In a year of selling your own CDs you could make more money than in a lifetime of selling downloads - especially if you're a gigging band or artist, selling merchandise at gigs. So once your mastering is done it's worth thinking about getting a run of CDs manufactured. Replication has always been the standard way of making commercial bulk quantities of CDs and DVDs. It's sometimes called 'Pressing' - because the discs are pressed in a high-precision injection moulding process, rather than burnt on duplicating machines. There's a minimum order of 500. With Duplication you can have any quantity from 50 upwards, but there's a crossover point, around 300, where it's worth thinking about having 500 pressed instead. Price is dependent on how many you want, and what sort of packaging you want them in.
- 1. Decide how many discs you want. Minimum quanity is 500 for Replication, or 50 for Duplication..
- 2. Decide what sort of packaging format you're looking for. The common formats are pictured below (although some may not be suitable for short-run Duplication). If there's a Booklet involved I'll need to know how many pages (4, 6, 8, 12, etc.) and whether you want B/W inside pages or colour throughout.
- 3. Call me for a quote!
In fact, you can call me for free expert help and advice on any aspect of optical disc manufacturing - even if you're only at the stage of thinking about it!
The standard package for CDs. The Jewel Case is in two parts, the transparent outer and the tray that holds the CD and clips in to the back side of the case. The printed Booklet slips into the front of the case, and a printed Backliner is sandwiched between the Tray and the back of the Case.
The Card-Pak is a 'Green' alternative to the Jewel Case. It's plastic-free, and a bit like a gatefold Card Wallet. The disc is held in a pocket on the inside so it can't fall out. It looks great for around the same cost as the Jewel Case package.
The D-Pak (also known as Digipack) is an upmarket format where the disc is held on a transparent tray that is glued to the printed two-ply card sleeve. It looks great but can be pricey in comparison.
The standard package for DVDs. The black hinged case has a clear sleeve around the outside which holds a printed 'wrap'.
The Card Wallet is like a mini record sleeve where the disc slips in through the open edge, which is either on the top or the right. This format is often used for cover-mounts and give-aways.
A disc with no packaging at all, for when the customer wants to mount the disc in some sort of novel way for a special event or promotion. Ask me about mounting accessories or plastic wallets.
These are the most common packaging formats, but others are available. Call me about other plastic case styles, clear PVC wallets, paper envelopes, and mounting accessories like sticky CD Dots or CD Spiders.
When it comes to design and artwork, my customers usually fall into one of three categories...
1. You might be, or you might have access to, someone skilled in design who knows how to provide artwork that is creative, which also conforms to the strict technical requirements of CD plants in terms of being laid out to the correct dimensions, and supplied on the correct templates and in the correct file formats.
In which case you don't need me - you can hopefully supply me with artwork ready to go.
2. You might be, or you might have access to, someone who can handle the creative side of putting together artwork to the right dimensions, but struggles with the technical side of templates and file formats.
In which case call me and I'll tell you how to send me what you've got so that I can handle the technical stuff for you.
3. You might know nothing about putting artwork together and need someone to do the whole thing from scratch. All you might have is some photos, a track listing and some notes you've written.
In which case, call me and tell me what you've got. Then you can send it all to me, and I'll put the whole thing together for you, from start to finish, with creativity and expertise.
Call me for a quote. It will vary according to what sort of packaging is involved - for instance, artwork for a 12-page booklet is going to cost more than for a 4-page booklet. So the best thing is to talk you me about the project and I'll give you an estimate, and then a definite price once I've seen what you've got.
Here are some recent examples of artwork I've put together...