Ever come across a display in a store that changes as you walk by it? Or have you ever picked up a DVD box, toy, or cereal packaging box only to find out that the packaging box has a certain interesting 3D effect? Well, you have, for sure, come across such an appealing packaging marvel but would not have known what it was called. While most people come up with the word “hologram” for any 3D image, these were all likely examples of a special print process known as “lenticular printing.”

While the printing technique has existed since the mid-1900, it has only been in recent years that marketing experts, packaging teams, and companies have started using it as a communication tool. The newest application is applying this effect directly to your customized packaging boxes to communicate to the consumers about the encased product.

Lenticular Printing


At The Legacy Printingit is strongly believed that great packaging requires a design that not only grabs consumers’ attention but also communicates your brand and product message. To achieve these branding and marketing objectives, animation, undoubtedly, can be a powerful method. Imagine walking through a shopping aisle with a row of packaging boxes and seeing the face of each packaging box change as you pass by.

The changing hair extension boxes will urge you to stop right there and have a look at the box. The changing pictures can evoke curiosity, mystery, and interest among the consumers passing by the shopping aisle. The changing images on the packaging boxes can tell a story.

It may explain that the encased faucet turns on and off in a unique way or a speaker that comes in three colors. Animation via lenticular packaging creates a unique opportunity for the brands to communicate the brand message or even demonstrate the functionality of their product. Consumers will not always take the time to read your copy, but the animation is understood instantly.

An additional and often overlooked benefit is added perceived value to the consumer. A lenticular image has value by itself. They have often been collectible and are always seen as something worth keeping. The Legacy Printing suggests you take that value and adding it to packaging creates a signal that what is inside must be unique and valuable.


Lenticulars created through lenticular printing are often confused with holograms. Both of these are very different printing techniques. Holograms are created by using special lighting.

These are known to be monochromatic and show only one image. These days they are exclusively used as the silver sticker, which is found on many packaging boxes and other products such as books. The purpose of putting the hologram stickers on the die cut box is to give the consumers confidence that the product is not counterfeited.


Lenticular packaging is created by printing a digital file. Here, the printing is firstly done on a lenticule, and the lenticule is used on the packaging boxes to get the final result. For lenticular printing, multiple images are selected, which are later interlaced on one file. This file is then directly printed on the back of the lens.

When the consumers view the packaging box, the lens blocks out all images except for one. Therefore, as the consumer’s angle of view changes, the picture changes. This can create a small animation or simply “flip” from one image to an alternate image.


Animation and 3D are the two types of lenticular effects. 3D lenticular effects create depth. This is done by positioning visual design elements on different spatial planes of a die cut box. However, the animation plays image frames like a motion picture and can be computer-generated or time-lapse photography. There are three types of animation lenticular effects, i.e., zoom, flip, and morph.

Zoom Lenticular Animation Effects

The zoom element forces the visual aspects of the die cut box to jump out or propelled forward towards the viewer. This effect has been widely used for grabbing consumer’s attention towards your logo or a featured product.

Flip Lenticular Animation Effects

The flip element turns the visual aspects of an image on and off. This lenticular effect provides the ability for one image to completely change into another. This is great for demonstrating before and after ideas.

Morph Lenticular Animation Effects

Morph effect changes one visual packaging element into another. It is an effective way to exhibit a retroactive comparison, such as a previous logo or new logo or previous product name to a new product name.


While the effect possibilities are nearly endless, there are some limitations. Lenticular usually needs to be on a relatively flat surface since the lens is somewhat rigid, and bending it can affect the lens’s optics. That said, the bend can sometimes be adjusted for, and we have successfully produced cylindrical items, such as lenticular drinking cups.

Also, the amount of animation possible in packaging applications is typically limited to 2-3 frames. A hand-held lenticular image can be tilted UP and DOWN to create the effect, allowing for more frames of animation to be used effectively.

In contrast, packaging applications will usually require animation as the viewer walks by the shelf (LEFT to RIGHT). Left-right animating lenticular images cannot have more frames. This limits the frame count to 2-3 will allow each image to be seen clearly. These limitations aside, most animations can be made to work effectively within the constraints.

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Creating packaging boxes that stand apart from the rest requires a unique approach. While products that need visual explanation may benefit the most from lenticular packaging, almost any product can benefit from increased attention on the shelf. While it will undoubtedly add to cost, larger quantities can lead to surprisingly affordable pricing and a significant return on investment. Consider adding lenticular printing to your packaging toolbox if you want to make sure you have the latest methods to stand out and communicate.


To get the best lenticular printing services, you need to go through the gallery of the packaging and printing company. Once satisfied with the previous work and sample, you can consider the company that executes the following:

  • They use two frames in the Flip Effect on custom boxes.
  • Always consider the right color choice and image placement
  • Use bright and strong imagery
  • Run lines and patterns horizontally when animating
  • Consider the distance of the consumers from the image
  • Include packaging design elements similar in shape, pattern, and color in your design


It is quite challenging to create impressive lenticular effects. Therefore, it is essential to know what to avoid when creating your design, not to make a bad image. Things to avoid when creating a lenticular layout include:

  • White or extremely light-colored backgrounds for the hair extension boxes.
  • An extremely complex animation
  • Minimal type
  • Serif and italic font styles.
  • Fancy or complicated font styles

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