One of the things we really enjoy when we are processing , printing and packing your orders , is to see the incredible onbody print designs. Here are just a few from the vast array that we have printed.
We offer both soft ( electronic) and hard copy proofs to you, free of charge.
Some customers just want to visualise or in the case of a hard copy, see the quality of their order and how it will actually look when printed.
So for example this customer wanted to see the colour match of his disc to the digipak:
It can be the case that printed parts will not exactly match the colour of the same colour upload, when its printed on a disc…just the fact that they are printed on different mediums can affect the tone of the colour sometimes.
In the case of a hard copy proof we print 2 copies and hold 1 here as a control and post the other to you by Royal Mail.
You then have the option to approve straight away if you are happy with the print or to alter it by uploading new artwork to us.
We will always work with you to get the best result possible for your order.
Not everyone wants or needs this so if you do, just need to mention that you would like this in the notes (which is a free field text section) as you check out.
We have all sorts of other advice in our artwork section here:
Or you can call us on 01702 530354 and we will be happy to help you.
It’s not too early to start planing for Christmas products for your customers.
Its the perfect excuse to make a new EP,CD or DVD with Christmas material for your customers.
Give us a call if you need any advice or help with your plans or you can get an instant quote & place your order straight away.
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Dont miss out on seeing some inspiring, cool, thought provoking and sometimes humerous art from customers; along with Important News and Offers.
Why is it that your printed colours look different to what you see on your monitor? Everything looks great on the screen but the prints come out subtly different.
The truth is you will never see a perfect match between images on the screen and images on paper, they are simply put, two very different entity’s.
You monitor image is made us from pixels, these are thousands of tiny lights, and each of these lights can produce around 16 million colours, which is more than our eyes can recognise! These lights are know as the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colour space.
A printed image is made up from dots of ink splashed on a piece of paper. We use 4 ink colours for this, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key black. These 4 make up the CMYK colour space. The first three colours are used to reproduce colour, in a similar way to your monitor, the final ‘Key black’ is needed for practical reasons, but its not so important to this topic.
When light hits an colour ink splash on the paper, only the same colour light is reflected, which is a small part of the light which hits is. In contrast the same dot of colour on screen it a light source itself and much stronger than a reflection. So it should already make sense why printed paper would not be as bright on screen, they exist in a smaller range of brightness!
There’s also another restriction on printed images which is because the reflected light is relatively small they only produce a relatively small range of colours, perhaps a few thousand at the most. This is a big reduction from the 16 million available on your monitor! Now you don’t need to worry about this too much, our computers and printers are very good an handling these difficulties, but you should try to keep in mind the subtle details in images can be lost, for example, dark grey text on a black background that is only just visible on screen, will probably as solid black.
The next experiment, take a printed image and hold it next to the computer monitor. Now turn the lights off, which one can you see!
The fact is you cannot print light to a piece of paper. So the bright and florescent Reds, Pinks, Yellows, etc which which have so much energy can only be produced with a light behind them. The moment you convert them to print they will be much duller. There are techniques which might help a little when converting them, but really is no fix for this one. If you are designing artwork for print the ideal solution is to use the CMYK colour space from the beginning. This way there are no surprises at the end.
The reflection of an ink splash on paper is only a close approximation of the intended colour. Even the type of light bulb in the room your in can affect the colours you see! The same is true for the type or paper you are printing on. So imagine if the the papers are different, or one of them is not paper at all, perhaps a plastic CD. Or maybe the printers are made by different companies, or use different printing technology. Variation is the prints will be expected.
Again, this is not something you need to look at fixing yourself, printers and the things they print on are carefully ‘tuned’ so they produce images as accurately as possible.
So you’ve carefully designed some art, keeping in mind all the possible variations, but have you done it right?
You could ask us to check, we’re the experts right? Well yes, but even experts can make mistakes but more importantly this is the first time we have seen you art. We have no way of knowing what effect you are trying to achieve, we don’t know if you have a golden Sun tan or an orange glow, we don’t know if the car in the background should be Green or Blue, or if there way supposed to be the outline of a cat in the shadows.
So who is best placed to check this then? Easy, the same person who knows exactly what the artwork should look like…. You!
I know, we’ve gone full circle, but the solution to this problem is a proof print. Proofs are very common in the print industry and will show you exactly how the print comes out. They are not always necessary, especially if your experienced enough to know what you might receive but if this is you first venture into print, and the details for this one need to be perfect then a proof is definitely the way to go.
You can have a free hard copy proof before we print your full run ….just ask for this in the notes when you order and we will print & send you a proof copy to check and approve before we print the full run.
You can read about this here in our artwork section on the website:
Still time to stock up or buy for the first time CD’s, DVD’s & Blu-Ray’s to sell at Christmas Gigs and Productions.
Last date to get your master and art to us for your order to arrive before Christmas is Midday on Thursday 19th December.
Highlighting some amazing customer design.
This single card wallet and cd onbody printing are so seamless its hard to see where each start and finish.
Go to our free online artwork creation tool and the templates that are easy to download to help you with you with your design.
Now is the time to start planning for your Christmas Sales of DVDs and CDs…it’s a great time to raise money for your bands funds, for Schools or Charity.
Give us a call and we can chat you through timings and ideas for the best selling packages for you.
We do however work right up to the week before Christmas and are always here to help with a rush job if we can.
This article is the second in our series to help you understand some of the terminology used in the duplication process
Beware, we are now moving into the area of artwork and the word image no linger relates to a disc image! When talking about artwork, and image is simply a picture, a graphic or photograph
PDF stands for “portable document format.” Adobe Systems designed this format, which has become the standard for exchanging electronic documents. Its a very complex and powerful format used extensively in artwork design and printing, perfect for supplying your artwork supporting the other artwork formats below, as well as special print formats, colours and vector graphics.
These image formats are ideal for photos and similar images containing many colours offering good quality and acceptable sizes are possible. The quality / file size of a jpeg can be altered through the use of compression.
The three formats all vary slightly in the way they apply compression to the images, each with its own advantages. For printing its best to keep the compression at a minimum so the files are larger and better quality.
This format is only used by the graphics programs Photoshop. The files are generally large and contain lots of additional information and layers which are not needed for print. The complexity of the files make them perfect for editing and designing, BUT not ideal for printing. You should save your artwork to PDF or JPEG when ready to submit for printing.
To learn more about artwork formats this article is a good place to start, offering beginner guides to the various types: Further information on artwork formats.
The design of your CD artwork will have a really massive effect on who buys it and what your consumers think of it. Way before they listen to your CD, they will probably see the cover on a shop shelf. A lot depends on them taking an initial liking to this image, and also to the insert or booklet and back cover. This is why it is so important to put lots of effort into making your CD artwork look appealing and attractive – and not just to any user, but to your selected market! So this article intends to gives some helpful tips and advice on how to make your CD look super!
To start, it helps to know what size your inserts need to be:
– The insert for the front is 4.75”x4.75”
– If you want to make a foldout, simply add an extra 4.75” of length onto the initial dimensions for the insert until you have the desired number of pages
– If you are making a booklet, it should be 9.5”x4.75” so that it can be folded in half. This can be repeated for as many pages as are needed in the booklet
– The back insert is 5.906” with 0.25” on either side for each spine x 4.625”
These are the standard sizes for a CD Jewel case however I would advise leaving a 0.25” ‘bleed’ around everything to make sure that you don’t get any nasty unintentional borders – these can look really unprofessional! A ‘bleed’ is a gap where the image overlaps outside the print area and it serves to prevent white patches around the edge of an image. Similarly, don’t forget to leave a 0.25” gap inside the image too, called a ‘safety’, making an area called the ‘live’ image, where you can be certain that no important bits will get chopped off!
As for what you put in the artwork, that is quite up to you, but it is a good idea to have important information accessible from the outside, i.e. on the front or back covers. For example, if you are making a music CD, it is a good idea to include the artist, album or single title, song names and record label in an easily visible place. But at the same time, don’t overload the cover with information which could be off-putting to many users. Sometimes simple is good! If you are making a booklet, you might want to put in some interesting information like an interview with the artist, lyrics or acknowledgments. Conversely, you could just have lots of really lovely pictures – it depends a lot on what you want the mood of the CD to be.
As for the imagery itself, try and make it as personal as you can, for instance if you’re making a mix CD for a friend perhaps include images of the two of you together! Obviously, if you are aiming at a wider audience try and define what would appeal to your market. For example, heavy metal music usually has very heavy, gothic artwork involving lots of blood, skulls and demons, while classical music tends to have calming scenery or renaissance paintings on the cover.
The same rules apply for choosing a font. For a more serious audience, try and select a serious font, for instance ‘Garmond’. Try not to pick anything that is too hard to read or very over-used – these will both put people picking up your product whether because they can’t understand it or whether because they dislike the cliche implied!
To pick up the mood of your CD, especially if it’s musical, it can be really beneficial to listen to it while you are working on the artwork: Professional graphic designers do it all the time to get their creative juices flowing! Also, try creating a few different images before you settle on one as sometimes the first idea you have is not necessarily the best and look at other artwork to see what else is being done for inspiration. If you’re working on a computer, it is also worthwhile to zoom right out sometimes and take a look at the cover as a whole: This will give you a much better idea of what it will look like once it’s printed up!
Be especially careful when designing your spine – it may look like a small thing but it is very easy to mess up if you don’t leave the proper bleeds either side of it! I would suggest at least two millimetres to compensate for any inaccuracy during the guillotining process, ensuring the writing doesn’t get cut in half or left off altogether! It’s usually a good idea to fit as much information as you can on here. With a music CD it’s normally the band name, record label and album or single title.
It’s also quite important to keep your packaging in mind: The artwork will have to fit into it. Consider whether you wish to make a booklet, fold-out, single sleeve or whether you want to do something extra special. The band Tool recently brought out a very individual album with stereoscopic viewing lenses inside the booklet which made all the images appear in 3D! Their fans loved it and it got them a lot of publicity! Remember though, when brainstorming these awesome ideas, to always consider the cost, too. Sometimes what seems like a great plan is not practically the best thing to do.
It’s also worth bearing in mind – and this is particularly appropriate for music CDs – that in this technological age, many CDs get copied to computer CD libraries where the CD artwork can be viewed when the song is played. It is worth remembering that any special colours, or ‘spot’ colours, which cannot be made with the standard computer colour displays will not show up! These include fluorescent and metallic colours. Though these look very nice on the shelf, you may want to make a different set of artwork that is computer-friendly, too.
A particularly useful website for helping to design and create original and attractive CD covers, inserts and body-prints is offered here for free! You can upload your own images, add text and know for sure that your layout is exactly what is needed!
I hope this helps get your ideas-hat on and gives some practical advice, too! Good luck with all your CD artwork designing! Remember to keep your intended user in mind and never stray far from the CD content and you’ll be well on your way to creating some great CD artwork!