Using Our Graphic Design Templates

One of the leading causes for order delays and extra charges throughout the CD and DVD industry is artwork that isn’t supplied correctly. This issue can be split into two separate areas:

  • The actual components or attributes of the graphic design.

  • The physical dimensions of the design (ie: length x width).

One of the most common misconceptions about designing for CD or DVD manufacturing or duplication, is that there is an industry ‘standard’ whereby all suppliers of discs and related packaging use the same sizing guidelines and have the same requirements. Depending on the product type it's very common to find variations between different vendors.

Due to this, you should choose the vendor you are going to use, and then use their templates before finalizing your artwork first. Once you’ve decided on the company who will manufacture your discs, download the applicable graphic design template for your needs and then finish off your design.

 

Templates for Printed Paper and Boardstock

For printing on paper and boardstock, a good template should provide you with some visual references, namely Keylines and Crop Marks. These are used as guides to provide you with visual reference of where the product will be cut, folded, perforated, etc.

  • Crop Marks: These are the thin black lines generally located at the corners of the template, and are used to line-up the cutting blade that will trim the print down to its finished size. Crop Marks will actually print, so don’t move them, remove them or change their colour values.

  • Finished Edge: The Finished Edge represents where the product will be cut. On Precision Disc templates the Finished Edge is shown as a solid red line.

  • Bleed: If your design is supposed to touch the edge of the finished product (as represented by the keylines and crop marks) you must extend, or Bleed, your design 1/8” past that finished edge. Your graphic design template may provide you with a separate keyline to give you a visual reference of how far to Bleed the design. Due to variances and tolerances in the cutting process, Bleed ensures you won’t see white unprinted paper or board-stock running along the edge of your print. On Precision Disc templates the Bleed boundary is shown as a dotted blue line.

  • Gutter: A common design mistake is to crowd the finished edges or folds with text and graphics - the result of which negatively affects the visual appeal and legibility of your design. If you look at a book or magazine you will notice that there is a significant border that frames any non-bleeding text and imagery from the edge of the page and folds. This border is called Gutter. In the CD and DVD manufacturing industry an absolute minimum gutter of 1/8” is generally advised but you may want to experiment and increase it to 3/16” or 1/4" or greater. On Precision Disc templates a 1/8" Gutter is shown as a dotted green line.
     

Templates for Replicated CD DVD Discs

The templates for our replicated CD DVD discs are set up as a mask. If you set up your Layer Menu correctly you will only see the portions of your design that are going to print because all of the 'bleed' gets hidden under the mask.
 


 

  • When you set up your Layer Menu, make sure your design layers are underneath the template layer. That way the mask will work properly.

  • If you have set up your Layer Menu as noted above, don't trim your design to fit the circular areas of the template (the outer edge or the center hole). Instead, let the design bleed past the outer edge of the large circle, and let the design bleed through the center hole, so the template can mask off that 'bleed' automatically.
     

Templates for Duplicated CD DVD Discs

The templates for our duplicated CD DVD discs are set up as Keylines. The red lines in the template represent the maximum printable area on the disc, showing both the center hole and the outside edge of the disc.

  • When you set up your Layer Menu, make sure your design layers are underneath the template layer. That way the template is always visible and you can properly align your graphics.

  • Do not trim/crop your design to fit the red Keylines of the template. As shown in the example above, let the design bleed past the outside edge of the disc, and let the design bleed underneath the center hole.

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