You may find some of the terminology around our CD packaging and DVD packaging confusing. Below are some brief explanations of some of the more common terms which crop up when you are considering options for the printing and packaging of your media.
Blu-ray discs offer a higher quality of viewing experience. Many people now own HD TVs and demand a better quality of pictures, so blu-ray technology these days is more in demand than ever. Blu-ray discs are capable of holding more material than traditional DVDs so blu-ray replication is a means of storing many hours’ worth of content on just one disc, whether that’s an entire TV series or your archived sales presentations.
When you see the terms CD replication and CD duplication, you may wonder what the difference is between a replicated and duplicated CD and DVD. A replication is just that – an exact replica of a master, to which data cannot subsequently be added or changed. Replication is better than duplication in cases where you need a large number of copies of material, for example to send out to a mailing list of customers or to sell at a concert, as it is more cost-effective for producing over 300 copies of the same material.
For smaller quantities of CDs, duplication is the more popular method, because it is quicker and more cost-effective in this scenario than making an exact replica of the master over and over again. The process is similar to burning a copy on your computer at home. Printed & duplicated cds can be used to reproduce a wide variety of media – audio, software, presentation, film or show reel – and each CD can have your artwork printed directly onto the disc.
Appearance – physical elements
CDs can be packaged in a wide variety of containers. The most familiar is the jewel case or slimline jewel case. Slimline jewel cases – which were at one time most often used for CD singles – are equally as strong and protect your CDs and DVDs, but have the advantage of taking up much less space overall if many discs have to be stored.
An ejector case is lightweight and very strong, making it difficult to break. It features a trigger mechanism which, when pushed, ejects the CD halfway out. When returning the CD to the case, the ejector case locks it into place, avoiding sliding and possible damage within the box when not in use.
Within any type of hard case usually sits a sheet or sheets of paper which give more information about the recording on the disc. These come in two main types. Case inserts (flat) consist of a single printed sheet; while case inserts (folded) have more sides – usually four or six – allowing for a greater amount of information to be added. If you require more information than a six sheet case insert would allow, you could always order a booklet insert!
Duplicated cds printed inlays again come in a variety of options depending on the budget you have and the overall look you are going for with your final product. Options range from printed one side full colour to a full colour litho print. Full colour CD packaging will obviously cost more than one that is only printed one side. If you are looking for a full colour litho print, it may be a cheaper option to try out options other than jewel cases, such as a CD mailer pack or six page Soft Pack. All packaging can be customised with a wide range of finishes, from embossed to foil blocking, so the cost-effective option needn’t mean a cheap looking end product.
If you are intending to use CD jewel cases to package your discs, you will want to consider a paper insert which allows vital details about the CD to show on the edge of your cd case when stored on a shelf or in a rack. The tray card is a “U” shaped paper insert fitted into the back and spine of the CD case.
Nothing beats the excitement of getting your hands on a brand new CD or DVD sealed in original packaging. Shrink wrapping and over-wrapping can give your CD or DVD the quality, professional look of a brand new product fresh from the shop. It can also protect your CD or DVD against the rigours of being mailed through the post, so it arrives looking pristine.
Appearance – artwork
In most circumstances, the appeal of your CD or DVD to your audience will be determined by its overall appearance. When you want to stand out from others in the market, the quality of your creative packaging could be what makes or breaks it.
When you can afford it, always take advantage of professional design services for your packaging. They will have the experience to work with your ideas and complement them with great suggestions. They may have options you haven’t thought of which can make your product look more appealing to your target audience or help you come in within budget. They’ll also be able to advise on their own company’s artwork guidelines, which you can take into account when developing your own ideas. This will ensure the artwork you supply is print-ready – which will save time and money in the long run.
CD packaging artwork is an essential component and must convey a certain amount of information in a clear manner. Of course, every CD conforms to a specific shape and size, and so what can be printed onto a CD itself is limited by the amount of space available. Generally the design has to be constrained within a precise area – the outer edge is a circle with a 116mm diameter; while the inner edge is a circle with a 20mm diameter.
If you’re concerned about the carbon impacts of your CD or DVD packaging, always ask what’s available. Many products these days are created with protection of the environment in mind, so we are sure to have packaging to keep your green credentials pristine.
The green eco disc DVD is distinguished by only having one layer of plastic instead of the traditional two bonded layers. With no loss of quality, it needs only half the energy to produce; therefore emitting 52% less carbon dioxide than traditional discs. As there is only one layer, no bonding agent is required to seal multiple layers together, which makes the disc fully recyclable. The green eco disc is also thinner and lighter, which translates into a reduction in CO2 emissions when shipping and transporting quantities of the discs.
How to post your CD
Having put blood, sweat and tears – not to mention money – into producing your CD or DVD, the last thing you want is for it to end up damaged when it reaches its final destination. It’s critical to look for the right type of postal packaging for your product. Popular options include jiffy bags and cd mailers postal boxes. Jiffy bags come in a wide range of colours and finishes to stand out from the crowd when they arrive. DVD and CD mailers postal boxes feel reassuringly serious in the hand and can be printed and branded with your corporate logo – or indeed any other information you require on them.