CD Cover Printing Strategies

CDs look much more professional when placed in a printed CD cover or CD sleeve. Whether you’re selling CDs as a band or musician or you’re selling or distributing data or software, a premium CD cover can help elevate your CD to the top of everyone’s charts. It legitimizes your work and builds brand trust and loyalty.

Take advantage of the benefits of CD sleeves with these CD cover printing strategies:

To flap or not to flap?

There are two typical kinds of CD sleeves: Basic and Fancy. Basic CD sleeves fold open like a book, revealing the CD inside. Fancy CD sleeves include an extra panel and flap, so that the CD sleeve folds over itself one time and tucks closed. Most professionals prefer the Fancy CD sleeves because they’re more aesthetically elegant and offer more opportunities to place copy, song lists, attributes, credits, biographies and other information. Basic CD sleeves are a good second choice, especially for the budget-minded.

Thick glossy stock

You know the feeling you get when you pick up a fresh CD release – the thick cover stock feels great in your hands and exudes premium professionalism. Rich artwork pops off the sleeve with a smooth glossy finish. Your work can have the same outer shell when you choose 12-point gloss cover stock with glossy sheen on both sides.

Customize it!

An incredible design is necessary, of course; but did you know you can further customize your CD sleeves by having them foil stamped? Foil stamping lends a sense of prestige and unfaltering excellence to your CD sleeve, and reflects the same connotations to your work inside. An extra perk? Foil stamping glitters in the light, so it’ll be hard to miss your CD on the shelf in the music or software store!

You can also have your CD sleeves printed in custom sizes. Perhaps you want to put out a three CD complication (much like Led Zeppelin and other popular bands have done). Instead of releasing three separate CDs with separate CD cases, you can instead issue one with all three CDs inside. It will look like a special edition on your bookshelf or in your CD collection.

Print in bulk

Offset printing CD sleeves involves pre-press time and setup. To minimize your costs at the press, you should print CD sleeves in bulk because the price per piece is significantly lowered as the quantity increases. This is because the pre-press work is a one-time-per-run fee – so if you order your CD sleeves in two runs, you would pay two setup fees. One run, one fee, one more way to make more money.

To help you get started and ensure there are no problems at the press, you can download free CD sleeve layout templates for use in your graphic design program. These templates are pre-set in the correct size, resolution and include helper lines for safety areas, bleed lines, and cut zones so you can be confident your CD sleeve design will line up.

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