"What is a Digipak CD & How to Make One"

What Is a Digipak CD & How To Make One

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Believe it or not, CDs have been making a comeback. Thanks to how quickly and affordably they can be manufactured — especially compared to vinyl — independent artists have been rediscovering the product that launched the independent music revolution that started back in the 1980s. Compact discs come in a variety of packaging formats, including the jewel case, eco-wallets, and jackets, but the king of them all is the digipak.

Digipaks have it all: they look great, they’re highly customizable, and they are eco-friendly. In this guide, we delve into the world of digipak CDs, exploring their advantages, types, production process, and how you can bring your own digipak CD to life.

What is a digipak CD?

While digipaks have a variety of possible layouts, the standard digipak CD case includes a 4-panel cardboard package that opens like a book, as well as a clear plastic tray that snugly holds a CD. Digipaks offer ample room for a graphic designer to get creative with design, artwork, and credits. The digipak-style packaging provides a premium feel and makes it the most popular of all packages at Disc Makers.

History and evolution of digipak packaging

Digipak CDs emerged as a response to the environmental concerns associated with traditional CD jewel cases, which are predominantly made of plastic. With the rise in popularity of eco-friendly alternatives, digipaks win the digipak vs. jewel case debate as they gain momentum as the sustainable packaging solution for music albums and other multimedia content.

Advantages of choosing digipak

Why do so many artists choose digipaks for their CD releases?

  • Aesthetic appeal and design flexibility: Digipak CDs provide ample space for artwork and branding, allowing artists and designers to unleash their creativity. With options for custom die-cut shapes and additional inserts and panels, digipaks offer unparalleled design flexibility.
  • Environmental benefits over traditional jewel cases: Unlike jewel cases, which are mostly plastic, digipaks are mostly made of environmentally friendly cardboard stock. What’s more, Disc Makers’ digipaks are made of recyclable materials, further making them an environmentally responsible packaging choice.
  • Premium feel, perfect for albums: Thanks to their cardboard packaging, digipaks feel like amore premium product than standard jewel cases. And because they have a gatefold opening and a plastic tray, they feel more appropriate for album releases than, say, a jacket, which is ideal for singles.

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Types of digipak CDs

Digipaks are the most flexible packaging format available. Here are some of the options available to you:

Standard digipak layouts

Common configurations include 4-panel, 6-panel, and 8-panel digipaks, each offering varying degrees of space for artwork and additional content like lyrics, photos, and credits. Choose a 6- or 8-panel digipak for a more premium product (one that is sure to please your fans).

Printing options

Disc Makers’ digipaks are printed with non-toxic, vegetable-based, biodegradable ink, further increasing their environmentally friendly status. Every package includes your choice of matte or glossy UV coating. You can get creative with your digipaks and ask for embossed printing, spot UV, or specialized inks. To find out what kind of options are available to you, simply call 1-800-468-9353.

Special features and additions

Digipaks can be enhanced with special features such as pockets, slots for booklets, and custom die-cut shapes, allowing for a unique and personalized packaging experience. Digipaks can incorporate a 12-page insert with ease. Additionally, digipaks offer the flexibility to accommodate multi-disc sets with extra panels and trays, making them the best choice for projects with extensive content.

Guide to digipak CD production

If you have decided upon digipaks for your next CD release, here is a quick guide for an indie artist to ensure your CD is amazing:

  1. Planning your design: Start by conceptualizing your design, considering factors such as branding, artwork, and layout. Determine the number of panels and any special features you wish to incorporate. If you are a professional graphic designer, that’s great, but if not, this isn’t where you want to skimp. The good news is Disc Makers offers professional CD design starting at just $200. Even if you are hiring a pro, however, it’s good for you to go into your project with a strong sense of what you want. That way your designer will be sure to knock the design out of the park on the very first attempt.
  2. Resolution and file format guidelines: If you are hiring Disc Makers to design your CD, this isn’t a step you need to worry about. If you want to output your own design, you’ll want to use Disc Makers’ free templates and meet their specs to guarantee optimal printing quality. You can download your free templates and learn everything you need to know about producing print-ready files.
  3. Production and printing your digipak: You definitely want to work with a reputable printing company to bring your design to life. Disc Makers has been producing the best-quality digipaks for 30 years. What’s more, the entire process is turn-key. You provide the music and let Disc Makers take care of the rest.

Why Disc Makers should be your source for digipaks

Disc Makers has been making digipaks since the format was first introduced, and their quality is unmatched in the industry. Every Disc Makers Digipak includes these benefits:

  • Eco-friendly digipak CD packaging made from sturdy 15-point, grade-A, recycled board stock
  • Your choice of recycled clear, white, or black plastic trays
  • Non-toxic, vegetable-based, biodegradable inks
  • UV coating that provides a matte or glossy finish while still being durable
  • All packages are backed by a satisfaction guarantee
  • They are still proudly made under one roof, right here in the USA

And the best part is that you won’t have to pay an arm or a leg for all that quality. You can get 100 CDs in digipaks for just $255. Learn more here.

Bringing your digipak CD to life

Digipak CDs offer a modern and environmentally conscious packaging choice for artists and content creators. With their aesthetic appeal, design flexibility, and eco-friendly credentials, digipaks provide a compelling alternative to traditional jewel cases.

Whether you’re an independent musician or a multimedia producer, Disc Makers can assist you in bringing your digipak CD project to fruition, ensuring that your packaging reflects the quality and creativity of your content.

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About Scott McCormick

Scott McCormick is a musician and the author the Audible bestselling Rivals! series and the hit fantasy novel The Dragon Squisher. Scott can be reached at storybookediting@gmail.com.

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