CD Printer – A mechanical device used to print a simple black text and/or colorful design onto a CD or DVD disc. See inkjet cd printer and thermal cd printer.

Inkjet CD Printer – An inkjet based print engine, typically modified from HP, Lexmark or Epson, that sprays water based ink onto the surface of a CD or DVD Disc. Great for full coverage, multicolor text, graphics and photo images. Negatives are the water based ink will smear and smudge when in contact with moisture. Popular models from Microboards, Rimage and Global DiscWare.


Rimage AutoloaderThermal CD Printer – A ribbon based printer that uses heat to transfer wax resin from a ribbon directly onto the surface of a CD or DVD Disc. Some models like the Rimage PrismPlus are made solely for simple monochrome text and simple logo printing, while models like the Rimage Everest III are designed for full color, magazine quality photographic images and designs.


CD / DVD Duplication

microboards duplicators

Business Card CD- Business card CD is a special case of shaped CD. In every tray load CD of DVD drive ther is a smaller inner tray; business card CD takes advantage of that by molding or cutting a CD to the shape of a business card. There are two commonly used shapes for business card CD, i.e. the rectangular and the hockey rink shapes.

CD Duplicator- A CD duplicator, or CD Tower; is the stacking of CD writers for the purpose of copying CD in multiple copies per batch.

CD Duplication- CD duplication is a term used to describe short run or small quantity copying of CDs. CD (compact disc) duplication came about in the late 90’s as a way to circumvent high production cost and quantity requirements for CD replication. CD duplication is generally done in quantities from 1-500. Any quantity in this range would fall under the short-run classification. CD duplication offers identical sound quality to a replicated CD, though there are some other limitations.

DVD Authoring- DVD authoring describes the process of creating a DVD video that can be played on a DVD player.

DVD Duplicator- A DVD duplicator, aka a DVD tower, refers to a piece of equipment that stacks DVD writing drives for the purpose of copying DVD in multiple copies per batch.

DVD-5- A single sided, single layer, 4.7 gigabytes (GB), or 4.38 gigabytes (GB) DVD.

DVD-9- A single sided, double or dual layer, 8.5 GB (7.92 GB) DVD.

DVD-10- A double sided, single layer on both sides, 9.4 GB (8.75 GB) DVD.

DVD Duplication- DVD duplication is a term used to describe short-run or small quantity copying of DVDs. DVD duplication is a way to circumvent the high production cost and quantity requirements for DVD replication. DVD duplication is generally done in quantities from 1-500. Any quantity in this range would fall under the short-run classification.

Entrapment- The paper insert that goes into the clear plastics pouch to cover the outside of a DVD or Amaray case. Other names for entrapment are inlay, insert and wraparound.

Hockey Rink CD- A special form of business card CD with the upper and lower sector of a Mini CD cut off. Hockey rink CD normally has about 50MB or megabyte capacity.

Mini CD- Mini CD is an 80mm disc mainly used for audio CD singles. A Mini CD can hold 21 minutes of music or 185 MB of data.

Mini DVD- Like a Mini CD, a mini DVD is a DVD with a smaller form factor. A Mini DVD can hold 30 minutes of video or 1.47GB of data.

Stacking ring- A stacking ring is the narrow groove on a CD/DVD surface at 33mm-35mm diameter. The presence of a stacking ring reduces the printable area on a disc. Discs without stacking ring are called hub printable discs. Stacking ring are found in most CD-Rs and ocassionaly on some replicated CDs.

Video CD- Video CD or VCD, or Compact Disc Digital Video, is a standard digital format for storing video on a compact disc. Video CDs are playable in dedicated players, personal computers and many DVD players.

Graphic Art and Proofing

Adobe PhotoshopAdobe Photoshop is a graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems. It is the de facto standard for bitmap image manipulation.

Adobe Illustrator- Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard for vector graphics format. AI and EPS formats are native to Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator can be used to open PDF files too.

Artwork Template- To guide designers from making mistakes in the size of an artwork, templates are created so graphic artists can focus on design rather than worrying about sizing and resolutions.

Bleed- Artwork that extends past the edge of the desired physical size is called a bleed. Bleed is needed only for products that require cutting or trimming to a specific size. By extending your artwork beyond the physical size, the minor shift of the cutting tool will be covered up by the bleed.

CMYK- Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black; the four primary colors used to generate full color press or high quality printing.

RGB- Red, Green, & Blue; the primary colors used to create images for viewing on a pc monitor.

Pantone Number- Pantone numbers, or pms numbers, are a mapping among numbers to colors so people from all over the world can speak in absolute colors without deviation.

Packaging Terms

Amaray Case- Amaray case is a case for storing DVD’s. The dimensions of an Amaray case is 135mm X 190mm X 14mm. Retail DVD’s found in video stores are generally sold in Amaray cases. A standard Amaray case has a clear plastics that wraps around the outside of the case for holding the inlay (or entrapment), the booklet clip for holding booklet literature and a tray for the DVD to sit in. Like Coke and Kleenex, Amaray case has become the generic name for DVD case.

Cardboard Sleeve- Cardboard sleeves are commonly used as a mailer for CD and DVD packaging. With full-color printing and glossy UV coating on the cardboard, cardboard sleeves are also used to replace the bulky and brittle jewel cases.

Clam Shell- Clam shells are soft plastics translucent cases for storing CDs or DVDs. A clam shell opens and closes like a real clame and hence the name. Depending on the shapes, clam shells are also called C-Shell and D-Shell.

Disc Wallet- Dis wallet is like having two cardboard sleeves combined to form a book. A disc wallet can be designed to hold either one or two discs.

Jewel Case- A jewel case is a three piece plastic case, measuring 142mm X 125mm X 10mm, which usually contains a compact disc along with the liner nots and a back card. Two opposing transparent halves are hinged together to form the casing, the back half holding a media tray that grips the disc by its hole. All three parts are made of injection-molded polystyrene.

DigiPak- A digipak is a style of compact disc or DVD packaging. It consists of one or more plastic trays contained in a cardboard or outer binding of various shapes and forms (typically a book cover format). Usually digipak releases of CDs are deluxe versions commonly containing bonus material as opposed to jewel cases that are usually used for the standard edition.

Slimline Jewel Case- Slimline jewel cases first gained popularity as cases for European-made CD singles, and have become a common space-saving packaging for burned CD-ROMs. Most are roughly half the thickness of a standard CD jewel case, allowing twice as many CDs to be stored in the same space. Generally they do not have space for a full package insert booklet, only a slip of paper for a track listing or cover art.

Tyvek Sleeve- A special sleeve made of paper like plastics that is much sturdier than the traditional paper sleeve.

Spindle- Cylinder shaped case for holding large quantities of CD’s

Printing Terms

Panel- A section of an insert folder between two folds or between a fold and a trimmed edge. One panel is considered to be two pages, a front and back for each.

Insert- The removable sleeve stored in the jewel case lid.

2 panel insert- 1 page with a front and back, no folds.

4 panel insert- 2 pages on each side, 1 fold.

6 panel insert- 3 pages on each side, 2 two folds.

8 panel insert- 4 pages on each side, 3 folds.

10 panel insert- 5 pages on each side, 4 folds.

4/0- Indicates full color print on the front and no print on the back.

4/1- Indicates full color print on the front and one color print on the back.

4/4- Indicates full color print on the front and full color print on the back.

The first number indicates the color of the front, the second number indicates the color of the back. 0=no print, 1= 1 color and 4=full color. For example a 4/4 or 4 over4 insert package would include a four panel insert with full color printing on the front and back.

Traycard- The permanent page on the underside of the jewel case with a spine for labeling the CD.

CD / DVD Replication and Offset Printing

Disc Replication- a term used to describe large quantity copying of CDs or DVDs. Replication is the industry standard for making mass quantities of either a CD or DVD. Replication is done via the process of glass mastering and stamping of discs. This is in contrast to duplication where cd-r or dvd-r technology is used to create smaller quantity runs. CD or DVD replication can be beneficial for quantities above 500 discs. Any quantity below this range would fall under the short run classification.

Glass Master- Glass mastering refers to the step in CD / DVD replication when a laser is used to copy data onto a light-sensitive glass plate. The plate’s photosensitive glaze reacts to the heat of the laser, thus etching the digital information onto the plate.

Offset Printing- Offset printing is a widely used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate first to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. Offset printing on disc is preferable for bitmap artwork such as photos and half-tones.

Silkscreen Printing- Screen printing, also known as silkscreening or serigraphy; is a printmaking technique that traditionally creates a sharp-edged single-color image using a stencil and a porous fabric. A screenprint or serigraph is an image created using this technique. Silkscreen printing on disc is preferable for artworks that are vector formate, text, logo and solid background for example.

Stamper- Since a glass master is too delicate to be used for heavy duty disc production, durable metal molds called stampers are usually made for disc stamping or pressing.