Label Printing Tips
CD and DVD labels are an important element in selling your media project. The right presentation of a disc label will capture the attention of the audience or user. The visuals of the CD or DVD label should match the "wow" factor that makes up the contents of the disc itself. However, careful printing considerations must be made in the production of do-it-yourself disc labels. An adhesive label sheet can be a tricky insertion for printers; when utilized incorrectly, they can jam or do serious damage to your printer. Here are a series of tips designed to help you streamline the label printing process while saving you time and money.
#1 - Design templates or specialized label design software can be downloaded for free from numerous websites, some directly from media suppliers and disc duplication services. Free label software also gives you layouts and simple options to design, save and print customized labels. Templates allow you to use existing design programs with your saved artwork already in place. Click here for links to online template software.
#2 - Bear in mind that your disc label artwork must be made to fit the template, the template will not conform to every piece of artwork.
#3 - Make sure your adhesive CD and DVD labels correlate with the size of the disc you're using. Remember that there are a number of center-hole sizes when choosing labels.
#4 - Design all of your important graphic elements within an artwork "safe zone". In terms of printing, a safe zone is the preferred 1/8" zone that rests in from the printable edge. Within this boundary, you will minimize the amount of important artwork and text elements that could run off the edge due to printer and other alignment errors.
#5 - A "bleed" must also be utilized to prevent unwanted, unprinted areas of white space along the disc label. In graphic design, a bleed is the recommendation of 1/8" of background artwork or block of label design color that stretches past the edges of the designated boundaries. Like safe zones, bleeds are in place to counteract shifting and printing errors.
#6 - Communicate with the printer by giving it as much instruction as possible. By tuning it to settings for the paper type, paper finish and desired level of ink, you can achieve optimum results. The printer is less likely to jam knowing what kind of paper it will be fed and the color of the labels will be more accurate to your needs.
#7 - Use a CD label applicator to ensure that labels line up perfectly over the center hole of the disc, each and every time.
#8 - Print an entire adhesive label sheet in one pass. Once you use an adhesive label sheet and peel off a label, repeated runs through the printer for subsequent labels on the same sheet may jam the printer due to the adhesive residue left behind. The heat from certain printers (like laser printers) causes a reaction to the adhesive which can result in printer jams and other machine errors.
#9 - Store your labels in a manner that prevents the edges from curling. If label sheets don't have flat edges, the combination of curling and adhesive can damage the internal function of the printer. Consider buying new flat label sheets if your labels do not fit ideal printing preferences, as it's more cost effective to replace labels than an entire printer.
#10 - Test the printer alignment with plain copy paper to save CD and DVD label sheets for correctly arranged prints.
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