With Identical Disc and Packaging Design
Some designers like to
re-use their front-cover artwork on their CD disc face.
While it is very tempting to re-use the front-cover design
for the sake of creating some continuity between the disc
and the packaging, there is a pitfall that you need to be
Even though it's the same
design, the colouration of the two prints may not "match".
Not everyone has the same expectation levels but, due to the
fact some clients expect to see absolutely no difference in
colour between the disc print and the packaging print, the
situation needs to be explained.
The disc and
the packaging are printed using different machines.
The machinery for
printing CD and DVD discs is very specialized, so a
different printer would be used for printing your packaging
While four-colour process
(CMYK) is the most common form of commercial printing,
depending on the specific CD or DVD project there are a
number of different CMYK printers that could be used. This
includes CMYK digital printing, CMYK offset printing, CMYK
inkjet printing, CMYK thermal printing, CMYK silkscreen
Different types of
machines and technologies generally mean that the types (or
brands) of ink will also be different. The difference
between two types/brands may produce subtle differences in
onto different substrates can lead to different results.
A CD or DVD disc is made
of non-porous plastic, thus it requires ink that dries
through evaporation. The substrates for the packaging print
are typically board-stock or paper-stock which are porous
materials, which require ink that dries through absorption.
The 'finish' of a CD or
DVD disc is different than that of the substrates used for
the packaging. Different finishes are going to affect how
the print colours are represented.
Factoring in all of the
differences as noted above it is logical to conclude that
printing a design using different types of printing
technologies, inks, substrates, and finishes, will create
different results. Or in other words... they may not match.
Now the question becomes,
to what degree? Unfortunately there is no way of knowing in
Depending on the type of
printer being used for the specific project, it might be
possible for the print operator to adjust the colour output
to aid in creating as close a match as possible but there is
still no guarantee as to what results can be achieved. In
addition, some printers may charge for such efforts.
Better safe than sorry!
Getting hard-copy printed
proofs is always a good way to protect yourself from
unexpected colour issues. Better to spend a little bit of
money to be sure of your print colouration than get your
order and not be happy with the results.
Ultimately, the safest
way to go is to create a unique design for the disc face.