Work and Turn Vs. Work and Flop

Two terms any seasoned print veteran should know in and out – Work and Turn & Work and Flop.  For any print rookie – these can be hard concepts to wrap your head around.

Once you realize how they are accomplished – you will realize how quickly this can save money – and become a printers clutch when printing 2 sided work.  Both the front and back side of the printed piece are printed onto 1 side of the sheet of paper – then the paper is rotated or flipped – to make the image 2 sided while utilizing only 1 set of printing plates.

I know – confusing.  Here is a walk through that may help you understand – and if you are still confused – feel free to pull out a piece of paper and draw it out.  It took me a few times before it all clicked.

Best of luck!


work-and-tumble (or work-and-flop, or work-and-roll) is when a sheet of paper is fed through the printer, then turned over long ways (below) and fed back through the printer to print on the opposite side. On the first pass through the printer, one side of the paper is used as the gripper edge (where the printer grabs the paper to pull it through), then when turned over, the opposite side of the paper is used as the gripper edge, resulting in a slightly smaller available printing area. This method makes it a little more difficult to align the images on either side.


work-and-turn (or print-and-turn) is when a sheet of paper is fed through the printer, then is turned over short ways  (below) and fed back through. This method keeps the same gripper edge, which makes it easier to align and has a slightly larger printing area than a work-and-tumble.


Now, like I mentioned, it all depends on how the artwork is laid out to be printed. If an image, like the one below, is printed and is turned as a work-and-tumble, the image on the back would obviously be upside down.

Whereas, if it were turned as a work-and-turn, the image on the back would be right side up.


Although if the image on the sheet was rotated, then the job could be turned as a work-and-tumble.


2 thoughts on “Work and Turn Vs. Work and Flop

  1. Nice graphic explanation. It is hard to believe how foreign this concept is to many print people in the digital marketplace.

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