Printable CD and DVD Tips
Printing on CD and DVD media can be a simple task if done correctly. The following are some tips for printing on printable CD and printable DVD media.
- To save money you can try conserving ink. This can be accomplished by adjusting the saturation settings for your DVD/CD printer. Use your windows printer driver settings to make the adjustment. Just click on Start; Printers and Faxes; Right click on your Disc Printer and go to properties, then printing preferences (can also get to your different printers from within control panel)– changes in the printer driver area will be ‘global’ changes for all items printed to this printer Note: If you use your graphic design software settings to adjust print saturation or options you will need to repeat the step for each design. By using the windows printer driver settings you will only need to adjust periodically.
- Some people prefer silver inkjet printable CD or silver inkjet printable DVD media due to it’s slightly metallic shine. When using silver inkjet printable be aware that the silver surface can darken lighter colors, many people like the look that the silver surface gives but you will just want to experiment to test your color and design choices. If you feel your artwork will contain many light colors you may want to use a white inkjet printable DVD or white inkjet printable CD which will not effect lighter colors as much as the silver printable disc.
- Make sure to adjust your printer driver settings so that your printer does not print to close to the hub. If you wind up printing onto the plastic center hub the ink will not dry and you will have to manually remove the excess ink using a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Burn first, print second. If you print your CDs or DVDs before you burn them you may ruin the print. We call it the spider web effect where the ink on the center fans out towards the outer edges while spinning in the disc recording drive.
- Different brands of printable media have different coverage of printable surface. Make sure you adjust your printer driver settings to make sure you don’t have unprinted white space on your disc. A good label design with a white background instead of a solid color could also be used to alleviate this sort of problem. See illustrations I, II and III.
- Another way to conserve ink and save money is to only print full color on a portion of the disc. You can save over 50% on your ink cost and still have very colorful looking discs. See illustration IV.
- Most printable media dries very quickly. It is still advised however, that you let your printed discs sit for at least a few minutes before handling or inserting the freshly printed discs into packaging so that they may completely dry. You may want to try different types of printable DVD and CD media to find which work best for you.
- It was just a few years ago that content distributors had to choose between inkjet printable media or something more durable and therefore expensive. Because printable discs tended to smudge and smear when exposed to wet or humid environments, discs were sometimes subjected to cumbersome processes to protect them from the elements. Well you can put away the spray paint and the laminator machines because the new breed of waterproof inkjet printable discs have arrived! WaterShield discs from Taiyo Yuden, TuffCoat AquaGuard media from Primera and SmudgeGuard from US Digital Media are three major advances in the inkjet printable disc market. When you demand quality printing with a beautiful glossy finish that is on par with a more expensive thermal print, consider waterproof inkjet CD's and DVD's.
- Thermal printable DVD or thermal printable CD media can use up thermal ribbons fast. Depending on your printer you can save substantially by using the ribbon saving feature. The ribbon saving feature is for mono color thermal printers, for instance if you have only two lines of text on your disc the ribbon will basically only use two small lines of ribbon for that disc. This can substantially save many feet of thermal ribbon over the course of hundreds of prints.
- When thermal printing, it is not advised to use solid blocks of color to cover the entire disc. Thermal DVD / CD printers and ribbons do not do a good job of laying down a solid color. Thermal is best used for text, spot colors and simple line drawings. See illustration VII, VIII
- You should save all your burned rejects. The bad burns can be used as test prints when you are trying to configure your printer. This will save you from ruining good printable media in the process.
- Be sure to purchase the right type of printable CD or DVD media for your printer. There are three main types of printable media: Inkjet, Thermal and Everest Thermal printable. (slight variations under each category may be present including the print surface going all the way to the hub or stopping at the stacking ring) Using the wrong type of printable media will most likely result in bad prints, or not being able to print at all.
- Try and use the software that comes with your printer if possible. The software will give you the most accuracy when you are printing on your printable CD or DVD. If you don’t use the supplied software you will have to create your own ‘templates’, size your image etc, but once you get one made you can use it over and over by replacing text and pictures. One benefit for creating you own is the ability to have better color control, filters and fonts from higher end graphics programs.