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(512) 388-1998

Cardboard CD Packaging Requires a Die Line and some Time

Cardboard CD packaging is beautiful. And at first glance most people think it will cost less than a jewel case and insert since its “just paper”. And that’s the interesting thing – because it IS paper it has special requirements.

visual samples of cardboard cd packaging on display

Over last few years in the disc production world, cardboard cd packaging for both CDs and DVDs  has rivaled the plastic jewel case.

Cardboard Packaging that is custom printed requires a DIE. The small tabs that are cut and scored and glued become the foundation of a pocket.

Most cardboard CD formats are standardized in that templates have been created that match the dies. This way the artwork can be set up to lay out across a flat sheet of paper so that when its printed and the paper die cut, the spines have the text centered and everything shows where its supposed to.

If you have a standard CD sleeve or wallet or a digpak that holds a single disc you can be pretty sure that while the project will use a die, you’re not going to have to pay for or wait for a die made as long as you are going with a printer who specializes in media packaging. If you go to a general printer (eg. MinuteMan Press) then you’re probably going to pay for a new die.

How long does it take to make a die if you’re choosing a custom cardboard cd packaging format?

With exact dimensions (exhaustive exact dimensions include information on pocket styles etc) provided in writing  – and a sketch of the layout when all flat – it should only take about 24 – 36 hours to make

How long does it take to make a die to match an existing piece?

With a physical sample that is not a standard configuration, you need to double the amount of time due to the measuring and testing to ensure an exact match. This is a hands on, time intensive process. This is not something that can or should be rushed.

If a physical sample already exists why does a new die have to made?

Unlike a library system, each printer has their own exclusive die library. They will not share or send them out to another printer. So unless you can go back to the company that first printed them, you’re going to need to allow for time to make one.

*** Something important to keep in mind, in order to minimize the timeline, the order of process should be as follows:

Die Line —–>  (Template)  ——> Artwork file

To go from the reverse process will always cost you more in time and expenses.

Artwork layout —–> Die Line

There’s no question that some projects will require their own process. Not 100% of everything can or should be altered to fit an existing die. In those cases, it will be important for adequate time to be allowed for a proper creation, testing, and approving of a new die line.

If you have questions concerning dies, die lines or any project, please feel free to contact us at 800-678-1998. We are happy to answer any questions. If you have seen a cardboard cd packaging that you like – please take picture of it and send it to us either by email or through the artwork upload page so we can see what you’re talking about and help get you there.


posted by Carolyn Holzman in Artwork Layout and have No Comments

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