Front Side Vs. Back Side Acrylic Sign Printing: Which Is The Best Choice For You?

If you're having an acrylic sign printed, one of the questions the sign manufacturer is likely to ask you is whether you want front side or back side printing. Understanding what each of these options really is, and the benefits of both, will help you make the correct choice for your business's needs.

Front Side Printing

Front side printing is when the text and images on your sign are printed onto the front of the acrylic slab. Then, generally the "ink" is covered with some sort of fixative to prevent it from rubbing off too easily.


Front side printing gives your sign a matte look, which you may prefer if your business has a toned-down, rustic, or pop-art image. It also tends to be the cheaper option, simply because it is easier to apply the ink to the acrylic in this manner.


Some might consider the matte look of front side printing a con; these signs lack the sheen and light-reflecting luster of back side printed signs. Also, it can be easy to scrape the image off a front side printed sign because the ink is only protected by a fixative. If your sign is going to be displayed within the reach of customers or where it may be bumped by furniture, you may want to steer clear of front side printing because of the risk that your ink may be scraped off.

Back Side Printing

Sometimes known as "second surface printed," back side printed acrylic has the ink applied to the back of the acrylic slab. Essentially, you are looking through a sheet of thin acrylic to see images and text.


Back side printed acrylic signs are hard to vandalize or damage. Even if someone scrapes the sign or writes on it, the acrylic can be cleaned or polished, and typically the image is still in good shape since it is printed on the back of the acrylic. This makes back side printing a good choice for exterior signs. Also, this type of sign has a polished, glossy look since you are peering through glassy acrylic to see the image.


In addition to being more costly to print, back side printed acrylic signs are also harder to keep clean because they attract fingerprints. If you place one within reach of people, you may find that you need to clean it often. This type of sign can also be hard to read in bright lights, since the light bounces off of its surface.

Both front side printed and back side printed acrylic signs are durable, lightweight options. Which is right for your business will depend on where the sign will be displayed, what look you're trying to achieve, and how much you can spend. Contact a company like Sun Signs & Service for more information.