CD Sleeves

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by bostjan, May 2, 2018.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I didn't know which subforum to put this in, feel free to move it as appropriate.

    Here's the question: Where do you get good blank, printable CD sleeves?

    I recently decided to go DIY with my CDs (to sell at shows). Previously I had used a service to print and package my CDs for me, and the services I used did a bang-up job of delivering a good-looking product quickly.

    The reasons I wanted to switch were:

    1. My wife bought me a Printer that is capable of printing directly on CDs, I tried it out, and the print quality is pretty damned good.
    2. Starting out with 100 CDs is okay. If I run out, though, I really don't want to order another 100 CDs, so being able to print a dozen or so at a time is desirable.
    3. Maybe I'm missing something, but the DIY printing seems a heck of a lot cheaper. By the time I pay shipping and all of the other fees, I'm paying about $1.25-$1.50 per CD. After buying ink and blank CDs and sleeves, I've estimated it costs me $0.80-$1.00 per CD. Add in the cost savings from wasted CDs that don't sell right away, and I'm saving $50 or more per release. When I'm on a budget of, say $500 per release, having 10% more to spend on promotion or whatever is a really good positive.
    4. I can print real proofs, so there are no surprises of receiving 100 CDs that don't look the way I want them to look. I also feel much more comfortable printing stuff myself than dealing with the weird format guidelines and restrictions the print shops have.

    But here's my shortcoming:

    The fiberboard sleeves I bought were supposed to be printable, but they have this glossy coating on them, so the ink gets all runny and blotchy. I've tried sanding the surface, which gets the ink to soak in better, but it still looks all scratch from the sanding. Using a solvent to remove the gloss coating makes the prints look blotchy where the solvent doesn't work its way deep enough around the edges. I've looked into other suppliers, but every place I've found either gives too vague a product description, charges upwards of $50 for shipping, or has some funky embossed logos on their products.

    I've tried paper sleeves, but they just look flimsy and, frankly, tacky.

    That's why I'm hoping someone here can pass on a supplier for blank, printable CD sleeves of acceptable quality.

    Thanks!
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I guess the counter-point is that the experimenting and making your own proofs and problem solving eats into your savings, which in the long run might make the process just as (or more) expensive.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Well, if the proofs look perfect, then it doesn't, and if I have to throw away an entire CD+jacket, I'm out about a dollar. If I throw away 50 CD's and 50 jackets in the troubleshooting process, then I would imagine I break even, but also something must be terribly wrong with what I'm doing. :)

    The other other side of this is that I can potentially gain experience with doing my own packaging, so, if I play my cards right, I could possibly do some things later on that I cannot do with a printer.

    Examples:
    • Lenticular cover
    • Pop-up graphixs
    • Embossed band name/logo
    • Alternative materials
    • AND MUCH MUCH MORE!

    Like, for Nothing Special, I wanted to try printing a cover on unbleached paper or maybe stitch burlap into the packaging somehow. These things would only really be practical if I was able to control each stage of production.
     
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  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    :bump:
    Anyone use CD sleeves anymore?
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Hmm, maybe not. I'll report back if I find anything anyway.
     
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