few as one on large format. A minimum job at any size is usually about $2,500. You will find that the price drops significantly as quantity increases. We have yet to find an order too big to eat. We have produced jobs as big as 10 million units and would love to do so again!
3) What does it cost?
Ahh, the key question. The best way to get a quote is to call and let us know the size and quantity of your project. What’s in the image (even the number of frames) doesn’t affect the price. Call us and we’ll get you a quick and accurate quote.
Until we get the opportunity to speak with you (since we also don’t like it when we can’t get a straight answer) minimum orders are about $2,500. Smaller jobs (2,500 pieces) are usually a little under $2 per unit. Mid-size orders (15,000+) are usually well under $1. Large orders (50,000) are usually well below 50¢.
4) What are the minimum and maximum sizes?
The smallest size (that will look good) is about 1.5″ square. If a lenticular is smaller than that, fine lines will begin to break up under the lens. The largest size we can produce via litho is 26″x 38.″ However, we can now produce panels as large as 48”x 96,” so we can probably help no matter what size you are looking to produce.
5) What do I need to provide for source art?
This part is easy. All we need from the client are digital files. If it’s a two-frame (flip) we need two digital files. If it’s a three-frame, we need three digital files. We trust the trend is becoming clear. Think of a lenticular as an automatic “flip book.” What you provide are the pages of that book. Whether the pages contain pictures, text or drawings doesn’t matter to the flip book.
If you want us to produce a 3D lenticular, all we need is a Photoshop file that has all of the elements of the image on separate layers. All files should be in Mac format and resolution should be 300 dpi at actual size.
Please include a 1/8″ bleed. For 3D images, please include a 1″ bleed left and right and 1/8″ bleed top and bottom.
For more information, check out the Lenticular Design Guidelines page.
6) How long does it take to produce a project?
About three weeks from the time we receive your artwork to the time we ship product.
What? You need it faster? Where were you two weeks ago? We know your client just called you with this and they need it yesterday.
We realize it’s always a rush and we do our very best to meet our clients’ deadlines. You’ll find we’re very good at it.
7) What is the maximum number of frames that can be featured in a lenticular? How many should I use?
The answer to this question varies from project to project and depends on what it is you’re trying to convey with your image. That said, we believe that you should use the fewest images possible while still showing what you want to show.
Think of the lenticular as a pie.
Each frame is a slice of the pie. The more frames you use, the smaller each slice will be. What this means is that each frame will be less clearly viewed and will “ghost” with the frame before and after it. This isn’t so bad if you’re trying to show a baseball swing. But if you’re trying to show images that are very distinct from each other (more like a slide show), the slices, err.. frames, need to be more distinct. Short answer: somewhere between 3 and 12.
8) Does it matter if I want the animation to happen when the card is moved left/right vs. up/down?
Yes. Lenticular animates better up/down than it does left/right. The only time it should be necessary to do a left/right animating image is when the lenticular is a stable display and people are walking by it (as in a POP display). If you need this for your project, you will probably want to limit your image to no more than three frames.
9) What’s the difference between lenticulars and holograms: Which is right for my project?
Both lenticular and holographic images can show depth and/or motion. After that they have nothing in common!
Holograms are usually monochromatic (one color) and need to be lit perfectly in order to be seen. They are produced with laser light that is reflected onto an emulsion. When lit correctly they are stunning but when not lit correctly…not so much.
Lenticular is a printing process (see FAQ #1) that does not need special lighting in order to look its best. It also doesn’t scratch. In fact, one of the most popular uses for lenticular is as a direct mailer. The card can be dropped right in the mail and arrive in perfect shape.