CD DVD Disc Design - To
print on a white flood or not?
creating the design for your CD/DVD disc,
there can be confusion about the need for adding a "white
flood" (aka: white back-print). In the vast majority
of cases a white flood is indeed used, but here's an explanation that should help you
decide what's best for your design.
The colour of the material affects the colour of the
Printing onto a white
background is the standard for most types of
printing applications because 'white' is a neutral
colour that doesn't affect the colours being printed
on top of it.
A simple way to
illustrate this would be to print your design
onto a white sheet of paper, and then print the
same design onto a coloured piece of paper. You
should see a difference in the printed result,
because the ink colours are influenced by the colour
of the material it's printed onto.
Based on this,
printing directly onto the aluminum colour of
CD/DVD discs without a white flood can affect the
appearance of the print. In addition, if you require
the colour "white" in your CMYK design it's normally
provided through the use of the white
The example on the left
is printed on a white -finished
CDR inkjet printable disc. The colours
are richer, the light colours are
brighter, and there's more contrast
between the light and dark colours.
The example on the right
is printed on a silver -finished
CDR inkjet printable disc. The print is
slightly darker and the colours are more
dull in appearance.
CMYK inks are translucent
why a white flood (or white back-print) improves the
visual appearance of the print is because of the
type of ink being used. Commercial printing is commonly done using the CMYK
C = Cyan
M = Magenta
Y = Yellow
K = Black
Because CMYK inks are
printed on top of each other they cannot be
opaque - instead they have to be translucent. This
translucency means the colour of the material
underneath the print is partially visible through
the ink. Typically, the colour of the material
should be more noticeable through light print
colours than through dark colours.
Sometimes the results
can be subtle enough where the design isn't
negatively affected, and then other times the results can
be very obvious... it all depends on the design.