Design Specs

These guidelines will help you to produce a successful design first time. If you require further clarification or advice then please contact Digital Data on 0800 622 6736.

Digital Data uses a thermal printing process for short run CD/DVDs and screen print/offset litho process for printing larger quantities or for pressed CD/DVDs.

Depending on the printing process to be carried out (thermal print or screen-print to CD/DVD and paper part printing by colour laser, digital printing or litho) different guidelines apply. To make life simple for the non-expert designer in a corporate environment we suggest that all artwork is supplied in a digital format. We can then produce films -or not- as appropriate for the different printing processes and make any small adjustments that are required.

The thermal printers automatically crop the parts of the design that fall outside the printable area of the CD/DVD. We suggest therefore that you supply a digital format file based on a paper size of 120mm square and don’t attempt to mask off the unprintable areas. By all means leave a key line as a separate layer so that you can see where the edges of the disk are for layout purposes.

Templates in PhotoShop formats are available, please ask for them to be sent to you, other formats available on request.

For the purpose of ensuring that you don’t attempt to put text through the middle of the CD hole the following criteria apply:

  • CD-R printable area from 22mm to 118mm
  • DVD-R printable area from 22mm to 118mm

For pressed disks the regime is slightly different, you need to work to the exact size requirement, with no bleed and a correctly sized hole in the centre of the artwork:

  • Pressed CD printable area 18mm to 116mm
  • Pressed DVD printable area 18mm to 117mm

Keep text 2mm away from the edges for type safety, in particular any text on a circular path around the outside of the disk; if you don’t, you run the risk of the downstrokes such as a “g” or “y” going off the printable area.

There are many variations on the theme depending on the media brand used, please ask if in doubt.

General Points:

Remember that a pressed CD/DVD or screen-printed CD-R/DVD-R has a silver surface as the default and that design software assumes a white background. The reflectivity of the surface can cause unintended effects, particularly where light shades of colour or tints are being used. Unless otherwise specified a white base is not applied to a screen-printed CD/DVD

If white is to form part of the CD design then it will count as a colour and a film will be required for screen-printing.

Booklets and Inlays

For short-run work we can print a 4-page booklet and rear inlay on solid ink printers or by digital printing. For longer runs (min 1,000 off) we litho print. For artwork we accept PC based formats, either Acrobat PDF, Illustrator, Photoshop, 300dpi TIF/JPG or EPS.

For litho printing your artwork will be run out to film, we prefer digital artwork, ideally as high resolution font embedded PDFs.