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How do I get my artwork onto the templates?

The templates are only a placement guide. You still need to have a graphic design or page layout program such as Adobe InDesign, Quark Express, Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, Corel Draw, or Adobe Photoshop.

There are two ways to use the templates, depending on how you like to work, and which graphic program you are using.

Method 1 (for InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop):
Open the templates directly as a New document. Suggestions for each of these programs are given below.

InDesign - Open the appropriate InDesign template and build your artwork in InDesign.

Adobe Illustrator - Open the appropriate PDF or EPS template as an Illustrator file. Place or build your artwork on a layer below the template.

Photoshop - Open the appropriate TIF template with Photoshop‘s File>Open command. This will give you a layered file with one layer for your artwork, and another locked layer that contains the template grid. You can create additional layers, of course. If your artwork is already done, you can copy and paste it into the template. If your artwork was not done at 300 dpi you may have to scale it to fit.

Method 2 (for most other programs):
Create a new document of the appropriate size and use the “place” or “ import” command to import the pdf templates as a top layer in your document. The dimensions you need for the new document are shown below the templates.

What program files can you open?

We prefer generic files like PDFs, EPS, or TIF files. However, we are able to open files in InDesign CS1, Illlustrator CS1, Photoshop CS1, Freehand 10, Corel Draw 12, and Quark 4.0 (our Quark is Mac Only).

Can I just use the label-making program that came with my CD burner?

If you must, but it is not recommended. Those programs are generally very crude and don‘t allow for bleed area—something that‘s essential for production work. If you absolutely must use one of these programs, you will need to output your artwork as a PDF. You can do this by downloading a PDF-making program such as “win2pdf”, available at Try to keep your text away from the edges, because we may have to enlarge the artwork a bit to create some bleed, and some of the artwork will get cut off in this process.

Can I use Word? What about PowerPoint?

Neither of these are the right type of program for CD artwork. Please use a program that allows you to import the templates as a layer, and that allows you to export as a PDF, like the programs mentioned above.

What format should I save the artwork in?

Generally we prefer print quality PDF files. The fonts should be embedded, although usually this is taken care of when you save or export to PDF. When exporting to PDF, please turn any compression options off (Choose No Compression), and make sure that the pdf includes the document bleed area.

If you are working in Photoshop, don‘t flatten before saving to PDF. You may want to also save in TIF format. For some reason, Photoshop does not seem to make great PDFs, so the TIF files may print better. When saving as a TIF, you may as well flatten the file, but please erase the template except for the crop marks. Make sure to keep a layered version for yourself in case modifications need to be done later.

Is there anything I should keep in mind when setting up the disc label art?

Yes, it all depends on which type of printing you‘re going with.

For thermal printing, you should keep the label as simple as possible—no large black areas or extremely bold fonts, no grayscale fonts, keep the background clear, and also avoid fonts with very thin strokes.

For black Everest printing, avoid using large solid gray areas - use either 100% black or use white for large areas. Photos are OK but may come out a bit grainy.

For color Everest printing, photographic backgrounds work better than solid colors, and dark solid colors work better than light solid colors. Dark and medium photos work better than faded photos. Avoid gradient fills—they tend to cause banding. It is also best to avoid very small text, and text with very narrow strokes.