Introduction to Printing on CD / DVD Discs

Inkjet Printable CD / DVD Media - Introduction 

Looking for a new way to customize your DVDs and CD-Rs for your next promotion or sales even? Inkjet printable DVD and CD-R Inkjet Printable Media brings you a great way to express your creativity! 

Printing directly to the surface of your DVD-R inkjet printable offers certain advantages over using labels:

  • It’s generally cheaper to buy printable inkjet media than to buy both media and labels. While the printer might represent an additional expense, you need a printer to print labels anyway; a media-capable printer actually costs about the same as a better inkjet printer.
  • It’s easier than placing labels on many discs, as most printers have easy-to-use disc alignment.
  • Labels can peel and cause damage to drive and player mechanisms; because the inkjet surface is part of the media, drive damage is less likely, regardless of storage conditions. Inkjet media is also safer in slot-loaded optical drives.


Until recently, printing directly onto CD and DVD Media wasn’t something to do in your home or home office: the printing equipment was expensive for anyone that print in low volumes, and the printers were highly specialized. Now, companies like Canon, Epson, Hewlett Packard, Primera, and Rimage offer printers designed to print on DVD inkjet printable media.

These printers are available in a wide range of prices (starting at about $150) and are designed for either home or commercial use. Most can be used for more than just printing media; they’ll print digital images, presentations, cards, and other projects. Some specialized units feature automated burning and printing for multiple CDs/DVDs.
Look for printers with easy-to-load CD/DVD trays, and consider the costs of the ink refill cartridges as part of your purchase if you plan to use the printer regularly. Be sure it includes the software required to print the media, and that the software is compatible with your computer operation system. If you will need to print more than one disc at a time, look for a printer that will accept multiple discs per print job.

Selecting & Burning Inkjet Printable CDs & DVDs

Inkjet-Printable CD-R, Inkjet Printable DVD-R and DVD+R Inkjet Printable media all come in two base colors: Silver and White. White is great for most applications, although some people prefer a silver base to print digital photos and other images to the disc. When printing to the disc, be sure to use only media specifically designed for the purpose, as ‘regular’ media isn’t designed to accept the ink and can make a mess!
The only difference between ‘traditional’ DVDR media and the inkjet printable DVDR is the top surface, or protective layer. The inner layers — where the data ‘lives’ — are identical to those in other blank CD/DVD media. As a result, if you buy a media format compatible with your burner and your destination player, you’re good to go!

Storage & Handling

As with any blank DVD discs, you should always handle the discs by grasping their outer edges or center holes. Avoid exposing discs to direct sunlight, excessive heat or humidity. Inkjet printed discs are especially vulnerable to smudging in high humidity situations, or when handled by damp fingers. Inkjet printed DVD Media should not be stored or shipped in soft plastic or paper envelopes — the chemicals used to keep the package materials supple may soften the inks, causing the disc to stick to the sleeve and potentially damage the disc when removed. It is best to use jewel cases or other containers that don't come into direct contact with the printed surface.