The peel-and-stick motion of a window decal is satisfyingly simple. Choosing how to display a clear window decal or static cling, on the other hand, might not be as simple. The question is: should you go with inside glass or standard decals? It may seem self-explanatory as to what an inside glass window decal offers but, there’s far more to its design and placement than meets the eye. In this post, we’ll take a look at the different considerations when choosing between inside glass and standard decals as well as a handful of other important things to know so that you can get the right type of decal for your business or other use.

What is Inside Glass Printing? How Does it Differ From a Standard Print Surface?

You’re probably wondering what the difference is between inside glass decals and your typical decal (we’ll refer to these as standard decals as this is the default on our website and is called a “Standard Print Surface”); we’re sure you’re familiar with both but a little refresher course never hurt anyone. We’ve included some pictures below to help you distinguish between the two.

Inside Glass Printing

Standard surface printing allows decals to be visible, even on highly reflective windows.

Decals For Indoor Use

Inside glass window decals are often placed inside store windows to promote sales and promotions. Note the reflection of the window continues onto the surface of the decal because of the decals placement using inside the glass.

As you can see, inside glass decals are visible from the outside, but are placed on the inside face of the glass (hence the name inside glass). The adhesive will be on the front of the decal while the design will be printed on the back of the clear vinyl material, allowing it to show through to the front of the decal. Because the front side of the decal will not have any printed ink, it will stick to the surface of the glass on the inside.

The same effect can be accomplished with opaque materials despite the idea seeming impossible given the solid material of our opaque window decals and opaque clings. To get the Inside Glass functionality but with an opaque appearance, your design will be printed on the back of the equivalent clear materials. The difference is that there will be a layer of white ink that is printed behind your design to give it an opaque appearance. Because it is a white ink background, rather than a solid opaque material, it won’t have the exact same appearance as an opaque decal but will be close. In both cases, the adhesive will be on the front for an interior window placement. Using this workaround your decals or clings can be opaque in nature yet be placed inside and visible from outside.


There are a number of different terms used within the signage industry for these two very different functionalities of your custom window decals. For decals that adhere to the inside and are visible from the outside, there are: Inside Glass, Reverse Stickers, Adhesive On Front and Second Surface. For those that adhere to the exterior of your window and are still visible to those that approach your store, there are Standard Surface, Adhesive on the Back, First Surface.