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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:09 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:51 am
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With the cost of CD duplication and printing equipment coming down over the last few years it has become an affordable reality for even small organisations. For a few thousand dollars you can purchase semi-professional or" pro-sumer" CD duplication and printing equipment. If the requirement is only for small runs of 10s or 50s then this is more than adequate. Print quality for these inkjet based systems is usually acceptable and although not up to the professional standards of digitally printed or screen printed CDs is still acceptable for most promotional tasks.

What happens though when you need 1000 CDs by tomorrow afternoon for an urgent mail out? Or your client requires an exact match of their corporate brand colours (not something usually attainable using inkjet print). In these situations it is time to turn to a professional duplication company and to outsource the work. At higher volumes the cost is probably on par with running the job in house due to the economies of scale that larger duplication facilities benefit from. You will also benefit from improved lead times (most professional duplicators offer 2448 hours turnaround) and much improved print quality. In order to make the job happen as smoothly and efficiently as possible , it is worthwhile for you as a customer, to make sure the order is correctly placed to avoid any delays or mistakes.

The first step is to choose a facility. Most companies advertise on the internet and due to fierce competition in this market there are some very cheap deals advertised. Be aware that cheapest does not necessarily mean lowest cost. Think of the cost incurred should you lose your client due to low quality stock or incorrect printing. A good idea is to ask for a sample of print to see how good both the customer services of your intended supplier is and to check the quality of the disc and print.

Secondly provide artwork on a CD Duplication template provided by the supplier (most have downloads available on their website). Any fonts need to be supplied or ideally converted into outlines. The file also needs to be saved as CMYK rather than RGB. Preferable file formats are usually high resolution PDF (300dpi +) or EPS. If you intend to print in Pantones then these need to be clearly marked and if the disc needs to match a paper part then this should be supplied. A professional CD duplication facility will have an artwork department that can help with this though there are often additional repro charges associated.

It is also very important to deliver the master in a format that can be used. Be aware that a duplication facility will usually duplicate what you send without checking masters. It is usually assumed that this process has been completed before masters are sent in. For example if you are duplicating an audio CD do not send in a data CD of WAV files or MP3 files. It is most likely that these will be duplicated without checking. The simple rule is that you get back what you give in for duplication. Other common mistakes are Quicktime or WMV files instead of DVD video discs. If you need any assistance in creating masters then a proper duplication facility will have an authoring department to help.

Make sure that you also make the company aware of any lead time requirements. If the discs are required for a particular time on a given day (say for an event) make sure that the people that you book the job in with are aware of this. It is a very good idea to create an order (even a simple email will suffice in most cases) stating the quantity required , specifications (type of printing etc.) cost and lead time. This written order will avoid any communication errors and serve as a useful proof of your requirements if things do go wrong.

To summarise, it's a fairly simple process outsourcing your DVD or CD duplication requirements , but as with most things it pays to be organised and a bit of planning will go a long way. Don't forget that these CD duplication facilities are duplicating thousands of discs a day so not only will they be aware of all the problems that can happen they can help manage the process for you in an efficient manner.
Author's Resource Box

Jeremy Teal is a freelance author on the CD and DVD duplication industries.

More information about promotional USB flash drives at flash-duplication and CD duplication at 10th Planet Digital Media.

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