Saturday, May 01, 2004
first impressions get labeled
A sticky label is the most common way to produce catchy CD’s. Labels can be found all over the place and are printed on any ink-jet printer. Relatively low in cost, they are great for the high number of duplicating needed when circulating a demo. 100 matte labels run about $20 and if you hit re-bates right you can get a 100 spindle of CD-R’s for around that price too. Although the odds of becoming a coaster have decreased by slapping that label on top it still might never be played.
The sticker labels have a tendency to increase its appeal as food for your car stereo. Although the person will probably not forget your name from here on out, you will be forever associated with the demo that had to be pried out of the player scratching the label and the CD all to hell in the process. So what do you do now? Reverting back to chicken scratched demo’s may prevent your CD from being lunch but there are some other solutions that will give a professional look with no thick label to get stuck.
Thermal Transfers: In contrast to inkjet printers, which create images by applying liquid ink, thermal transfer technology works by conveying solid wax from a coated ribbon onto a disc's surface through a combination of heat and pressure. Thermal transfer labels are thus more durable since they are water-and-scratch proof as opposed to their inkjet counterparts. Thermal printers can be found for as low as $100 and should be printed on shiny surfaced CD-R’s for the best quality. These shiny CD-R’s are priced comparable to any other blank media making them a good alternative to adhesive labels. But of course there is a catch!
Although the price of the printer has dropped in price, the media still has some catching up to do. A 30-pack of printable CD-R’s will run about $15. This is more than a regular spindle and will add up quick with mass duplication. Epson specifies the disc’s need 24 hours to dry, making them no good for last minute copying and distribution.
Mass producing CD’s is a time consuming process and definitely not one of the highlights of being a DJ. If you are just starting out it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on labeling but it is necessary to have a professional demo. To keep costs low stick with the good ole’ sticky label and add some spice to it. If you do get a complaint about an eaten CD give them another copy and warn them to only use it in a tray feed player. If they really want to listen to it in the car they can burn it themselves.