Print Labels Directly on CDs and DVDs - Imported

Handwriting on your DVDs or CDs might be fine for personal use, and printing paper labels on a printer then applying them to a disc is okay if you only need to regularly label a few discs. Both of these methods are inadequate, however, if you want a professional appearance and you need to label more than a handful of discs. Obviously handwritten labels are undesirable in a professional context, and working with paper labels are way to cumbersome to deal with on a large volume of discs.

The solution is to print directly onto DVDs and CDs. You can create a professional label on discs easily and quickly by directly printing on them. Currently there two ways to print directly on a disc: thermal and ink jet. Both thermal and ink jet disc printers are preferable to hand printing or paper labels.

Thermal Disc Printing or Ink Jet Disc Printing?

Thermal disc printing uses ink, heat, and pressure to affix an image to a disc. Ink jet printing sprays ink on the disk in the same way it sprays ink on paper. As is usually the case, both methods of printing on discs have their advantages and their drawbacks. Let's look the pros and cons of both:

Thermal Disc Printing Pros:

  • Fast
  • Very durable and long lasting 
  • Less expensive (in ink) to print a disc than ink jet printing 

Thermal Disc Printing Cons:

  • Requires thermal discs that can withstand the thermal process
  • Cannot render highly detailed photographs and images

Ink Jet Disc Printing Pros:

  • Can print on regular DVDs and CDs, but best results are with discs made for ink jet printing
  • Renders higher resolution images than thermal
  • Printers are less expensive than thermal

Ink Jet Disc Printing Cons:

  • Slow
  • Ink can be expensive
  • Ink can smear if wet and wears off more easily 
  • May not render some colors accurately

With this information you can decide which application fits your situation best. Generally, it may have to do with volume. The more discs you need to print the more cost effective thermal printing will be. Plus, if durability of the label is an important consideration thermal may be more appropriate. However, if you do not need a high volume of printed discs on a daily or weekly basis, ink jet disc printing can provide professional labeling at a lower initial investment, since ink jet disc printers are relatively inexpensive.

If you are providing a disc to customers (to hold software or to supply user-product information) and you are still applying paper labels, the time to consider disc printing is now! Disc printers can also be integrated with a disc duplicator, so discs can be fully prepared for shipping at one station.