Printable CD Information

A printable CD takes media to a higher level of creativity and customization. These discs are designed with a printable surface area to display artwork without interfering with the function of the CD. These discs are available in a variety of formats to suit the needs of specified printers as well as suit an artistic vision. CD-R is the most popular format of printable CDs available. The less frequently used CD-RWs are also available on the market.

CD-ROM DiscInkjet Printable CD
Inkjet printable CDs use the same concepts as inkjet printers and paper. A compatible printer will recreate images and text through sprays of ink marked on to a corresponding CD surface. These surfaces may be white or silver in color. The inked image is subsequently coated with a protective lacquer to achieve waterproof, smudge-proof and smear-proof results.

Inkjet printable CDs deliver images, text and graphics of superior quality without breaking the bank. However the disadvantage to this cost-effective CD printing option is that it often takes longer than thermal printing.

Thermal Printable CD
A thermal printable CD merges heat and pressure so that text, simple line art and some small images can adhere to the surface of the disc. Heat-sensitive ribbon or paper rests between the disc and print head. It is difficult for thermal printing to recreate photorealistic images on discs.

However, thermal re-transfer printing puts high resolution images from an ink ribbon to a transfer film and through an electrostatic procedure, holds fast to the surface of the disc. The re-transfer process preserves the high-resolution image.

Many disc surfaces are coated with a lacquer that makes them more conducive to thermal printing and are designed to prevent smudging.

Be sure to check out our pages on these other CD formats:

CD Overview
CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW Printable CD

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