CD & DVD Packaging

The evolution of compact discs over the past few decades has had a series of highs and lows. And while it might seem like they're on the way out, our research disagrees. We've got the CD and DVD packaging options you might need moving forward.

As Fast Company notes, CDs aren't dying: they're evolving. While mainstream music is dominated by streaming, the technology to create CDs is at its most efficient (and cost-effective), making it a great option for indie artists and small bands. Not to mention the ability to burn discs, like a custom mixtape, has a kind of nostalgic value to it.

But from a business perspective, CDs and DVDs  are indispensable from multiple perspectives.  From training modules to branded templates to file sharing, discs have a long shelf life and, given the appropriate CD and DVD packaging, a long life to live.

CD & DVD Packaging at Sunrise

Many organizations use discs for many different business practices. A common example that spans industries? Onboarding kits. Bringing on new employees is a time-consuming process, and knowledge overload is real. Especially for employees who are learning a new job, a new environment, and everything else that comes with new roles. Having  consistently-available resources makes it easy for them to find information on their own.

Supplying new employees with a customized binder, one of our most popular options for CD and DVD packaging, is the perfect way to give them that sense of security. Our thermoformed binders are durable, smudge-resistant, and 100% brand-able.

Packaging Options for Discs and Beyond

Welcoming new employees with a crisp binder of information is a great way to introduce new employees, but it's not the only use for discs. Collecting speeches, seminars, and recordings of any type can aid businesses in information sharing and growth. Not to mention that libraries across the country rely on discs for patrons. Communities rely on their local libraries for packaged content like audio books, movies/documentaries, and other resources available for check out.

Check out our shop for more options!

Vinyl Packaging Revamped for 2016

While my parents don't admit to being hippies, their record collection tells another story.  My youth is peppered with memories set to music, not unlike an episode of "The Wonder Years." I remember running my fingers over vinyl packaging, picking out albums with intriguing album art (The Who's "Tommy" stands out in my mind) or Cream's "Wheel of Fire." I loved the velvet tones of vinyl, and the way the sound seems to fill a space. At some point, the needle on the turntable broke and didn't get replaced. We got a CD player, the records were boxed up and piled in a closet, and the beat went on. 

Since then, music has changed form a few more times. First from CDs to MP3 players like the iPod, and then to streaming with early adopters on Pandora, but now we've entered into an interesting era. In 2016, every sales channel music is slumping except for two: streaming (up 50%) and vinyl (up 11%). I don't think this is a coincidence. There's no ownership associated with streaming. Listeners can quickly sample songs and artists--literally millions of both--for either no fee or a nominal one. When listeners connect with an artist deeply, they want to invest in an experience. That's where vinyl trumps CDs, iTunes, any other form of listening experience. 

Naturally, I know I might be a little biased given my childhood love for vinyl. But there's a tangible experience that comes with holding vinyl packaging and dropping that needle, and I think there's a kind of craving for that kind of close-up sentimentality. Of course, there's more to it than that, and TuneCore has a few more ideas as to why vinyl and vinyl packaging is making a resurgence. 

Vinyl Packaging

Vinyl Packaging as a Form of Art

Whether your shelve it or frame it, album art has the potential to be iconic. Just look at The Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper" album cover. And in 2016, it's risen beyond just the album cover to origami and custom box level.

Vinyl is Tangible

I love Spotify, but here's the thing: you can't leave MP3s or Spotify playlists to your kids, or frame your favorites to put on the wall. You can't have your favorite artists sign the album like vinyl packaging. Digital has a lot of positives, but also a lot of tradeoffs.

Vinyl Goes Mobile

The majority of records purchased today also include a download code so users not only have their gorgeous album, but can also download the tunes to their mobile devices or computers for listening. Amazon is an early pioneer in providing the MP3s along with vinyl purchases.

Vinyl Sounds Off

Vinyl packaging is superior, there's no loss in mobility, so how can it get better for vinyl fans? It usually comes down to the strongest argument...sound quality:

Sound is a range of frequencies. When there is a complete presentation of frequencies that diminishes as the frequency increases, the sound seems to be more complete. Vinyl tends to present the widest range of frequencies due to its analog-to-analog production process. Digital music, because of its compression to keep file sizes manageable, doesn’t present as much of a continual range

When people make this argument, it's a passionate, emotional one.  And it's one echoed by an entire community of people who keep vinyl alive through patronizing smaller shops and hunting through garage sales as well as shopping online. Don McLean may have thought the music died, but it's alive and well decades later. 

Don’t Go Digital, Go Custom with CD Packaging

It’s no secret the music industry has been battered by the growth of online digital music sales. CD sales continue to be way down. The convenience of jumping on iTunes and grabbing some tunes without having to leave your home is unmistakable. Faced with that challenge, artists and labels are choosing not to completely give in to the digital revolution. Custom CD packaging is a way that artists can differentiate and offer something tangible for their fans. Going beyond jewel cases and digipaks, a lot of artists and record companies are having success customizing their packaging. These examples might be an exaggeration, as you won’t see CD packaging this elaborate everyday. Nonetheless, they’re very cool and creative.

DHNN’s design for Beck’s 8-bit album


Vonnegut Dollhouse by Rethink

Clever Paperboard CD Packaging by Jakebox

Radical Music by SunrisePackaging

How Jewel Cases are Made

Jewel cases were introduced in the early 1980s when Compact Discs (CDs) were first launched into the market. Since then the jewel case has remained fairly unchanged from the original design and still manufactured based on standard specifications. Jewel cases have been the main form of CD packaging because it is designed to protect and secure CDs.

So how are jewel cases made? They are made by a process called injection molding. This is the most widely used manufacturing process in the world. Injection molding requires an injection molding machine, raw plastic material, and a mold. The process starts by taking plastic resin that comes in the form of plastic pellets, and then melting them with heat and pressure. The molten material is injected into a mold that is held under high pressure. Once the plastic is cooled, the mold can be opened up and the parts are removed. Injection molding allows for many parts to be produced simultaneously. The process is fairly short, typically lasting at most 2 minutes, which allows for many parts to be made.

Types of CD Packaging

The compact disc, or CD as we call it, was introduced in 1982. This new technology allowed us to go from analog to digital recording capabilities. CD’s offer a much higher sound quality and storage capacity. They are also more durable and less susceptible to damage compared to cassette tapes and vinyl records. Although CD’s are becoming a less popular means of listening to music since places like iTunes exist, CDs are used for a variety of other things which means they still need secure packaging.

We are most familiar with the standard jewel case, but there are actually many different types of CD packaging. Below is an overview of the types of CD packaging:

Jewel case: This is the most popular and commonly used form of CD packaging. These cases are fitted with a molded, semi-rigid plastic insert that features a center hub to secure the CD and hold it in place. The case closes with a hinged door that is snapped into place. The cover of jewel cases have a slot for holding a booklet or artwork. The back is designed to hold a lining of artwork.

Slimline case: This type of CD case is half as thick as a standard jewel case. The front is similar, allowing for a booklet or artwork to be inserted. The back is a one-piece plastic tray. These cases are smaller and easier to ship.

Slim Double Case: This cases is basically like a standard jewel case, with the exception of the CD tray design. The CD tray is a slim double case and hinged near the spine. The way it is molded can hold a CD on each side.

Chubby CD Jewel Case: This case, also called the fatty case, is a way to hold multiple discs in one case. It has two clear sides to hold CD trays and each side is connected to a center section that may be molded to hold one or two additional CDs.

Digipak: This type is made of cardboard with a plastic molded tray attached to it. The cardboard case allows for screen printing and the interior sleeve has a place for a booklet to be inserted. Some digipaks have gatefold flaps that fold over to cover the CD from both sides.

FLPpak: This is a type of digipak but with added protection. A molded tray is attached to the cardboard backing. The bottom, top, and opening is protected with hard plastic. The opening edge has a hard plastic tab that is hinged to the back and snaps in place when closed.

Clamshell Cases: These cases are shaped just as their name, like a clamshell. They are a great way to protect CDs. They hold CDs snugly and keep them safe against scratches and damage.

Paper Sleeve: These sleeves have a clear plastic window and are the easiest as well as cheapest CD packaging. This type of CD packaging is commonly used for promotional and demo discs.

So there won’t be a test on these different types of CD packaging. But it is interesting to know there are more options than the standard jewel case.

Packaging Matters

You can package your product in a simple white paper sleeve or paperboard mailer and we can help you with that. There are lots of projects that this type of packaging is perfect for.

However when you are talking about products for the retail market, either on-line or at a bricks and mortar store, movie and music enthusiasts choose the physical product over a download for one reason… The Packaging.

The following is a short list of movie and music reviewers and their thoughts on the packaging and the value it adds:

Rev/Views DVD & Television blog

Review of the first season of the TV series “Chuck“:
“Now I am a bit of a packaging enthusiast, mostly because I feel I’ve invested money in purchasing DVDs and as such I want them to look nice on the shelf and work well.”

Creative Packaging Glastonbury DVDCreative Review blog

Review of “Glastonbury The Movie”:
“At a time when you can get online and simply download music and films, really it’s down to the packaging of albums and DVDs to make the tangible music or film product a viable option to the consumer.”

Pulse Wrestling blog

Review of the WWE “Randy Savage Ultimate Collection”:
“As someone who collects a lot of disc based stuff (hardcore video game collector here), I like it when the stuff occupying my shelf looks good.”

Creative Packaging Wilco CD AlbumMamaPop blog

Review of “Wilco (the album)”:
“certain bands, you need to buy the physical recording, because there’s packaging that speaks to what the album is and isn’t.”


Review of “Tipping Point”:
“To all those out there that would rather download a DH DVD than buy one you are going to miss out on some cool packaging and shame on you.”

Creative Packaging the Demon Hunter CD CaseBring on Mixed Reviews blog

Review of “The Dear Hunter”:
“The album’s packaging is also something to behold. The time and effort put into the old timey photos that double as track lyrics/notes, is simply amazing. If you have The Prize Fighter Inferno‘s album “My Brother’s Blood Machine” then you know what I am referring to, it returns my faith in the CD medium, where so many have abandoned it for hollow digital downloads.”

These are just some of many comments that prove that the packaging adds value to an album or movie.  You could decrease piracy and downloads by investing in custom packaging that is creative and eye-catching.  By doing this, you are making the physical product of your album or movie a must-have for every fan.

New Multi-Disc CD Cases!

Are you in the middle of spring cleaning and need to create more space? If you have a large music collection, your jewel cases can take up a lot of room. One way to condense a large CD collection into a smaller sapce is by using multi-disc cases.

Also, with so many people living life on the go, they want to be able to take their CD’s with them witstock multi-disc 16 cd dvd casehout having to worry about the discs or the cases being ruined.

Portability and durability are important to find in a CD case, while still being able to have a professional look.

We are now offering multi-disc CD cases that take up less space than individual jewel cases and are also more convenient to carry.

These black cases snap shut like a DVD case and feature an outside clear overlay to display cover artwork. And you can’t go wrong by saving space with a 16-disc CD case that takes up the same room as three standard sized jewel cases or six slim jewel cases.

By having a durable case that can hold multiple discs, you can take your CD’s with you wherever you go. And when you eventually put them away, you’ll have room to collect even more!

Happy Birthday CD!

Yesterday marked the 30th birthday of the Compact happy 30th birthday cdDisc. On March 8th, 1979, Royal Philips Electronics exhibited a prototype of what we now know as the CD. Since then, over 240 billion CDs have been sold. The introduction of the CD also paved the way for videogame discs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs.

To celebrate this historic landmark, IEEE, the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology, presented Philips with the IEEE Milestone Award for their role in the development of the CD.

The CD was truly a revolutionary idea. Not only are CDs much smaller than their predecessor, the cassette tape, they are more convenient and have a much higher quality cd disc birthdayplayback. They completely transformed the way audio, video, and computing was done.

Although some believe that CDs are being pushed out of the way for digital files and mp3s, CDs have brought us a long way and aren’t disappearing yet. Many prefer having a physical disc, rather than storing everything on the computer. And don’t forget about videogames, DVDs, and the new Blu-Ray format. The world is not letting go of discs anytime soon. So to this we say, “Happy Birthday CD!”

Choosing a CD/DVD Case

You know that you need cases to package and store your CDs or DVDs, but do you know which case is the best fit for your needs? We came up with a few questions to help you analyze your situation, in order to determine which case is the best fit for you:

Are you looking for a standard size case to match the rest on the shelf or are you attempting to save space?

If you want your case to be the same size as a standard DVD case, there are a few options available for you:

  • Premium Quality. If you are lookingstock premium black dvd cases for a durable case that will last, the premium quality DVD case is for you.  This case is available in black or white in either one or two disc capacities.  Black cases are also available in four disc capacity. White cases are perfect for Wii gaming discs or wedding DVDs.  These cases feature literature clips and a clear overlay to display your artwork.  If you are looking for strong cases that will protect your discs, stick with the premium quality DVD cases.
  • Standard Quality. If you are looking for a case offered at a lower cost, the standard quality case is for you. This black case is available in either one or two disc capacities and features literature clips and a clear overlay to display artwork.
  • Blu-Ray. The new Blu-Ray technology is a much higher quality than the standard format. This needs to be displayed in the packaging by making it obvious that it is a Blu-Ray disc and showing the higher quality. stock blu-ray caseIt is the norm to package Blu-Ray discs in blue cases, so it is important to follow the trend. This will help to avoid confusing customers, as well as have it match the rest of the Blu-Ray cases in their collection.

If you are looking towards saving space with a thinner CD/DVD case, there are even more options:

Are you looking for a case to store CDs or DVDs?stock jewel cases

  • CDs are typically packaged in jewel cases or paper sleeves. It would be best to stick with these techniques to avoid confusing the customers. These come in more of a square shape, rather than the taller DVD cases. The jewel cases are clear to display artwork and can come with either a clear or a black inner tray. The paper sleeves have a clear acetate window to display thestock slim clear dvd cases disc and a flap to keep it from falling out.
  • If you are looking for a space-saving way to package and store your DVDs, there are clear, slim DVD cases in one or two disc capacities that are 7mm thick. If you are looking for an even smaller case, try stock slim clamshell cshell dvd casesclam-shells and square-shells, which are clear and only 4.2mm thick. Artwork can be displayed through all of these clear cases. Paper sleeves could also be used for DVDs if you are looking for your packaging to be especially thin.

Know what you want, but don’t know where you can get it? Sunrise Packaging now offers all of these styles of CD/DVD packaging! Visit our stock CD/DVD products page for more information or go to