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A client recently asked me if I was able to help him with a project to create a holographic 3D model on their business card, whose perspective would change as you orient the card, such as the mouse on top of this page, or the famous dove that Kurt Roald designed and that is visible on everyone's payment card.

Of course the client isn't Visa, and they're not trying to make millions of cards, maybe up to a thousand. We can use either a 3D model, or a set of photos of real life object (extruded logo of the company) - we have both.

The project is really interesting, and I really wish I could help and learn more in the process, but the world of holographic design seems pretty closed off. Some vendors on Alibaba do Holographic printing, but they do not seem to be of a 3D photo or model, just a few vector 2D designs laid out on top of each other.

Is there a simple and accessible workflow for designers to produce this type of holographic designs?

  • There's plenty of software to generate lenticular designs (two I'm familiar with are HumanEyes and 3dMasterKIT), and while lenticular isn't the foil-type of design you're looking for, they are still technically considered a hologram. You may be able to find more info about foil holograms by starting your search in the realm of lenticular design and print. – superluminal Nov 26 '19 at 21:33
  • Just searching around for foil holograms suggests that they're mainly intended for security purposes, and searching for security foil hologram printing results in printers who really seem to be pushing high-volume, which might suggest very high prices for short runs of what I'm assuming are business cards or product labels. – superluminal Nov 26 '19 at 21:37
  • Thanks but these are off-topic comments, I know and have made lenticular prints in the past, it's a totally different product, apples and oranges. I've done a lot of research and have seen interesting uses in art/graphic design of what I want. Just looking for answers - possibly from someone who's done it. – MicroMachine Nov 26 '19 at 21:46
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    I have done holography in my lab. Its not impossible requires just a laser, slab of granite styrofoam, interruption in heavy traffic... the setup time needed to change from one customer to the next is not so much the issue. But making efficienr copies of one master is! So making 10 easy peasy just make 10 masters. Making 100 I wouldnt be game. Making a few thousand ok now i can afford to buy the proper materials. – joojaa Nov 27 '19 at 16:20
  • Anyway, as i cant efficiently do copies i can not do digital holograms either. But itspossible. – joojaa Nov 27 '19 at 16:30
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Is there a simple and accessible workflow for designers to produce this type of holographic design?

The process is pretty simple.

  1. Contact a provider.

  2. Ask for the specific format.

  3. Provide all the documentation needed to have the record on who asked for the specific holo.

  4. Pay the fee.

  5. Receive the product.


Of course, the limitation is the fee.

A hologram is meant to be expensive because it is a security element. The point is that you can not make just 100 copies, because you will be selling your soul. But with mass production of 100,000 the price per unit justifies the security measure.


You can use a different approach, for example,

  1. Printing over a holographic foil, which has some depth, and a flat color logo on top.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=holographic+foil&t=h_&ia=shopping

You can find it as cardboard, or as film or adhesive.


Some other options are already mentioned in the comments:

  1. Lenticular design

  2. Engraver

  3. Some transparent layered card

  4. Some Augmented Reality app.

| improve this answer | |
  • Can you elaborate on the workflow for the holographic foil (if that is the most accessible approach)? Link to an example of the final result? – curious Dec 14 '19 at 20:08
  • I added a link and some comments. – Rafael Dec 15 '19 at 5:04

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