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Short Run CD and DVD Duplication – Considerations
1) Short CD and DVD runs – The smaller the order, the higher the unit cost
The first consideration you need to make is that a short run of professionally printed CDs or DVDs will have fixed setup costs that depend on the printed design of your discs and the type of packaging you have chosen. ; discs will either be screen printed, litho (offset) printed or digitally printed.
Screen printing requires making a screen print for each color used in the design and is suitable for designs consisting of bright colors or printed text. The screen printing machine has a turntable with 5 printing stations. At each station, the ink is pressed through a silk screen using a rubber squeegee; screen printing only allows ink to be printed on the disc in particular places where this color is required. The ink is UV sensitive and each color ink is “cured” under UV light before rotating around to the next station for the next color to be applied. The more colors involved in the design (from 1 to 5), the more screens must be made before printing can take place.
Lithographic printing (offset)
Lithographic printing is an entirely different printing process in which ink is applied to the disc using a sheet of rubber that is rolled over the disc. This process is suitable for very detailed photographic type artwork and requires the printing plates to be made in accordance with the artwork on the disc.
Digitally printed discs.
Digitally printed discs are printed using an inkjet printer and are sealed with a clear lacquer; this method is expensive in terms of equipment and time and is only suitable for very small numbers of discs (less than 50) where the fixed costs of the other printing methods are prohibitive.
Unit costs begin to drop significantly for quantities of 200 or more CDs or DVDs. The same agreement also applies to your packaging. The more you order, the lower the unit cost.
A monochrome screen print with the logo in silver.
A monochrome screen print with the logo in silver.
2) Control the costs of your CDs or DVDs in the short term
Often you’ll be working on a tight budget on your project, but that certainly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality or visual appeal of your disc or packaging. If you pay close attention to the preparation of the artwork, you can still achieve an eye-catching end product while keeping costs low.
CD and DVD Artwork – Reduce Your Costs by Going with a Screen-Printed Design
Costs can be greatly reduced by using a screen printed design involving only 1 or 2 colours, then you only pay for 1 or 2 screen prints and some ink rather than an expensive set of litho (offset) printing plates ). The silver surface of the disc itself is attractive, so take advantage of it by allowing any text on the disc to show through a silver block color. If your band or company has a striking logo, opt for a bold single color screen print and let the logo show through the surface of the silver disc.
Take a look at your CD collection; you’ll be surprised how common this approach is and how effective a 1 or 2 color screen printed disc can be.
Short term CD and DVD packaging
You will no doubt be well aware of the myriad of packaging options available. There are all kinds of criteria to consider when determining which type of packaging is best for your project.
The most basic type of packaging is the paper or plastic wallet, both of which are inexpensive but only offer a basic level of protection for the disc. They are ideal if you need inexpensive cover for distributing CDs or DVDs at an exhibition or for distributing data internally in a business environment.
If the disc is to be sold commercially or online, or if detailed instructions are required as to the end use of the disc, you will need some form of printed packaging or packaging that can contain plastic parts. printed paper.
Printed card holders
You can still include a printed card insert in a plastic wallet, but for a slightly more premium feel, a printed card wallet would be the next level in terms of cost and disc protection. Again, there are many variations of the card holder available, some of which can hold a printed booklet or have extended folding panels to accommodate more printed information or printed images, if required.
Card holders with glossy, digitally printed images will give your package a premium look and feel and it’s worth spending time on the artwork to get the perfect look as the cost will be the same per unit , whether you have a simple logo printed on the wallet. or you have an intricate drawing or photograph.
Jewelery cases and DVD cases
If you need a stronger type of packaging (especially if it has to be shipped), again there is a wide selection of cases to choose from. Standard jewelry cases are the typical type of packaging for audio CDs and are made from a polycarbonate material with molded features to hold the printed card inserts in place. There are also cases available, such as the standard Movie DVD Case, which are made using a more flexible and durable polypropylene material with molded features to hold the card inserts.
As expected, packaging costs increase with packaging complexity. Bespoke packaging, such as printed CD boxes and “limited edition” or “collector’s edition” style packaging, is at the higher end of the spectrum.
Short Term CD and DVD Artwork – Do It Yourself!
If you can handle the basics of an art package such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Quark XPress, ask your chosen supplier for artwork templates. Producing the artwork yourself to the specifications required by the supplier can save you money rather than having to pay a professional graphic designer to produce your design. Always ask if your supplier is willing to help with artwork design, many companies will be happy to help at no extra cost depending on the complexity; they produce discs and art packaging day after day and will therefore be efficient and creative.
So, in a nutshell:
A 1 color screen printed CD or DVD in a plastic sleeve with artwork designed and produced by you or a friend/colleague = the low cost option.
A color litho printed CD or DVD in a case with printed paper parts and artwork designed by a professional graphic designer = the high cost option.
3) Check the content of your text
Carefully check your text content for spelling mistakes, correct grammar, repeated words and missing words. When you’ve written it and worked with it for a while, it’s all too easy to miss simple mistakes that could potentially harm the first impression of the product; this can be a big deal if the disc promotes your business and may be a potential customer’s first point of contact with your business.
It would be wise to ask a third party who has never read the text before and who has a good knowledge of spelling and grammar to check it. Also, most decent word processors will have features that will help you.
4) Check your master CD or DVD
If your CDs or DVDs need to be duplicated using a master disc, then, as with the content of the text above, check it out. It may only be a short run of CDs or DVDs, but if there is a problem with the master and it goes unchecked, the potential headaches of missed deadlines, returned sales, poor first impressions can come back to haunt you. Check it yourself and have a third party check it too.
5) Why not request samples from your supplier?
Any CD or DVD duplicating company worth their salt will not mind sending a sample of a printed disc or type of packaging so you can gauge the quality of the product. Even if you only order a short set of discs, from a business perspective, it is highly likely that you will remember good service and may use them again or recommend them to a colleague or a friend. Give them the opportunity to impress you with their excellent customer service!
6) Be sure to order enough CDs or DVDs for your short-term project
If your short run of CDs or DVDs are going to be sold through retail or online, the last thing you want to happen is to lose potential revenue if you don’t order enough discs. If your discs are to be distributed to potential customers at an exhibition, you wouldn’t want to run out of any before the exhibition is over as you could be missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity. Likewise, if your discs are to be used to circulate information in a professional environment, depending on the vitality of the information transfer, it can be expensive if you have to have a few extra discs made after the first run.
Market research, pre-order offers, event forecasts
If you plan to sell the discs, doing some market research as part of your project planning would be a great idea or even arranging a pre-order offer would be helpful to give you a better estimate of how many discs you might need. . to get printed. If you are distributing the discs at an exhibition as part of a marketing exercise, find out how many people usually attend the event and how many people are likely to be interested in your product or service. In this case, it’s a good idea to design your disks so that any excess disks can still be used at another event; if possible, focus your designs around your business rather than tailoring them to the event.
It’s always cheaper and less stressful to have a few discs than not enough.
7) Stress-Free Project Tips
Nobody likes to be stressed, so if possible:
Plan and order your CD or DVD duplication at short notice, giving your supplier as much notice as possible.
Do not introduce major changes to artwork at the last moment, if possible. The last thing you need is a delayed project with increased costs if it can be avoided.
Short-term jobs can usually be prepared within 48 hours depending on complexity, but that leaves no margin for potential errors anywhere in the process, although it’s highly unlikely that anything untoward will happen. produced at a professional CD or DVD printing company. If you can possibly avoid the potential headache of a project delay, that would be highly recommended.
If you do your best to adhere to the guidelines above, we hope your project goes smoothly and stress-free. If you are unsure of something at any stage of the process, communication is essential; keep in close contact with your CD or DVD supplier. You may only order a small batch of discs, but you are such a valuable customer that your positive testimonial carries as much weight as a customer with a larger order.
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