Posted on August 14, 2019 by Michael Boik

Flood Coats, Reverse and Inside Prints

Digital printing is getting the bulk of the attention these days from many printing companies and box suppliers, but while it may be the “shiny new toy” of the industry, it’s important to understand that many of the bright, colorful eye-catching prints you see as a consumer or business owner are actually printed with the “old-school” flexographic printing method, and are achieved with minimal cost. At Salazar Packaging, we have the capabilities to print both flexographic and digital, so we are not necessarily in favor of one printing method over the other. But we do have the experience and knowledge to understand which option may be better suited for your needs specifically. if your goal is to have a beautiful one or two color print that pops, while keeping your per box cost low, there are a variety of ways to accomplish this with flexographic printing, as outlined below.


Flood coats and reverse printsGorgeous One Color Flood Coats and Reverse Prints

A one color print doesn’t always have to be a “basic” print, and it certainly does not have to be boring or lack detail. While it is true that some one color prints may use minimal ink to achieve or convey a simple message of text, a tagline or logo, there are also a large number of one color prints that cover a large amount of the exterior or interior of the box in what is known as a flood coat. As we like to say, there is no such thing as a blue box. All boxes will start either brown or white, and must be printed to achieve the color you want. White is typically the best board color when printing flood coats, especially when using bright colors or pastels. Although, black or other dark colors do sometimes print well on kraft brown board as well.

Reverse prints utilize the color of the box as a secondary color to achieve your design while using the ink color to fill in the remaining space (see example right). These are fairly common prints and they minimize costs by eliminating the need for more than one print plate. When you consider print plates are typically (each) a $400-800 initial one-time investment, this can result in substantial savings.

A one color print, whether it is a simple logo centered on the box, or as a full flood coverage, generally will be the same on a per box price breakdown. This is because the process to print is the same, and requires the same amount of set-up time. However, there will be a cost difference for the print plate. The higher the ink coverage, the higher the print plate cost. You can expect the cost of a reverse print flood coat plate to be at least one and a half to two times more expensive than a low ink coverage print on average.


Adding Inside Print for Added Pop

A flood coat does not have to be restricted to just the outside of the box. You always have the option of doing a full color or reverse print inside as well, and often times this is the best way to go, as the inside print will be the main area of focus when your customer receives your product. The outside of the box will have a label covering a portion of the box, and you also have to consider that the exterior will receive the scuffs, dirt and marks from the shipping process. Inside print could deliver a clean and colorful message that pops and would look fantastic on an Instagram unboxing video.

Inside print does typically add about 20-30% to a per box cost, and will require an additional print plate for each color used. However, it’s important to remember that print plates are only a one time expense, as long as you are not changing your design down the road.


Please Contact Us Today

Want to know more about flood coats and reverse printing? We’re happy to walk you through an initial consultation and find a custom packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging? Please call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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