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How to design CD/DVD labels

Here is a guide detailing how to design, produce and apply labels for your CD and DVD cases.

Designing and printing a CD / DVD label

Record and film companies produce labelled CDs / DVDs through a process of CD /DVD print. The CD / DVD makers are given a design which they then print onto the disc directly, without the need to buy labels. This can be done at home if you have a printer capable of this function, although very few printers are (be sure to check the relevant instruction manual to decide whether yours is compatible with this process). If your printer does not support direct to disc printing, there are other options available to you. Use label creating software such as CDStomper; such programmes allow you to insert both images and text onto your disc labels before printing and applying them. Another method, which allows for more creativity but requires a greater degree of technical knowledge, is to use an image editing programme such as Photoshop and design the label from scratch. Both of these are free options and do not require a specific type of printer. Whichever of these methods you choose, your CD or DVD label will then need to be printed. Companies including Neato can supply pre-made stickers to print your design onto, although this is not essential. As an alternative, CDStomper will automatically format the label for printing onto A4 paper while Photoshop images may need to be 'Print Previewed' first to ensure that the edges of the label do not lay outside the printed area of the page. Once this has been accomplished, the label should then be ready to print and apply.

Applying a CD / DVD Label

Once the label has been designed, printed and cut to size / shape (if printed onto standard A4 paper), the final step in the process is to apply the label to your CD or DVD. To do this correctly without damaging the disc, it is recommended that you practise applying the label to a cheap CD / DVD first. If you have printed your labels on paper purchased from a site such as Neato, application should be a simple process of peeling away the back of the label and placing it onto the disc, starting from one side and moving to the other to ensure that the label is smooth, flat and uninterrupted by any air bubbles which may otherwise detract from a professional finish. However, if you have printed your design onto regular A4 paper before cutting it to size, the design will have to be glued to the disc using an adhesive. Use the adhesive sparingly, and only on the 'label' side (not the music side!).

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