You will be amazed at the variety of CD packaging options available to you for different purposes when you start looking into your packaging needs. You have options from simple, affordable packaging like plastic wallets or paper wallets to more expensive, custom printed metal tins.
The project budget will determine the packaging type you choose, but it is essential to think about the intended use of the packaged CD. You will also need to decide whether you will use professional packaging services to pack your CDs. This will depend on the number of CDs that you want to package and the type of packaging. You can pack 500 CDs in plastic wallets in just a few hours, but 500 CDs would take several days to pack into jewels, insert the paper parts, and wrap each unit with plastic wrap. This type of packaging can be done quickly by most short-run CD printing companies.
This section will help you decide the best packaging method for your short-run CD printing project.
Paper or plastic wallets
These are the most affordable option and offer very little protection for the disc. These are lightweight and thin, so they are often used for discs that are to be included in printed media like a brochure or magazine. You can attach them to the pages of the media with glue spots. This will prevent the packaging and disc from falling out while protecting the page from any damage. Because of their low cost, they are helpful for CDs that are being given away at conferences or exhibitions.
Because of their versatility, card wallets are a popular choice for CD packaging. They are more robust than paper or plastic wallets and provide better protection for the disc. They offer better protection if they are made from thicker card stock. You can digitally print them and laminate them in matt or gloss to give the packaging a premium look.
Many CD card wallet sellers will offer several variants that can hold one or more discs. Different templates are used to create these variants. Some hold the disc in a “pocket”-type slot, while others hold it between two layers of card. The discs can be inserted through the open end of each package.
They are lightweight and slim, making them perfect for sending CDs via the postal service. You will often receive a CD in this type of packaging if you order CDs online. You can also use a card wallet if the disc needs to be packaged with printed media. This is especially true if instructions are needed for the CD’s use and if the project requires promotion or indication of its contents.
CD card wallets are ideal for musicians selling audio CDs at gigs. They are compact and don’t take up much space in the van, but they are high quality and stylish.
They are more expensive than paper or plastic wallets, but they can be used to give away CDs at exhibitions if you have the budget.
CD jewel cases are the most common packaging type for audio CDs bought in high-street music shops. They are approximately square in shape and made from clear polycarbonate plastic. They provide excellent protection and can hold an information booklet. This is especially useful for audio CDs that include song lyrics or acknowledgments. It also works well for software discs that contain instructions for how to use the software. A standard jewel case can hold a booklet of up to 16 panels. This is equivalent to four sheets on each side, folded and stapled along its spine.
Although CD jewel cases make great presentations for CDs, they are not ideal for mailing discs via the mail. They are bulkier than a card wallet and can shatter under the heavy impact, especially at the hinge points between front and back. The postage cost savings would be negated if they were well padded.
There are jewel cases that can hold up to six CDs if your project requires additional storage. A case that houses two discs will come with a swinging disc tray. This tray can hold one disc on each side of the case and is lighter than standard jewel cases. Because they must hold more than one CD tray, cases that house more discs will have thicker spines. The paper parts are the same size as the standard case, so they can be used in the same way.
There are slim-line versions of CD jewel cases available. Some of these do not require a printed back CD tray card. The slim-line cases are less durable than standard cases.
These cases are what you would associate with a DVD movie or a PC/console game. These cases measure approximately 190x135x14mm and have a 14mm wide spine. They can be found in clear or black, but they are also available in many other colors. A DVD-style case can hold a more significant information book than a CD jewel box. These cases are made from polypropylene plastic, which is more flexible than polycarbonate jewel cases and less likely to sustain impact damage.
The outside of the DVD cases has a plastic liner that is adhered to it. This allows for a printed wrapper to be inserted. A 14mm spine case can hold up to 6 discs. There are slim-line versions that can hold 1 to 4 discs. This case is available in many variations and can be used for short-run CD printing projects.
Trigger cases or Clamshell Cases
These CD cases are made of a flexible, strong, and flexible polypropylene material. These cases provide excellent protection for CDs and can be quickly packed with discs.
In the trigger case, there is an ejection trigger located in the upper left corner. It is opposite the end of the case that houses the CD. The mechanism serves two purposes. It holds the CD in the case. When pressed, the trigger mechanism pushes it out just enough to allow it to be held between two fingers. The trigger mechanisms are often brightly colored, and the cases are often clear plastic, so the printed CD surface can be clearly seen through the case.
One edge of the clamshell case features a hinge, while the other half has a molded-in stud that has two functions. The stud secures the CD in place, and the two halves of the case attach to it. Although clamshell cases come in many translucent colors, most are made of clear plastic so that the CD print can be seen through them.
These cases are ideal for sending CDs via the postal service as they provide reliable protection and are lightweight. These cases are great for giving out CDs at industry shows or exhibitions.
Premium Packaging Types: Jukeboxes, Metal Tins
Jukeboxes are a type of card CD packaging that has a clever mechanism to secure the CD inside the box. The CD is then presented to the user in a cardboard claw when the box is opened. This packaging is very impressive and can be digitally printed for a truly unique look. They are usually only used for limited or special edition releases. You can print metal tins and make them into any shape you like. This includes a round tin, a DVD-sized tin, or any shape that corresponds to the CD’s contents. This packaging is expensive as the molds must be created before the actual production of the tins. Also, the material is more costly than plastic or card.
Before choosing a packaging type, consider the intended use of your CD printing project. Also, do some research online to determine costs. If you plan to produce the packaging yourself, get quotes from suppliers and compare the costs with the outside supplier.