The Con of Packaging...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LeroyGodspeed, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Greetings,

    I have a small production company and we are just finishing up the recording of our first full length CD (we have done only EP's in the past). I'm still pretty new to all of this so i wanted to see what everyone's take is...

    Does packaging really matter that much?
    personally, i find DIY packaging to be somewhat charming, but at the same time... unprofessional and possibly forboding to the music held on the cd. That is a stereotype for sure... i have seen otherwise... But i guess it depends on how someone pulls off thier DIY packaging design...

    Anyway, Do you think the 'jewel case, standard setup' is played out and banal? So much so that its a negative thing for a band when it comes to 'standing out' to A&R, Media, or even sitting on a shelf at a record store?

    What about 'eco sleeves'... aka... cardboard 4 sided foldout sleeves. Its cardboard. and its good for the enviornment. ha...

    if anyone has any insite into good cd replication places... would you be a doll and shoot them my way? i'd be most grateful.

  2. purebloom

    purebloom Guest

    I have yet to do this, but this is my plan for when recording is complete and the CD is ready to go.

    You can buy blank Digipaks (cardboard packaging with plastic holder inside). Then instead of the cost of printing you can custom make a graphic (if you are artsy) using Photoshop and have this made into a sticker. The cost to have quality stickers printed is much lower than the cost of printing on these digipaks.

    Apply sticker on front (and back if desired) and there you go. Cost effective, but relatively professional looking and unique.

    As for the CD itself you may want to have this professionally silkscreened. Anyone have any cost effective alternatives for the CD itself?
  3. Primera Z1 printer. Fantastic cheap ribbon printer. Prints four quadrants of the disc. Since you do it one at a time, you can put track listings for each CD if you're doing multiple demos, etc. Graphics come out well enough if they don't have too much shading and are mostly b&w.

    Personally, I would just go with some silver top/bottom blank discs (they look like they are professional grade, not CD-R grade blue or green), print them up with the Z1, and then throw them in a clear plastic sleeve with a flap to keep the disc from falling out.

    Best value and still unique and pro looking.

    edit: The Z1 has been discontinued. The Teac DSPD P-11 is equivalent though:
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    I prefer jewel cases over alternate packaging methods - they stack well, the spine is easy to read, they protect the disk, and have lots of space for text and artwork. Clear trays provide some opportunity for interesting interaction with other parts of the packaging.

    I'd be far more impressed with a well executed jewel case than a blank digipak with a big sticker on it.

    One neat idea I heard about a while back was to have custom rubber stamp made with your CD artwork on it. If you buy the right kind of ink, you can use standard silver media - you could print your disks in different colors to add variety, and the imperfection that comes from hand stamping could work in your favor. A large rubber stamp won't cost you much and it will last for a whole-lotta CDs.
  5. gortch

    gortch Guest

    cd replication and packaging

    Hi guys, interesting chat this... Our band tried the digipak do it yourself scenario and they looked terrible -- putting the stickers on was a nightmare. Anyway, now we just get them done professionally and it's worked out really good for us money-wise. Don't know if I can put links on here but there's a company called orbis digital in glasgow that is doing a great deal... 1000 cds in jewel cases, glass mastered too, with full colour printing, all for £550... they even helped us with the artwork to the point of doing it for us for free. Anyway, we have sold about 3000 discs since we started and are making a whopping 7 quid profit per disc so it's been great.
  6. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    The con...

    ...or the package?
  7. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I have that Z1 and I second it. Unless of course you want silkscreen look they will probably "look more professional". Maybe do that for the ones going to A&R.
  8. Redondo7

    Redondo7 Guest

    Check out They offer blank digipaks with banderole labels. Quite an easy AND CHEAP solution in my opinion.
  9. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Browsing on line and in the stores I have seen some very innovative packaging ideas. There are "eco friendly" packages, there are metallic packages, there are packages that look like tins of candy, there are packages that are three layered so there is plenty of space to print out more than just titles and there are 3D holographic packages that must have cost more than the CD to produce. Some of the best CD packaging I have seen is also the most simple. Two pieces of printed cardboard with a stickon holder to hold the CD inside the package.

    The most important thing, IMHO, is what is inside the package. The CD that is well produced and well engineered and well played will sell no matter what the packaging looks like.

    Best of luck!
  10. Cotopaxi

    Cotopaxi Active Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    I do think packaging is important. It doesn't have to be fancy, but just simple and well made, not some cheap home made stickers etc. Casing is less important, but I'd say give thought to what you print on the CD sleeve/inside. It's your chance to promote yourself. I always read the CD liners cover to cover when I get a new CD.
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Only thing I know about packaging, and you could apply this to anything, if you can tap into the human emotional collective unconscience, you have done your job in developing mass appeal.

    Beyond that or maybe in lieu of that, sex sales!
  12. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    I've got the Primera BravoII and would recommend the company for a great product and service. If got mine as a reconditioned unit and has kicked out a few thousand discs over the past 2 years without a glitch.

    Ink and Cds are reasonable and ship quickly.

    You can print any digital image. I use black ink only for cost reasons, but it would handle full color.

    For packaging I use jewel cases and have print material done at Excellent product, fairly quick turnaround and inexpensive. Their website says 5 days, but plan on closer to 2 weeks by the time the product has been proofed and is in your hands.

  13. pro

    pro Active Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    sorry to bump an old thread but I've always been curious how a digipak is printed on? Does it use an offset printer? No one seem to sell them for individual users. Why they sell blank digipaks I don't know. Atleast these companies should come up with a portable printer for it as well. Also, I wonder how how they can print under the plastic holder since sometimes it has graphics under the plastic holder as well. I guess they print the cardboard box first then put the plastic CD holder?

    I also wonder how they print those CD jackets? Anyone have a clue? Every company seem to sell CD surface printers but nothing to print the packaging (digipak, CD jacket, etc.). Seems as if CD inserts and inlays for traditional jewel case CDs are easier to print and produce with any Walmart printer.
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    I don't much concern myself with CD's much these days, but I would think that if you Googled "DIY CD Insert printing" you'd probably get a million returns for everything from printers to supplies to design software.

    I guess it all depends on how many you are looking at having made (or doing yourself); doing anything over 50 of them yourself seems - at least to me - to be quite a bit of printing, cutting, fitting and assembly to have to do.
    I'd rather spend my time making music than packaging it. ;)

    You also need to work in the cost of the materials - the paper, the ink, the jewel cases, an accurate cutting device - and the CD's - which, BTW, take a lot of time to burn as one-offs, ( and the faster you burn them increases the percentage of turning out really pretty coasters), and, the cheaper the medium you use, generally determines the life span, even with "gentle handling" conditions. You also get into the difference between a 'burned" CD and one made from a glass master, in which the audio data is printed.

    And, there's also that pesky little Redbook Standard that you need to adhere to, if you want that disc to be guaranteed to play on any system...assuming that there' mot something physically wrong with the disc.

    I've yet to see a "DIY" CD fabrication job that didn't look like it was exactly just that - I'm not saying that there may not be some out there that don't look okay - I'm saying that I haven't seen any.

    Personally, I'd do the math. Discmakers - which is usually on the high side price-wise, will do 100 Digipacks, full color, for around $300. That's $3 each...and includes everything.

    I really don't think you are gonna beat that, not by the time you figure in the cost of your materials, labor and time - as well as using burned discs, which can easily error-out on you during the process, and that have a very limited shelf life... all this, and assuming that they'll turn out to be "okay looking" graphically...

    For the price of pro CD dupes these days, I'd rather have someone else do it.

    IMHO of Course.


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