When it comes to printing on flags and banners, a common question that arises is what the difference between single-reverse and double-sided layouts are. Both terms are standard for the industry but can cause some confusion for first-time buyers or those unfamiliar with printing techniques. There are advantages to both layouts, so which one is right for you can be determined by the purpose of your printed flag or banner.

Single-reverse doesn’t mean the same thing as single-sided, though sometimes single-reverse can be referred to as single-sided printing. These two terms, however, are different printing formats that shouldn’t be confused. Single-sided means that the flag or banner is printed on one side while the other side is left completely blank. Single-reverse means that the logo or design is printed on one side, but it bleeds through to the other side of the flag in a mirror (or reverse) image. This is the kind of printing that is commonly seen on flags displayed on flagpoles, such as state and country flags.

Double-sided means that the design is printed on two single-sided flags that are sewn together so that the image appears “correctly” on both sides. This format also includes a blocking inner liner placed between the two flags to eliminate seeing the print from the other side of the flag. This leaves a crisper and clearer message.

While the double-sided layout offers a cleaner looking design on both sides, there are also things to take into consideration. Double-sided flags and banners usually cost about twice as much as single-reverse items, since it’s essentially double the work. They are also much heavier and less likely to flow in the wind if displayed outside. It is recommended that very text-heavy flags and banners that are going to need to be seen from different angles use the double-sided format, while flags and banners that are printed with a logo or a simple design that is likely to be displayed outside use the single-reverse layout.

Single-reverse and double-sided comparison