Emerging Printing Technologies — Business Lines Are Forming
The term lenticular is somewhat inaccurately being applied to all printing processes in which multiple images are interlaced to create a 3D appearance or motion effect. These composite images can either be printed directly on the required lens material, typically with UV inks, or output on a substrate that is then affixed to it. Solutions are available for production on digital and offset presses, as well as rollfed or flatbed large-format printers.
Franklin Park, IL-based Tukaiz, which defines itself as a marketing communications services production company, has already been a player in this market for a while. Its capabilities include offset, digital and large-format ink-jet printing, all of which can produce lenticular work. The company offered that service to customers even before bringing production completely in-house, first with a HumanEyes license for offset production and then licenses for digital (HP Indigo press ws2000) and large-format (Fujifilm Acuity HD 2504 flatbed ink-jet) printing.
Lots of Lenticular
Its list of lenticular jobs produced to date includes postcards, coasters for a liquor distributor, covers for a comic book, business cards, invitations and floor displays, reports Matthew Giandonato, digital print supervisor. He notes that both of the shop’s digital platforms enable shorter run production, but also are valuable tools for hardcopy proofing of longer runs produced via UV litho printing.
Giandonato says there is a minimal learning curve with the lenticular software, and press operators (digital and offset) will need a little practice to get the printing to align correctly with the lens substrate.
In light of the latest advances, he believes there is a need to educate the market about the current cost structure for lenticular work and the ability to produce shorter runs. The upfront expense and effort required just to create print-ready artwork in the past had been a barrier to the use of lenticular printing, he asserts.