5" card sleeves or wallets
- Low environmental impact.
- Most economical card case.
- Light-weight so ideal for mail shots.
- May not be substantial enough for a full music album or an item with a premium retail price.
Before anyone listens or views the content of your disc, they’re likely to initially see the packaging, design and style of case.
First impressions are lasting and therefore it is important to not just have the best design, that portrays the correct image for the artist, band, music or film, but to choose the correct type of CD case that suits your project, image, and importantly the budget.
Below we look at some of the popular CD and DVD case options available.
As the name suggests, there are a minimum of 4 panels in total for your design and print, going up to 8 panels with the larger 8 panel wallet.
This type of case is also known as a gate-fold wallet, digifile or digisleeve. The additional panels allow for more creatives to be included. This can include more information on the content, like a film synopsis in the case of a DVD or Blu-ray disc, or artist and band information for a music CD.
There are a variety of opening styles for the discs which are usually on the inside right panel. This can be a horizontal slot (digifile), or an opening to the left of the inside right panel which can be shaped as an oblong (thumb cut) or long curve (crescent cut).
This is a case that is completely fabricated from card and, as such, has a lower carbon footprint due to the lack of plastics used in the manufacture process.
It is ideal for mail-shots as the weight is low (about 42 grams a unit including the disc), which keeps the cost of postage down.
The jewel case is synonymous with CDs. It is the packaging that was first used for retail ready CDs and thus can be considered industry standard.
The popularity of jewel cases has decreased in recent years, with digipacks and cardboard cases stealing some of the market share. However jewel cases still offer a classic packaging option, and its versatility and cost effectiveness will ensure they remain at the forefront of CD packaging.
Jewel cases can be provided with inserts that can be one sided or up to 36 pages, and the rear tray card can be one or two sided. In the case of a two sided rear tray card, a clear tray is used on the inside of the case so the print is visible through the tray once the disc is removed.
The jewel case can contain CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray.
The disc is placed on the inside right of the case, on a specially designed tray, which secures the centre of the CD onto a hub or spider. This ensures it does not move around inside the case and avoids damage.
Something to bear in mind with jewel cases is that they are made of rather brittle plastic that can crack or shatter if the case is dropped onto a hard floor or surface. The most common point of damage is to the hinges holding the two halves of the jewel case together.
Additionally, as the jewel case is predominantly a plastic based case; its environmental impact is greater than a card based CD packaging solution.
Super jewel cases are a modern take on the traditional jewel case. They are made of stronger plastics which are far more robust to unexpected drops.
The dimensions of the super jewel cases are the same as a regular jewel case, but have rounded corners and not ninety degree right angles as in regular jewel cases.
Super jewel cases have a unique design layout for the rear tray card, that includes four spines and particular shapes and cuts which mean they cannot be easily produced for short run duplication. The minimum order quantity for a super jewel case is usually 500 units.
By far the simplest and cheapest CD duplication packaging is PVC wallets.
These wallets are made of soft clear plastic, and cost a matter of pennies each.
PVC wallets are well suited when a disc is intended for free distribution, such as on the front of a magazine, and usually have a tuck-able flap to make sure the CD cannot fall out easily.
PVC wallets can be provided with a paper insert, which is printed to hold more information about the CD. However, if you are considering a paper insert, then we’d recommend looking at 5 inch card sleeves as an alternative due to the similar price point. Further, the card sleeves does look better and again uses less plastics.
Clam shells, or C shells as they are also known, provide a more secure case than a PVC wallet. They are made from a more durable, flexible plastic so will not suffer from easy breakage like from being dropped.
However, clam shells do not have any holders for paper parts and therefore while there are restrictions on how customised they can be, they do offer an ideal solution for a light-weight, protective case.
DVD cases were created for use with DVD film releases, although they are versatile enough to be used with other discs such as CDs or Blu-ray.
DVD cases are black (actually dark grey), or clear (actually translucent) in appearance. Other colours are available.
With a black case the outer inlay is printed one-sided, whereas for a clear case, we recommend a two-sided print so that when open, the reverse of the print is visible.
DVD cases have hooks on the inside that can hold a DVD-size booklet (little smaller than A5 in size). This booklet can be created to contain up to 100 pages, so you will always have ample capacity for your content.
A standard DVD case has a 14mm spine, but we can also offer slim and super slim DVD cases which have 9mm and 7mm spines respectively.
If more than 1 disc is to be placed in the case, then options are available to hold 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 discs into a single DVD case.
The plastic materials used to manufacture a DVD cases are a softer composite compared to jewel case plastics and can withstand more knocks. A DVD case is more voluminous in size compared to other cases, so can take up more shelf space.
The DVD digipack follows the same style guide as a CD digipacks.
DVD digipacks are the same width and height as a DVD case and have a 7mm spine. They are made of cardboard which is custom printed with your designs. Once the card has been fabricated to size, a clear tray is placed on the inside right panel. There are a few variances in the style of tray such as disc holder in the centre or off-centre, and trays that can hold 1 or 2 discs.
The mount for the disc can be a spider or hub such as in a CD digipacks, or newer versions include a spring mounted DVD flexi tray. As standard, we offer the hub or spider for the disc to be held in position.
If there is not enough room on the case to convey your design and message, then the DVD digipacks can be modified to hold a DVD-size booklet, which can be glued into place or held in a pocket. This booklet can easily go from 4 pages up to 100+ pages.
The above are descriptions of the most popular cases available for CD, DVD or blu-ray. Each style has its benefits and drawbacks and, by gaining a further insight into the pros and cons of each case, the correct CD packaging style can be chosen for your DVD, CD or blu-ray duplication project.
To get started with your design, you can refer to our design templates page where you can download free templates for any particular design or case type. If you do not see the template you require then send us an email, or call us and we can have this sent out via email.
If you require a completely custom case which has not be discussed above, or you are unable to see it on our site, then get in touch with us, as we can discuss your requirements and offer you a customised solution.
If you’d like to see samples of any of the above case styles, you can drop us an email with your contact details and we’ll post these out to you First Class.