Lenticular Do’s and Dont’s

People often ask us what makes for a great lenticular. Is it the lens, the press, the interlacing software? All of those things are important, but nothing is more important than creating a design that works. So since you’re here reading this, you likely are considering producing a lenticular print, and you’re probably contemplating how to design it. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the “do’s and don’ts” of lenticular.

Do: Consider how to best tell the story or communicate the message you are trying to get to your customer. A great lenticular is only great if it does its job. If that job is to wow people, that is still a job. If it’s to inform them about your product’s functionality or show them a “before and after,” that’s a different job. It can still wow them but communicate your intent through the design.

Don’t: Lose sight of your goal and just create flash with no substance. The best and most effective pieces usually leave a good amount of the image where nothing at all happens. That creates focus on the part that is changing and pulls attention towards it. It also helps the image from looking chaotic.

Do: Pick the right effect for your project and if it’s animation, choose the correct number of frames (we can help you with that!).

Don’t: Assume that more frames always translates to better design. Many of the best lenticular designs use only two frames; it “this” and then it’s “that.” A bunch of in-between frames often muddies the image and, therefore, the message. There are times where using more frames enhances the image but don’t assume that is the case when starting your design.

DO: Try to keep much of the image the same from frame to frame. Best to keep backgrounds the same when possible overall color tones as close as possible.

Don’t: Create designs that have high contrast between elements that occupy the same space in the image. If frame 1 has black text at the top against a white background and in frame 2, that text is supposed to disappear; you can be sure the black from frame 1 will burn into the now white space in frame 2. Ghosting is generally something you want to minimize.

DO: Use text that is at least 10pt and san serif. This is because very fine lines will be smaller than the lens on top of it, leading to pixilation. Use text that is as large and bold as your design can allow for.

Don’t: Use small text, italics, or any other fine lines or tiny dots. A field of stars may not read very well when most of them are blocked out by the lens.

DO: Make the change between frames big enough to notice. If it’s too subtle, it may not get noticed.

Don’t: Make changes that are so drastic that any ghosting will lead to ghosting that you may find objectionable. The Goldy Locks middle is where you want your design to live.

DO: Reach out to us early and often with design drafts or ideas. We’re here to provide feedback! We can usually help guide you towards a design that will work great.

Don’t: Worry that this will be too tough! Designing for lenticular is really pretty straight forward, and for the most part, it isn’t that different from the design of any print piece. Plus, we always produce a proof for each project, so you can feel sure that your project will look great and have the desired impact on your customer.