Product Spotlight: Lenticular Images

Have you ever picked up luggage tag, magnet, custom button or toy and watched the image change or move when you look at it? Ever see a bookmark with what looks to be a 3-D image on it?

That’s a lenticular product, a process that creates an optical illusion. It’s an effect that can be really cool for the right product.

Lenticular products can give your image the illusion of 3-D, zoom it in or out, morph one item into another, even add apparent motion. It’s all in the angle of the viewing.

Lenticular is defined as of or relating to a lens, specifically one with a double-convex shape. In its simplest form for our purposes, it’s a plastic lens made up of tiny multiple individual cylindrical lenses.

How Does It Work?

To create the desired effect, two or more images are cut into strips and interlaced together. That combined image is placed underneath the lens in a precise alignment. To achieve the desired effect, exact alignment of the image is critical.

When looking at the image, each tiny lens magnifies the image below it. As the viewing angle changes, so does the portion of the image being shown. The result is that you see something that moves side to side, or front to back, or morphs into a different image altogether.

Often seen in novelty toys such as Cracker Jack prizes and baseball cards, lenticular printing has moved upscale in recent years, even into the world of fine art. As printing technology has advanced, more detailed and larger designs have become popular, including movie posters.

Popular lenticular promotional items included pens, coasters, Christmas tree ornaments, luggage tags, business cards and more. They can add a “wow” factor that makes a strong first impression.

If you’d like to check out some lenticular products, click here.