If your disc is to auction in a retail store or online the quality of your packaging will depend on the packaging right for your product. When it comes to audio discs the packaging must meet the following requirements:
Attract the attention of consumers
Convey the main idea of the recording
Let the listener who the artist/artists of the recording might be.
For software, specifically PC or console games, the game’s theme must emerge from the packaging and grab the attention of the customer in order to ensure that the sale is over the competition.
The guidelines below are aimed at helping both newcomers to the world of CD/DVD, packaging design as well as experts with experience, in order to assist you in getting the most value out of the available resources, whether the budget for your project is big or low.
1) Use Supplier Disc and Packaging Templates
If you’ve decided on a packaging and duplication provider and have them provide their template for the disc and packaging you are planning to utilize. If you start by using the correct specifications and templates for your design, it will save time and energy later in the event that you have to make modifications to the design in order in order to conform to the template guidelines.
Every professional CD printing company is likely to have a selection of templates in their files for you to download, and the majority will be willing to help in preparing your design and help you utilize the templates at no additional cost to their services. You should be able to download the most commonly used templates from a company’s website, however, if you’re creating a custom packaging design or something that is that isn’t as well-known, then you’ll need to consult with your printer.
2.) Select the right software Package for discs and packaging design
If you wish for your design to appear professional and convey an authentic feel, you’ll need an appropriate software program for creating the design. It is recommended to use the Adobe collection of design tools is ideal (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) as well as QuarkXpress, CorelDraw graphics suite, and Xara Designer Pro will fit the bill. There are enough instructional videos to watch online, free of charge making it an easy process provided you’re fairly proficient in the computer software applications.
The wide variety of special effects as well as photo manipulation features of these programs allows people with no prior experience to create a professional-looking design, top quality designs, and professionals to do amazing things, extremely quickly.
3) Make use of CMYK images or Pantone Ink colors
Most images displayed on monitors for instance, on websites, are designed in RGB (Red blue, and green) mode. If the images are to be printed on card stock, paper, or any other printing surface, they’re created by using CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Black, Yellow) inks. If you plan to design the image yourself, when you create your print-ready image, ensure that you are working in CMYK mode, or modify your image before submitting it to the printing company.
Sometimes CMYK colors aren’t as vibrant or as pure as colors in RGB mode, so if you’re unsure of what your image will look like when printed using CMYK inks, make sure to get an example of the print before you go to print the final run. The image you see on your monitor and the image printed will often appear quite different. Printing companies generally require a fee for the service and it’s important to be aware and include the cost into the budget of your project.
If the project you are working on is going intended to be printed on the screen, then Pantone color codes have to be identified for each color that is used in the design to ensure the designer and printer know what they can expect from the product that is produced. A majority of the top software programs for creating artwork let you view and choose Pantone colors while creating your disk or design for packaging.
4.) Images with high resolution that will print on disks, packaging, or on paper
If you are planning to use images or photographs from the past or make your own photos ensure that the image you choose is at least 300 dpi.
The majority of websites have images set at 72 dpi to ensure that the size of the image is small. The size of files isn’t too big of a problem for printers, so set your camera at the highest resolution to begin taking pictures. Be careful not to overcomplicate however, images that are 600 dpi could be crisp, but you’re in the realm of huge files that could be difficult to transfer if needed. 300 dots per inch is considered to be the ideal resolution.
Don’t believe that you can simply take an image that is huge and set it at 72dpi, shrink its size and alter its resolution from 300dpi to. This isn’t the case as the original image needs to be placed at 300dpi or more in order to print. The same rule applies to resizing images that are small. If you’ve got a tiny image with 300dpi resolution and you expand it to double its original size and you end up with an image that is 150dpi which, in turn, is not enough to print.
5) Fonts and Text Printing
If your design has unusual fonts, ensure you take note of the names of fonts and then send them with font files for your printer. High-resolution fonts within the Adobe Photoshop design are usually good, but if the font is narrow or the typeface is complex, using vector-based design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Quark is highly recommended to produce clear, crisp font prints.
6.) Be sure to allow in the form of “bleed” around the edge of printed components
The “bleed” zone or “bleed” zone around the edges of a paper part template is typically approximately 3mm wide around the edges of the visual portion that is the templates. It is essential to extend your design into the bleed zone, particularly in the case of a complex image or is a photo. Be sure to keep your text at least 3-4 millimeters from the edge of your template (not including the bleeding zone). The bleed zone is to ensure that the outside edges of your paper after cutting don’t have any edges that are white because of an extremely imperfect cut. If your design has an uncolored border, the color should extend into the bleed zone too.
7) Beware of background colors that are solid that contain photography elements in discs
The discs are either printed by screen printing or lithographically. If a design has an unlit, dark background with a few photographic elements inside it, the disc will need to be printed lithographically. Printing dark solid colors with the litho printing method can result in inconsistent coverage of the surface coverage of the disc. Screen printing is the method of choice for solid colors. If you think that your concept could be in this category, ask your printer for more information.
Combining images from photography and solid colors within your disc artwork isn’t advised.
8) Printed Panel Orientation for Card Wallets and Digipacks
If you’re using the right design template to create your CD or DVD Card wallet or digipack and it is quite clear how each of the panels must be laid out to print. If you print a basic CVC card, for example, the front image should be placed on the right side and the rear image on the left side so that the rear image could be folded in with the spine of the box to the right side.
The arrangement of images is more complex when packaging is required such as digipacks with 4 panels. The template requires the image on the front put in the lower left-hand place and the reverse image to the left.
The images on the inside (pages 2, 3) must be placed above the front and back images but in a different direction to ensure it is that top and bottom edges of each image meet at the fold line that runs through the middle.
9.) Last minute modifications to your DVD, CD, and packaging artwork
If you have to make any major last-minute modifications to your artwork be sure to consult with the printing company to ensure that the changes will not affect the price they quote for the job. If you are suddenly in a situation where your project is only made using the traditional litho printing process instead of a simple screen print, it could be that you’ll need to shell out more than the amount you originally planned to pay for.
These guidelines will assist you to get maximum value from your packaging and disc project. Be sure, if it is possible you should allow yourself plenty of time to finish all the stages of the design process since mistakes are made by team members who are under stress. Additionally, you should ask your supplier for help They are not likely to cost you for work that requires their expertise, not much time however, it could take several hours to complete.