Wednesday, January 10, 2007

make your own cd case

Tens of billion of pressed and blank CDs and DVDs have been sold yet the packaging alternatives are still poor. CD jewel cases are bulky and easy to break. Their advantage: good protection and room for a title on the spine. Slim line cases take up less space and are less ugly, but they are harder to label. Digipaks are better still, but expensive.

For burned media I tend to use Tyvek or vinyl sleeves, but today I stumbled upon a new alternative: the make-it-yourself paper sleeve. Well-suited for gift presentation, the materials are affordable (any 8 ½ x 11” sheet of paper) and the skills required are minimal. The one drawback: standard paper can lightly scratch a disc if care is not taken on insertion and extraction.

To create your own, I suggest starting at paper cd case. Type in title and content information in their web form and print out a sheet of paper for your case. Their template has a spine label, title front and back and optional track listing. Better still, it has lines for folding – a great help when perfecting your technique. paper cd case is based on the Tom Hull folding method illustrated on the left.

For more unique designs, Curbly suggests using wrapping or decorative paper. Two of her cases are shown in the photo top right. A caveat: fancy paper eliminates the cost advantage of this approach but it does make for a very attractive case.