CD and DVD replication offers two main printing types. The end result of the CD or DVD replication process will rely quite heavily the one you choose.
Offset (or Litho) Printing for CD and DVD Replication
For CD and DVD replication, ‘Offset Printing’ (or Litho as it is sometimes referred to as) is the best quality printing process for printing photographic images and complex gradients onto the CD or DVD label. It produces detailed colours that blend very well together. If your CD or DVD replication project needs a photographic image or anything that involves smooth changes from one colour into another printed to the CD or DVD surface, this is the process for you. It is normally more expensive than the standard process for CD or DVD replication (Silkscreen Printing), although some companies are now offering it at no extra cost.
Silkscreen Printing (or ‘Silk Screen’ Printing) for CD and DVD Replication
CD and DVD replication traditionally uses ‘Silkscreen Printing’. Silkscreen printing is excellent for producing spot colours or block colours (e.g. if the entire CD or DVD surface should be one colour). Most CD and DVD replication companies that have been around for a while use silkscreen printing for every CD and DVD replication project, unless they have added ‘Off-Set’ printing (see above) to their production line.
How Many Colours for CD and DVD Replication Onbody Printing?
CD and DVD replication processes often refer to the number of colours that the printing should be done in. For example, printing in 1 colour, 3 colours, 5 colours etc. But what does this mean?
Think of your home printer. It is likely to have a 4 colour printing capability. It has a black cartridge (so that’s 1 colour) and a colour cartridge containing Cyan, Magenta and Yellow ink (the other 3 colours). These 4 colours can be printed onto the white paper to produce almost any colour the user wants.
When printing onto CDs and DVDs, you must consider that the disc surface is silver. So, in order to get the same colour palette as a home printer, you would need to opt for 5 colour printing (the usual 4 colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, plus the fifth colour: White).