Silkscreen Print Design - Printing Without A White
a brief tutorial to help you get started with your
graphic design for Silkscreen Printing your CD or DVD
discs. The information provided here is based an
assumption that you have a reasonable working
knowledge of graphic design terminology as well as Adobe Illustrator or similar
professional graphic design programs.
It's possible to
use the shiny aluminum/silver disc surface colour in
your design. Doing so can be very effective but it's
important to understand how much room you actually
have to work with.
Regardless of whether
you are creating a design with 'positive' print
(solid lettering and/or graphics printing on the
silver background) or a 'negative' print (printing a
solid colour that utilizes the disc's surface as the
colour for your lettering and/or graphics) be aware
that there are actually three different parts of the
disc that can be printed onto:
A : The largest area is
the aluminum/silver coloured area that holds the
B : Closer to the
middle there is the "mirror band" which is a very
shiny/reflect silver colour.
C : Surrounding the
center hole there is an area which will either be
clear plastic (as is generally
the case with a CD
disc) or additional shiny/reflective silver (which
is generally the case with a
A replicated compact
disc (CD) was used in the example shown above. In
the left-hand column the example illustrates the
process of printing a disc using a white flood (aka:
white 'backprint') prior to printing the graphics.
Most designers utilize the white flood print as it
provides a clean white/neutral background for the
graphics to be printed on as well as actually
enhancing the colour of the printed graphics.
This is much the same principle as painting the
walls in your house... applying paint onto a white
coloured wall provides a much better result than
trying to apply paint to a dark coloured wall.
The example in the right-hand column
shows what can happen if you create a design that
utilizes the disc's surface as an element of your
design (ie: no white flood) but not factoring in the
three different components that make up the disc's
surface. As you can see, the change in the
background colour negatively affects the visual
appeal and legibility of the design.
Avoiding The "Danger Area" In Your
As noted above, there are actually three
different parts of the disc that can be printed
onto. If you'd like to utilize the aluminum/silver
colour of the disc's surface in your design but
avoid the hazards of any unsightly overlaps onto the
mirror band and/or center section of the disc, the
'danger area' is within a 36mm diameter (18mm
radius) of the center of the disc.
saying "center of the disc" it means measuring
outward from the center of the center-hole in the
middle of the disc... it does NOT mean measuring
outward from the edge of the center-hole.
If you're creating a 'negative' print
(printing a solid colour that utilizes the disc's surface as the
colour for your lettering and/or graphics) the solid
colour can still overlap the mirror band and center
section of the disc... it's only the areas that
knock-through to show the disc colouration that
should be kept outside the 36mm diameter 'danger
Getting The Best Of Both Worlds -
Using A 'Custom' White Flood
It's possible to create a 'custom' white flood which
allows you to be selective about what parts of your
'negative' print knock through to the silver of the
disc and what parts knock through to the white
flood. As shown in the example below, it doesn't
matter that the "ABC123" lettering is inside the
'danger zone' because there's a white flood behind
it, but the "@" symbol is well outside the danger
zone so it can be knocked through to silver.
Depending on how many colours are in
your design, your quoted price may not include a
custom white flood should you require one. Please
contact us to confirm.
Important: There are
limitations to what can be effectively printed using
a custom white flood. Small text/graphics, fine
text/graphics, and very tight registration can pose
problems and may not be printable. Additionally,
when supplying your artwork that includes a custom
white flood you must design the custom white as a
distinctly separate colour (learn more about
separations) and include a notation on your
Order Forms that a custom white flood is required.