Label Finish Types

On-disc adhesive labels can convey a variety of appearances based on the selection of paper. These varieties include inkjet or laser print formats in a glossy or matte finish. These labels are an extension of the disc and are not manufactured onto the disc. Separate disc labels shield CDs and DVDs from potential damage by equipment and also streamline the printing process for at-home users that aren't equipped with tools for direct disc printing. Additionally, laser and inkjet printers employ different technologies when it comes to printing on-disc labels.

Laser Printed CD LabelsLaser print labels are solely compatible with laser printers. Laser printing entails the machine's laser beam projecting a digital copy image onto a rotating drum. Static electricity adheres ink to the drum using an ink roller. The drum becomes coated with ink in areas that have a negative charge. The negatively charged areas of ink slowly comprise the image. Heat and pressure combine to make a permanent image on the paper.

Laser printing is faster than inkjet and uses a single cartridge of toner. Laser printers themselves, however, are more expensive to purchase. However this initial purchase may be outweighed when considering that inkjet ink may be more expensive to replace over time than the laser toner cartridges. Laser printing provides your on-disc labeling with higher resolution of text and imaging.

Similar to their counterpart, inkjet disc labels are strictly used with inkjet printers. Inkjet printers function when ink is forced out of nozzles by thermal resistors or by the vibrations of an electrical current. These pulsations of pressure spray millions of minute ink dots that combine to recreate an image or text.

Therefore, since inkjet labels consist of these countless ink pixels, it takes longer for the printer to formulate an image compared with laser printers. Inkjet uses multiple cartridges to choose image colors from, which can add up to the long-term cost of the printer. Inkjet is the primary choice for on-disc labels if superior color and saturation is your priority.

Applying a label to a discGloss and matte finishes on inkjet or laser printer compatible paper are an additional selection that must be made when choosing on-disc labels. They boil down to personal preference in that their two main points of difference are their cost and presentation factors.

Matte on-disc labels are economical in that their price is less than half compared to the glossy labels. Matte may be a better choice for practical project applications where a softer, more subdued look lends itself to the audience or user. However, if a full color image is printed onto a matte label, attention is diverted away from the finish and more toward the image. This may allow for the disc labeling budget to be focused on the full color ink, rather than the paper finish.

A gloss finish for on-disc labeling provides an almost laminated look to the disc. Its shiny, reflective nature can make the images on the label truly stand out. Subsequently, gloss has the ability to mask any artistic shortcomings the image or text may reveal. However, glossy labels come at a price-they are generally more than twice the cost of matte disc labels. For example, a standard matte CD label may cost $8 USD for a quantity of 100, whereas the same amount of labels in a gloss style will cost close to $20 USD.


Related Articles:
Introduction to Labels
Label Sizes and Dimensions
Label Finish Types
Label Printing Tips
Introduction to Inserts
Jewel Case Inserts
DVD Case Inserts
Insert Printing Tips


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