3-D lenticular printing has been in existence for more than 30 years now and in India for more than 15 years. But in the last five years, 3-D lenticular has seen substantial development.Part of this revolution is due to the long-term vision of T P Pandey, managing director of Taco Visions, specialising in 3-D lenticular printing.
T P Pandey in 1981 set up Magna Graphics, a printing plant for Nari Hira’s Magna Publication. It began with a RO 62 press. Pandey added four Zircon web offset presses; two additional RO 62, two Muller Martini perfect binding lines, one Harris heatset web offset press plus a new plant in Palghar. Besides developing Magna, Pandey who hosts Indo-Pak mushairas has been a scribe for Super, a film magazine. He has penned dialogue for 20 Hindi video films.
What an idea, sirji!The idea of exploring 3-D lenticular developed when Pandey and his colleagues visited the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai, where he saw a 3-D lenticular photo of the main deity of Ganesh. He was unhappy with the way it was printed and felt that “the printing could have been better”. He conveyed this to the authorities of the temple.
Pandey says, “The authorities asked us to print the photo in 3-D lenticular. This was a challenge for us as we knew nothing and had to start from zero. We spent a lot of our time and money in exploring lenticular technology. For this we travelled to Japan, USA and Europe.”Pandey adds, “We did lot of research and development (R&D), developed our own software for lenticular printing and finally were successful in rendering the photo of Lord Ganesha.”
A holy beginningWhen Taco forayed into the lenticular business, they faced hardship and “the gods and goddesses” came to the rescue.Pandey says, “You can find many vendors selling photos of god and goddesses on the streets. But the quality is not good. These lenticular photographs lose their sheen. The initial four-five years were tough for us. We printed these photos with good quality lenses. This boosted our morale. We started to develop products other than godly photographs.”
He added, “We launched our 3-D lenticular product under the brand name Pictoreal. This branding boosted the sale. We started approaching corporate companies. Initially we had to educate them about how 3-D lenticular can enhance their branding.”
On the growth pathTaco Visions has developed its in-house software Pictoreal, also the brand-name for lenticular products. Pandey says, “After trying the softwares which were available in the market, we found that none of them could give us the desired result. So after R&D, we had developed our own in-house software to create 3-D effect on the files. This software has been designed as per our requirement and we are comfortable using it.”
Taco deploys Kodak technology to produce 3-D lenticular printing. This means, a Kodak CTP Trendsetter with Quantum technology that has the capability of producing 10 microns printing on calibrated Kodak plates.Vinit Jadhav, principal graphics and R&D at Taco Visions, says, “The Kodak CTP platesetter has a unique built-in feature called: variable main scan resolution (VMR). This VMR can produce required dots for lenticular printing.”A six-colour Heidelberg press with coater and interdeck UV and IR dryer produces the 3-D lenticular jobs.
Myriad print applicationsThe jobs for Taco Visions include greeting cards, book covers, displays and posters, calendars, table-mats, displays, standees, sales promotional items like 3-D boxes, 3-D chit pads, 3-D paper weights, packaging, direct mailers and corporate identity and gifts. The lenticular printing firm has plans to enter into the packaging segment especially targeting cosmetic products.Pandey says, “We would like to foray into new markets. We are eyeing cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.”
International awardsTaco Visions has bagged international awards for its work in lenticular printing. This includes the prestigious IAPHC in USA, and the Artistic Lenticular Printing Award 2012 at Drupa (above picture). Besides this, Taco has notched the unique honour of being mentioned in the Limca Book of Records for a special job of Reliance Industries.Mahesh Mahadkar, creative art director at Taco Visions, says, “The latest award at Drupa – where we competed with the best in the world – was not a shock to us. We knew our work would stand out and impress the jury.”Today, print is attempting to go beyond the X and Y axis. Pandey says, the world is evolving.
He explains, “Look at how black and white photographs were replaced by colour; black and white television was replaced by colour television; newspapers printed in black and white opted for four-colour printing. Likewise 2-D printing will shift to 3-D printing.”As the PrintWeek India team sat in the showroom with its array of dazzling samples and awards – one more round of Pandey’s specially brewed lemon tea along with dal pakodas were served. Meanwhile the Taco team was making a client pitch to a major blue chip firm about how the lenticular concept would enhance its brand in the market.
Speciality: 3-D lenticular printing
Equipment: Heidelberg six-colour
with interdeck UV and inline coater,
Xerox Docucolor 242, Kodak
Trendsetter Quantum CTP platesetter,
Polar and Perfecta cutting machine,
lamination and folding machine.
‘Faces’, the lenticular won award at Drupa