Graphics & Artwork FAQs

What graphic design services do you have?
      NTS can recommend local designers that can take your ideas and provide a professional proof to your exact specifications depending on the CD/DVD packaging that you have chosen. For more information about design services, give us a call at 615-457-2519.

Can I provide my own artwork?
        Yes, you can definitely provide your own artwork. This is the route that majority of our customers chose. We prefer high resolution, press ready PDF files with layers intact (not flattened). You can send these files to us via DropBox or YouSendIt. Contact your project manager to discuss which method is best for you.
    How will I know if the finished product will look like what I want it to?
        You will be given a free PDF proof via email of the finished design that you must approve before we move forward with production of your order.

    What if I want to make changes to my design after I approve it?
        Once you have approved your PDF proof, it goes immediately into production. Depending on how quickly you contact us regarding your changes, we will gladly stop it and make the necessary changes. However, you will be responsible for any costs incurred prior to stopping the order. Additionally, the time line will start over once you approve the new PDF proof with the changes. Please be sure to look at your proofs very carefully prior to approval.

    When you email me the PDF proof will the CD/DVD look like my computer screen?
        There are normally some differences from computer screen to computer screen, so the colors will most likely not turn out exactly like your computer screen. Additionally, computer screens display color in RGB (red, green, blue). CDs and DVDs are printed using either offset, CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) or silkscreen. For this reason the printed CDs and DVDs will not look exactly like your computer screen. The PDF proof will be accurate regarding text and placement, but will only be close to the exact colors of the final discs. If you need an actual physical proof, this may be possible at an extra charge depending on your specific order. Contact your salesperson for more details.

    What does full color mean?
        Full color means printing in the four printing colors: CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Full color is the standard printing method for items printed on paper stock. It is also the standard for offset printed CDs and DVDs. Full color is also referred to as 4 color process.

    Can you use my artwork if it is RGB?
        We cannot print with RGB colors. Due to the color variance when going from RGB to CMYK we ask that you submit art as CMYK. If your artwork is currently in RGB you can open the artwork in a graphics program that allows you to convert the artwork to CMYK (such as Photoshop) and convert it. The reason we ask you to do the conversion is because, on some occasions the colors can change several shades during conversion.

    Are gradients hard to print?
        Gradients will reproduce well in offset and digital printing. Gradients do not work as well when using silkscreen printing.

    How is silkscreen printing different from offset printing?
        In silkscreen printing ink is forced through a tight mesh screen with an image of the artwork on it. The discs are passed from one station to the next where a different color and different part of the disc are applied. Each new color used requires its own screen. Offset printing is a process of transferring the ink from an inkwell to a rubber transfer blanket and then to the disc. Both are good printing methods with their respective strong points. Silkscreen printing puts more ink onto the optical media. This large volume of ink produces bright vibrant images, but the fine mesh of the screen can obscure minor artwork details and gradients. Offset printing is very good at producing high resolution images that show fine details like a photograph, but the printing method applies less ink than silkscreen, so the image tends to be less vibrant. If you are not sure which print method is best for your application, just give us a call at 615-457-2519 and a salesperson will help determine what is best for your project.

    When is silkscreen printing best?
        Silkscreen should be used when using solid or vibrant colors. Silkscreen is also best when you have multiple PMS colors.

    When is offset printing best?
        Offset printing is best when you have very detailed or full color images. Additionally photographs and gradients will show up best using offset printing.

    What is a bleed?
        The bleed area is a portion of the graphics that will run off the edges of the print area on the disc. It is important to bleed or extend your artwork past where it would normally stop to make sure that it will print covering the entire disc.

    Do I need to have bleed on my insert or sleeve art?
                Yes, the bleed area is important for all custom printed pieces. We have templates for all of our packaging print surfaces that show the bleed area (typically 1/8" from each edge). You can find the templates 

    How many colors can I print on my CD/DVD?

        The number of colors will depend on the print method selected. It is best to talk to your salesperson to determine what is best for your specific order.

    How small can my letters be?
        As a general rule 6 point is the smallest font size that prints clearly. This is only a general rule due to the thousands of different fonts available. If you are in doubt, it's always best to make it larger.

    What resolution does my artwork need to be?

    Provided art files should be created at a resolution of 300 DPI at print size.

    How thick do my lines have to be?
        For silkscreen and thermal printing, the minimum thickness is .75 point. For offset and digital printing, lines can be slightly smaller at .50 point.