CD Graphics

The Ins and Outs of Pictures and Text on Your CD Package

What You Get

A standard CD graphics package calls for 3 rectangular layouts for the jewel case, and a round layout for the CD face. Each layout can be full color, and can include text, line art, photos, or any other kind of graphic. To explain further:

The Big Picture

The standard plastic case for a CD is called a "jewel case." In the illustration below, the plastic jewel case components are shown in gray. In real life, of course, the jewel case is usually transparent plastic, and the tray is usually black. It might help to get out a CD with a jewel case to look at while you're reading this.

What's Up Front

The front of the jewel case has tabs (not shown here) for sliding in a piece of stiff paper, or a small booklet. This is called the "insert" (in green in the illustration). The front of the insert is basically the album cover. The rear of the insert is what you see when you open the case, or slide out the insert. For the standard graphics package, the insert is a single piece of paper, and both the front and the rear can have full color graphics, so that's two 4 3/4" square layouts (called a "two-panel" insert).

Bringing Up the Rear

The rear of the jewel case has a piece of stiff paper called a "tray card" (in red in the illustration). The sides of the tray card are folded to become the spines of the CD case, so the CD can be identified in a stack or on a shelf. So you basically have a rectangular graphic layout, 4 5/8" by 5 3/8", which is the back of the album, plus spines (with sideways text on them) for an overall dimension of 4 5/8" by 5 7/8".

Let's Face It

The face of the CD itself (blue in the illustration) can also have full color graphics. This can be tricky to design, since it's a donut shape -- a circle 4 1/2" in diameter, with a 1 3/8" hole in the middle.

Get the Word Out

If the CD will be used as a demo to get gigs, it's highly recommended to include contact information prominently on each graphic layout (insert, tray card, CD face), in case they get separated.

Making a Big Production Out of It

CD duplication, printing, and assembly are done off-premises. Small quantities are possible, but the best price breaks result from larger orders. Starting at 50 copies, prices become very reasonable. Fewer copies are available for slightly more per copy.

Our Services

All Ears Audio can provide generic designs with customized text, or use your designs (preferably submitted in electronic format), or work with you for a custom graphics package. If you're making your own, we can provide exact dimensions or templates for most popular graphics software. Graphics work is charged by the hour. Rates are kept as low as possible, but a custom design can easily take two or three hours or more, so clients are encouraged to keep it simple and keep the target audience in mind.