Lehndorff: Digital designs delight

These days my face looks pretty flashy on a shelf in the newsroom. With the help of Eye Candy Graphics, I've had three digital snapshots made into a 15-by-15-inch lenticular portrait.

Remember those little plastic screens with raised ridges that made an image morph as you shifted it in front of your eyes? As you walk by mine, my face shifts from a grin to a nod, while the background careens from yellow to purple and back.

Reaction to my self-image has been mixed. A copy editor taped cutout mustaches all over my $150 portrait; another removed them. Our theater critic was the lone enthusiast, gushing because she loves to collect lenticular images.

The lesson is clear: Technology continues to lure digital images out of the computer and onto new surfaces. Everything from postage stamps to diaper bags and wall art can be personalized with snapshots of the kids or images of a high school reunion.

Recently, two companies entered the world of digital customization. Lamps Plus now offers a stainless steel table lamp with a custom-printed shade for $99 plus shipping. A floor lamp is $149, and plans are in the works for a pendant-style fixture.

"There are thousands of images moving across the Internet, and people are looking for ways to customize their own homes," says Lamps Plus owner Dennis Swanson. "So I thought a combination of the Internet and digitalization could be plugged into what we do with lamps."

Betsy Lehndorff
Rocky Mountain Newslehndorffb@RockyMountainNews.com

he 60-year-old entrepreneur has combined his love of art with his love of manufacturing, creating a Web site where customers arrange digital images on shades and order lamps online. Technicians at the Lamps Plus factory in California print out the designs on sturdy sheets of paper and apply them by hand to the shades. The finished shade is packed into a special box with the lamp and is shipped back to the customer within a week.

For something a little more everyday, Kleenex allows customers to personalize a box of tissues for $4.99 plus shipping.

To test this out, I went to its Web site at mykleenex tissue.com and uploaded images of my lenticular portrait and a personalized table lamp onto the screen. Although the program is slow, the preview is worth the wait when an image of my completed box twirls around on my screen.

Naturally, this experiment will lead to bigger and better ideas. Next time I get sick with a cold, I'll have my son take some digital snaps. My suffering will be commemorated on a lampshade; my sore nose will grace a box of tissues; and a sneeze will be forever sealed behind a sheet of plastic prisms - my eyes closing as I grab for a tissue.

Web site resources:


Find out about lenticular prints at the Web site, or order products at the studio at 2244 Broadway. For hours, call 303-295-2270. A 15-by-15-inch lenticular print costs about $150 and takes two weeks or less to make.

• lampsplus.com/ArtShade

If you need help ordering one of their customized shades, visit a local Lamps Plus store or call 1-800-782-1967 for information.

• mykleenextissue.com

Check out this site to order a customized oval box of tissues. The online program allows you to pick a background and insert photos, text, clip art and decorative frames. $4.99 plus shipping.

• RockyMountainNews.com/ drmn/ garden

To see more images of these products, go to this site and look for the slideshow under Home Front Extra!