With the digital and online markets seeming to take over the world, one might accuse CDs and DVDs as being a bit ” old school ” technology. But here at Media Alliance we understand that discs have their place and that your project – whether big or small – is important to you.

We’ve made life simple by outlining how it all works and which print and process is going to match your requirements best. With our years of expertise, we will help you determine the right product to suit your needs and pocket!

DUPLICATED DISCS

  • Ideal for quantities from 50 to 500 units
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Print options include silkscreen OR inkjet print

A duplicated CD or DVD is a recordable disc whereby the content is copied (burnt) onto the discs via high quality commercial duplicator towers. You supply us with a “master disc”, this is then loaded onto the hard drive of the duplicator and direct copies are made. Media Alliance will then either silkscreen or inkjet print the artwork (cliché) onto the discs. Media Alliance only uses high quality A grade discs for our manufacturing process.

Things to bear in mind with duplicated CD or DVD discs:

  • Not ideal for audio/ music discs
  • Although duplicated discs are great for short runs below 500, not all media devices can read duplicated discs. There can be a compatibility issue between certain readers and disc brands, therefore not every disc is guaranteed to play in every type of player / reader
  • Recordable discs are vulnerable to direct sunlight, prolonged exposure to sunlight will render the disc unusable
  • The mini disc (8cm round) and CD business cards are only played in PC machines (do not place these discs in MAC or front loaders)

REPLICATED DISCS

  • Ideal for quantities from 500 units onwards
  • 10 to 14 working days turnaround time
  • Superior print quality which includes silkscreen OR offset print
  • Retail quality disc (Audio CDs)

For replicated CD or DVD discs, a glass master is used to make exact replicas or your master disc. To explain the replication process, first a glass master is made, a laser is used to etch pits of digital 1’s and 0’s, and this depicts the content which is on your master disc. The glass master is fragile, so a mould is made from this glass master which is called a stamper. This stamper is then attached onto the injection moulding machine. A plastic called polycarbonate is melted and injected into the mould at a high pressure, whereby the stamper imprints data onto the melted polycarbonate surface, thus creating the disc.

Since the polycarbonate is transparent, a superfine metal layer is applied, this reflective metallic layer acts as a mirror which reflects the laser back to the detector which decodes the pits as data. Lastly a thin layer of lacquer is applied which is used to protect the metal layer and also acts as layer on which the print can then be applied to. Media Alliance will then either silkscreen or offset print your artwork onto the replicated discs.

Replicated discs are ideal for retail products i.e. audio discs, movies, video games, computer software.

DISC PRINTING

Media Alliance offers a range of printing options

  • For short runs of 50 to 1000 units
  • Inkjet print (high quality white inkjet printable disc where discs are inkjet printed in CMYK) Available in the standard matt disc or a high gloss watershield disc (water / smudge resistant)
  • For larger runs of 1000 onwards
  • Silkscreen print (either pantone or CMYK ink is printed directly onto the silver surface of disc)
  • Offset print (CMYK ink is printed directly onto silver of disc) This option is only available for replicated discs

Things to bear in mind when choosing your print option:

Although Media Alliance only uses the highest quality inkjet printable discs and printers, inkjet prints do not have long term durability, as the ink can be smudged if print gets wet or moist. There is a solution for this, as we do offer water shield (smudge resistant) discs. For small runs, inkjet prints offer high print resolution and a very fast turnaround time, at a very affordable price.

Silkscreen printing is ideal for large runs, however many of our clients still choose to silkscreen print on smaller quantities. Silkscreen print is mostly used for colour specific /vector artworks. Media Alliance only prints coated or metallic pantones. You can choose to either print directly onto silver of disc, or print white first as your base coat.

You can also choose to knock out artwork to leave silver of disc showing through and still print white if needed. Media Alliance also offers a matt or gloss finish. CMYK silkscreen print is fine, however the finished look is slightly “grainy” as the process is achieved by squeezing the ink through fine silk screens. There are 5 plates which contain cyan, magenta, yellow and black, and the 5th colour would be either white or a separate pantone colour. Each colour is cured under a UV lamp.

Offset printing is the crème de la crème of disc printing. We can only offset print onto replicated discs and only CMYK artwork can be used, no pantone colours. Offset print is ideal for photographic images or very detailed artwork. Offset print virtually resembles litho print, as the screens are much finer than silkscreen print.