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The Good, the Bad, and the Double Sided: Studying Printed Flags

The Good, the Bad, and the Double Sided: Studying Printed Flags

I can see them now: standing proudly, wildly flapping in the breeze. Flags are one of the more economical ways to announce a point-of-sale at fairs and festivals, and to quickly and easily advertise your wares to the entire crowd as it mills about. One of the less-discussed options on flags is whether to have a single-side print or to go with a flag that has each side printed independently. Why is this choice so important? It’s actually more complicated than you would think.

Single Sided Flags

The standard single-sided flag is created by printing on one side of the fabric, and then is cut and finished with hem and the pole pocket along the edges. A finished flag with a single print side will show upwards of 85% of the color through to the unprinted side – a definite plus as far as flag usage, but it’s important to remember that the off-side image will be a reverse of the main side. This can get confusing if there is a lot of text (but can be somewhat avoided if the text is printed vertically – this mainly works for flags with only a name or 1-2 word phrase printed on them).

Having only one layer of fabric allows a single-sided flag to move in the slightest breeze. Even slight movement is enough to catch the eye of most passers-by, making a single-sided flag much better suited toward outdoor usage. While moving fabric is in most cases a cause for alarm – see our Wind Whip Versus Cold Crack video to find out more – the lack of other objects to rub against greatly reduces movement damage.

Double Sided Flags

The creation of double sided flags is a bit more rigorous. The point of having two independent sides is so that the message can be different side to side, or even repeated but able to be read from both angles. This presents a dilemma, since any bleed-through from side to side would take away from this intended effect. That’s why double sided flags are made with two printed outer portions, with an additional block-out layer sandwiched in between.

This obviously makes the flag three times heavier than a single-sided print; when you buy a double sided flag you are sacrificing movement for appearance. Normal movement will be reduced when compared to the lighter style, requiring more and more wind in order for the flag to wave. Multiple layers and added weight can also cause additional wear over time, reducing the usable life span of your flag. This makes double sided flags much better suited to indoor venues such as reception halls, tradeshows, and product fairs.

The Power … is YOURS

Depending on where your flag will fly and what your displayed message is greatly affects the choice between single- and double-sided flag construction. Less brand specific flags (“ATM,” “Cold Drinks,” etc.) can afford the less complicated single side print, while your product launch (at an indoor venue) would be best served with the detail-oriented double sided print. Feel free to contact one of our sales associates to better discuss your flag options. Happy flapping!