Duplication:CD & DVD Duplication:Everest Printing Design Guide

Designing labels for the Everest™ printer is very simple. Provided the following guidelines and suggestions are followed, the final printed disc produced should. The process of producing a label file for the Everest™ printer can be broken down into three basic steps.

1.) Download the template files from our website.
2.) Design the label and save it in an acceptable format.
3.) Send the files to us for printing.

Step 1 - Download the template files from our website.

The template files are in Photoshop and Illustrator formats and can be retrieved from the Full Color Everest Thermal Templates section of the Free Templates webpage at http://www.ncimedia.com/duplication/free_temp.html. The direct links to the files are:

Photoshop file
Illustrator file
EPS file

The file will expand to yield two files - nci_EverestCD.psd and nci_EverestCD.ai for use in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator respectively. If you do not have either program, or a program capable of opening those formats then skip to the section Making your own templates below.

Step 2: Design the label and save it in an acceptable format.

In order to properly design a label for the Everest™ printer there are a few general concepts that will be important.

a.) The Everest Printer is a CMY printer. As such, it cannot print spot colors. Instead, it prints a process rendition of those colors and generally it is fairly close. If spot color accuracy is important, please provide a color proof print so we can try and match it.

b.) Avoid large areas of solid black. The printer generates black by combining the CMY colors. Since this is not a true black, then large solid areas (entire disc background) of black should be avoided. Since the black is printed as a composite black it will have a bluish tint to it. The larger the area, the more noticeable it becomes.

c.) Everest label files should be in RGB color space at 300dpi. While the printer prints in CMY, the driver will only properly render colors when presented in RGB color space. CMYK files will not print with the proper colors. Files with resolutions lower then 300dpi will print with pixelation artifacts. Resolutions higher then 300dpi will look exactly the same as a 300 dpi print, but at a significantly larger file size.

d.) White in the file is transparent on the disc. If your design is to be printed on a white disc, white areas will be white. If your design is printed on a silver disc, white areas will be silver.

e.) Avoid text smaller then 6 point.

f.) The final file you present us should be in a bitmap format which Photoshop can read. That includes psd, tif, pct, bmp, etc. If you are sending PSD files please rasterize all text as we may not have the appropriate fonts to correctly print the file.

Using Photoshop to design a label

1.) Open the file NCI_EverestCD.psd in photoshop.

2.) You will notice that there are 5 layers present in the file which are:

  • Background - a solid white layer
  • No Hub Mask
  • Hub Printable Mask
  • DVD-R
  • Contact Information

The layers above the background are the mask layers that represent the printable area of each disc type. By default they are set to 50% opacity. The Contact Information layer provides information on how to contact us with links to important information. This layer should be turned off when designing labels.

3.) Turn on the masking layer that represents the type of disc you want to print and turn off all the other masks. In this sample we will be making a hub printable CD-R so we turn on the Hub Printable mask layer and turn off the other two mask layers (figure 1).

4.) We then add our artwork in layers between the Background layer and the mask layers (figure 2.)

5.) In this case, we are adding a photograph. Note that the photo covers the entire square shape of the template. The mask layer is used as a guide to place the image where it will print best on the disc (figure 3.).

6.) The illustrator templates can be used to create artwork for placement within the photoshop template. This is especially useful for creating good non-linear type elements. For example, if you wanted your contact information to be placed in circular format around the edge of the disc, you would use the type on a path tool in illustrator to create the text. Once created, that text can be copied, pasted, and positioned into the photoshop template. Figure 4 shows a completed layout with type elements added from illustrator.

7.) Once all the elements in the design are properly placed, turn off the mask layer and Save As a tif file. (figures 5 & 6)

IMPORTANT: Do not apply the masking layers to any of your graphic elements. The final image should be fully bled to the edges and not cut out in the shape of the CD. The printing software will automatically mask your image to match the disc when it prints. The mask layers present in these files should only be turned on and used as design guides.

8.) If you choose to provide us with a PSD file please make a copy of your original and then rasterize all the font layers in the copy that you send us. By rasterizing the fonts they will not be needed on our end to print the file correctly. This also eliminates Mac vs. Windows file conversion issues with regard to fonts. (figure 7) Its important to make a copy of your original file since once you rasterize the font layers they will no longer be editable. You will need the original file with unrasterized type layer to make future type changes.

9.) The final CD prints like this:

Step 3: Send the files to us for printing.

The final files can be sent to us in one of two ways:
1.) Via e:mail to info@ncimedia.com
2.) Burn to a CD and mail them to us.

Once we receive them we will print a proof copy, scan it and e:mail the proof scan to you. The proof scan is good for content proofing but due to variations in monitor and scanner settings it is not that good for color proofing. If color accuracy is important we suggest having a physical proof sent to your location for review. These can be sent via your choice of shipping at shipping cost.

Making Your Own Templates

If you do not have Illustrator or Photoshop you can still design labels for Everest printing. Many graphics applications can import Illustrator and Photoshop files. If you have one of those applications, simply apply the examples here to the software you have. Most work in a similar fashion. The important thing is to export your final artwork as an RGB 300 DPI x 12cm square bitmap image (tif, pct, bmp, jpg, etc.) for printing.

If your software will not import our templates, please refer to the dimensional drawing to the right. Using these you should be able to create your own template in just about any modern graphics program. Again, the final image must be provided to us as an RGB 300 DPI x 12 cm square bitmap image (tif, pct, bmp, jpg, etc.).

If all else fails, we can design your labels for you at a reasonable cost.

If you have comment, questions, or suggestions regarding the creation of labels for Everest printing please contact us at the addresses below.

Everest™ is a registered trademark of Rimage Corporation. Photoshop™ and Illustrator™ are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are registered to thier repective owners.

Figure 1: Select your print type

Figure 2: Insert Your Artwork Here

Figure 3: Inserted Artwork

Figure 4: Completed layout

Figure 5: Turn Off Mask Layer

Figure 6: Save as TIFF

Figure 7: Rasterize Type if Submitting a PSD file

Figure 8 - Everest NH CD Dimensions

Figure 9 - Everest Hub Printable CD Dimensions

Figure 9 - Everest Hub Printable DVD Dimensions