I'm preparing some print materials for a new office for the company I'm working in. One piece of the materials is a huge logo printed out on a shipping container-like, ribbed sheet metal.

It sort-of looks like this:sheet metal profile

My question is, is it enough just to stretch the print to compensate for the ribs, or can I do anything else to improve this?

  • 1
    Any chance you could contact the production company and ask how they handle things? They might be prepared with inline adjustments which automatically compensate for the ridges. (similar to how if you send flat art to a coffee cup producer, they alter the art to work correctly for the known distortion) Or at the very least, find a company that does similar reproduction and ask them maybe. – Scott Apr 3 at 22:02

You would need to take more into consideration.

  1. angle where the logo will be readable when only seen the "hills".
  2. angle where the logo will be readable when only hills and left slopes will be visible.
  3. angle where the logo will be readable when only hills, left slopes and valleys will be visible
  4. angle where the logo will be readable when facing the container en face will all surfaces visible.

(and then repeat for the right side)

You will notice that there's no point and just putting logo 1:1 will look good without distorting it in any way.


One test. This is the test logo:

enter image description here

View=straight on the face:

enter image description here

In the right the test logo is printed "as is" and glued along the surface. In the Left the test logo is stretched horizontally to 108 % to compensate the 8% difference between the straight horizontal diameter and diameter along the surface.

The difference is not big, but the stretched version has right proportion width/height.

When watched from aside, the readability depends radically which parts are hidden in the valleys:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Maybe you should do the same test with your logo. Then you could decide how big the logo should be. The next image shows a bigger example:

enter image description here

In theory you could make the apparent straight on the face image distortionless by stretching those parts which are on the slopes of the profile. The needed strethcing is remarkable; along the surface the slopes are 46,3 mm wide, horizontally they are only 28 mm wide. I didn't test it.

The actual placement of such version can be difficult. It's still not readable when seen from aside, if too much is hidden in the valleys. Surely the company who makes and assembles the logo can give some advice.

About my images: The surface look out rounded because I approximated the surface profile with an easy to draw spline to get rid of discontinuous surface curvature. Sharp bends or only circular roundings would split the surface to 21 slices which must be textured one by one. Continuous surface needed only one image placement.

The profile:

enter image description here

This problem can be nonexistent in professional 3D programs, I have only some easy to use software.

3D extrusion in Illustrator can be used to do tests, CAD software isn't a must. But In Illustrator the surface generally is splitted to parts which need everyone an own image.


Thank you all, we scaled the print up to 110% in width and it turned out fine. Of course, while talking to people who were viewing the print later, I discovered that almost all of them expected it to be distorted the way it is, so all is fine.

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