Pitfall With Identical Disc and Packaging Design
Some designers like
to re-use their front-cover artwork on their CD or
DVD 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 aware of:
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 is going to be printed using a different
machine than the one used to print the packaging.
The machinery for printing CD and DVD discs is
very specialized, so a different printer would be
used for printing your packaging materials.
(a) 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 printing.
(b) 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
(a) 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.
(b) 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 in items # 1 and # 2,
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
question becomes: To what degree?
Unfortunately there is no way of knowing in advance.
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
Better safe than
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.