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Lenticular and 3D commercial sign applications

Studies have shown that 3D increases the stopping power of advertisements by as much as five times and increases the staying power by four times in relation to 2D ads. Izzy Bromberg discusses the lenticular and 3D commercial sign applications.
 As a whole, the advertising industry is shifting from traditional marketing to a new paradigm. Highly intensive advertising floods almost every visual and audible channel. As a result, consumers become increasingly indifferent to advertisements, and so the resources spent on these programmes do not yield the expected, or needed ROI. Thus, advertising agencies and their designers must rise above the clutter to get, and keep, consumer attention.

Lenticular technology is a proven solution to this problem. Studies have shown that 3D increases the stopping power of advertisements by as much as five times and increases the staying power by four times in relation to 2D ads. In one Market Watch study, 88% of a sample group stated that they prefer 3D lenticular advertisements in relation to 2D advertisements.

People also preferred 3D ads by as much as 2.5 times more over 2D ads. In the same study, two times more people felt the same advertisement looked better in 3D. Good lenticular technology leverages creative, unique effects to generate returns for advertisers. Viewers agree that lenticular catches the eye –

it is original, unconventional, fascinating as well as amusing. Most importantly, it breaks through consumers’ indifference.

3D lenticular design is not only cool, it is useful too: in comparison to standard 2D, it provides a more ‘realistic’ view – as seen in real life. Consumers show a clear preference for graphic products utilizing 3D.

Practical applications

Lenticular has evolved from the fun, gimmicky inserts in Cracker Jack boxes to a medium that offers many practical and profitable applications for both digital and offset printers. Because lenticular lenses come in many formats ranging from 10 lenticels per inch (lpi) to as high as 200 lpi, the applications are wide-ranging.

The 10–60 lpi lenses are sturdy and perfect for large outdoor and indoor advertising. These advertisements can be found in stores, bus shelters, trains and airports; to name just a few applications. Typically, applications in the 10–60 lpi range are created by digital printers that print directly onto the plastic (on a flatbed printer) or are printed on a digital wide-format photographic paper and are then laminated to the lenticular lens.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the very fine (60–200 lpi) lenticular that is well-suited for sharp, close-up applications such as direct mailing, packaging, greeting and postcards, business cards, puzzles, cups, key chains and even T-shirts. Lenticular projects utilizing these lenses are done using high-resolution litho printing, directly to the lens.

The in-store environment is where products, and consumers with money to spend, do converge. The best POP creators immerse consumers into their brand’s world and seek to achieve a positive ambience. Successful POP programmes attract attention with dynamic and innovative environments and become tremendous sales drivers because they affect real-time purchase decisions. Retailers are always looking for innovative media that will attract consumers’ attention at the retail level. Growing use of electronic displays strongly signals the need for dynamic media.

Lenticular and 3D printing is addressing this need and complementing the use of electronic media. 3D technology offers a cost effective method of transforming traditional, in-store media into powerful, impact-rich marketing tools.

Lenticular technology, for example, has been utilized to create great designs on vending machines, entry doors, windows and POP, including posters, vending machines, retail stands and displays, windows graphics, coupon dispensers, entry doors, and floor graphics.

Commercial applications have worldwide appeal

Here’s a look at some companies worldwide that are benefiting from lenticular and 3D technologies :

We R Signs International was founded in New York City in 1985. Today, We R Signs is one of the largest sign manufacturing holdings, combining several lines of business, including outdoor and interior sign production, wide format printing, 3D objects, POS, selling materials and equipment for sign manufacturers, etc.

The company opened operations in Russia in 1993 and its production facilities in Moscow now occupy more than 10,000 square meters, divided into key departments such as metalworking, assembling, painting and moulding, a neon factory, and other divisions; that produce the many unique outdoor and interior objects that grace casinos, entertainment areas, and movie theatres.

Recently, We R Signs collaborated with the Russian office of BBDO on a national outdoor advertising campaign for the women’s magazine Glamour. The campaign’s focus was transportation outlets. “Glamour requested something new in outdoor advertising, something with appealing effect, that will get noticed and viewed by people while they walk or drive,” says Alexander Le-van, We R Signs’ marketing manager.

Using HumanEyes lenticular software, We R Signs and BBDO Russia designed a flip effect with three young women’s faces. The campaign featured an astonishing 690 x 900 cm 10 lpi lenticular image. A special adhesive from 3M was used rather than drilling into buses’ side panels.

The animations were installed on trolley buses on several Moscow routes during a three-month period, and passers-by could see the three Glamour girls’ faces changing while the trolleybus was moving.

“Our customer was struck by the results and it was really amazing to observe passers-by’ surprise and wonder,” says Alexander Le-van. “It wasn’t our first collaboration with BBDO Russia, but since then, we’ve extended our relationship with them. Industry feedback was also fabulous, and we anticipate a great future for our lenticular activities. Today’s 3D technology is incredible and has fantastic potential.”

Vending machines report 16% boost in sales

In Israel vending machines that offer quick, hot snacks such as French Fries are commonplace. Based in Tel Aviv, Tachanat a Hof Haminhara owns more than 65 of these vending machines located in public places such as railway stations, bus shelters, hospitals and gas stations.

“I wanted to bring my unique machine a step higher than the others,” says Shlomi Horn, managing director of Tachanat a Hof Haminhara. “We were working on a new design for the machine and we considered many different solutions such as vacuum forming”. The challenge was to set up a distinguishable, eye-catching solution that would catch people’s attention.”

Based on a referral from a contact at Nestle Foods, Horn and a photo studio used HumanEyes 3D lenticular software to create a 1.2 meters tall, backlit 3D French Fries poster. The company installed these 3D panels on 45 vending machines around the country. The results were immediate and striking: “We reported a 16% increase in sales and in a very short period, many companies such as Coca Cola and Mashkar, a leading Israeli-based vending machines company, signed on to partner with us. It was our first lenticular experience and the results really exceeded our initial expectation.”

Clearly, with today’s lenticular technology, it’s been proven that a broad range of eye-catching, customer-stopping applications for a wide range of business applications can now be created.

NY retailer attracts new shoppers with high impact lenticular display

Last year, NYC-based, Refined Sight produced a unique lenticular flip project for Fortunoff, a major NY-based retail chain. Fortunoff wanted a way to attract new younger and hipper audiences. Using artwork created from celebrity images taken by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, Refined Sight used HumanEyes software, to produce an 8′ x 8′ tiled lenticular piece (constructed using two separate 4′ x 8′ tiles).

The resulting lenticular display, featured in the front window of Fortunoff’s prestigious Fifth Avenue store, showed a flip effect of three unique images. Based on the view, you’d see: Katie Couric on the shoulders of Rulon Gardner, the US wrestler and Olympic gold medallist, or US soccer star Mia Hamm, or model Petra Nemacova. According to Refined Sight’s owner Robert Baumeister, “Our client loved it! It really delivered the impact that they wanted.” Baumeister adds that he saw an immediate ROI just from this one lenticular flip job.

Business case

 After having discussed the customer reactions and the wide range of applications, the business case is self-evident. As we mentioned earlier, the combination of high quality, highly available lenticular substrate coupled with new, easy-to-use software solutions lower the barrier of entry into this profitable business, lenticular jobs command a higher premium – which many customers are happy to pay for. Not only do printers gain new lenticular jobs, but they also generate more value for their other business, as their customers value their advanced printing capabilities.

In addition, a printer involved in high quality lenticular production automatically positions his business as a higher-end print provider. With lenticular, printers are able to differentiate and elevate themselves beyond commodity printing and related price wars, to higher levels of profitability generated by the ability to provide specialty, value-added services to their customers.

We have seen many businesses that previously sub-contracted lenticular creation out to the “experts,” now bringing the capabilities in-house. They are reporting higher profits, better ROI on their previous capital investments and a new way to grow their business and differentiate them amongst the competition.

(Izzy Bromberg ( is the product marketing manager for HumanEyes Technologies. For more info, contact their local distributors: Ajay Aggarwal, director – sales, Insight Communications (North India), S-6, Ist Floor, Okhla Indl Area Phase-II, New Delhi – 110024, Ph: 09810115389, Fax: +91-11-26282332 and N S Ahluwalia, director – sales, Insight Communications (South India), 4th Floor, Nyati Millenium, Nagar Road, Viman Nagar, Pune – 411 014, Ph: +91-20-26630501/2, Fax : +91-20-26630504 or visit

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