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When Large Isn’t Big Enough

Large-format lenticulars achieve new dimensions in outdoor advertising.



Imagine passers-by craning their necks to see signs — and subsequently inviting friends and family to watch the signs move. The multi-dimensional signs that cause so much curiosity — lenticular displays — move or morph to display optical effects that turn heads.

Creative inspiration from lenticular service bureaus are pushing the limits of large-format lenticular displays as a tradeshow and outdoor-advertising medium into new dimensions.

The market for large-format lenticulars has been steadily growing. To explore this success, several lenticular, full-service bureaus discussed recent projects and the growth of their unique services.

Super-size it, please

Two types of lenticular service bureaus provide different services. A value-added reseller (VAR) books a lenticular project and subcontracts a full-service bureau to fabricate the final display for resale to the customer. On the other hand, many service bureaus, such as Fresno, CA-based Big3D, deal directly with their own clients, as well as with VARs.

Big3D lives up to its name, providing large-format, 3-D lenticular displays for tradeshows, window displays and billboards. Tom Saville, Big3D’s president, says, "Big3D is primarily a trade printer for the lenticular industry and handles a full range of projects, from small images to filling store windows and more."

The lenticular company has provided prints that range from 8 x 10 in. to 50 x 100 in., as well as lenses made for a single, 12-ft.-tall sheet. For wide-format murals (wider than 8 ft.), the display lens is "tiled," or segmented into smaller units, and then butted together to comprise a single image.

Saville notes that, as display size and viewing distance increase, lens durability also must increase. He explains, "As the size increases, we use a thicker lens that’s more durable and more weather- and temperature-resistant to the extremes of summer heat and winter cold. We’ve found 1/4-in. acrylic is the best lens material for our use."

The tiles’ dimensions vary according to the display application’s height and width. Once the tiles are produced to match the final image, they’re attached to their sign frames by various methods — from screwing the tiles to the frames to connecting them with industrial-strength, Velcro



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