Document 041802 Revised 4/17/02 AMERICAN MEDIA INTERNATIONAL General Information on Compact Disc Screen Printing Screen printing was invented centuries ago by the Chinese, and while today’s CD screen printing is considered “high tech”, the technique has shown very little improvement through the ages. Screen printing on the CD is the method preferred by both manufacturers and consumers, yet it results in many differences in the perceived color when compared to the offset printing on paper to which we are accustomed. Some of the characteristics of screen printing, in comparison with the more advanced offset printing process on paper, are: consistency, color variation, lack of detail, and loss of overall contrast. Consistency Slight variations that sometime affect clarity and color of the CD are caused by the squeegee, which spreads the ink in screen printing. The squeegee rubs on, and forces ink through the open areas of the screen every time a disc is printed, resulting in a certain amount of wear on the contacting surfaces. The longer the screen is used, the more change in the amount of ink transferred to the CD. Color Variation Screen printing on the plastic surface of the disc can result in a slight variation from the color on your proof printed on paper. You will normally expect +/- a half-shade deviation between printing on paper and printing on a disc. Since no ink is completely opaque, the reflectivity and color over which it is applied affects the final appearance. There are different areas on the surface of a CD which may be printed on with the following characteristics: • Clear Plastic around the center hole – Ink becomes more transparent, and the ink color has a tendency to lose intensity. • Metalized Data area – The reflection of the metal produces a shiny, metallic look when printing process halftones. A color change may occur when printing a solid ink. • Metalized Mirror Band between Data and Clear – Slight change may occur in the color appearance. Some of the differences caused by printing on the various disc surfaces can be eliminated by printing a white base coat, sometime referred to as a white donut. The white base creates an even, opaque background appearance resulting in the final color looking closer to the original color specified. Ink colors in halftones will be altered if the white solid base is not used. Colors that are overprinted also may not reproduce accurately. Keep in mind that colors on the CD derived from halftones can vary from the solid colors on paper they were intended to match. In order to optimize the match to a solid color on paper, the use of a standard solid color on the CD is recommended. Gradual fading of halftones is not recommended and should be avoided because of dot gain and tonal jump. Dot gain occurs when ink dots print larger than they should and begin to blend together. The result of dot gain is darker tones and stronger colors. Likewise, dot loss can occur in lighter tones and the result is less fading from the color to white or silver. Tonal jump is the appearance of very pronounced rows of dots when trying to fade from light tones to heavy tones. Line Width – Minimum of 0.6 points – Includes lines in fonts, logos, and placed images. Reversed Line Width – Minimum of 1.3 points – Width of line knocked out to silver or background color of the disc. Film Density – Degree of darkness (opacity) of photographic images – If the emulsion is not dense enough, light will pass through it making the resulting color lighter. Trap – Minimum of 2 points – Printing ink over previously printed ink. A lighter color spread usually goes under the images that are printed last or in a darker color. Trapping is also used to describe the very slight overlapping of adjacent colors to prevent metal from showing around the edges. Tonal Range – Measurement of the screen value in any particular place. A screen value of less than 15% usually will be lost in printing. A screen value higher than 85% usually will print solid. This also can occur in halftones, graduated fades, and solid screen backgrounds. Halftone – A halftone is color or black dots on a background. For example: the white areas would be the white ink background, the black areas would have a full flood of black ink; and the gray areas would have black ink dots, not gray ink dots. The halftone uses dots to simulate the tones between light and dark; the darker images have bigger dots and the lighter images have smaller dots. The amount of background colored area between the rows of dots creates a halftone or screened area. Lines/Inch (LPI) • LPI – Silk Screen Printing - Must be 85 – 133 • LPI – Offset Printing - Must be l50 Moiré – A pattern caused by printing several repetitive patterns on top of each other. It is easily demonstrated by holding a screen on top of another screen and looking through both. As the angle of the screens to each other is varied, moiré patterns are formed. In four-color process printing, four screens of colored dots print on top of each other. If the angles of each of the screens of the four colors are not properly aligned with each other, an undesirable, blurry pattern called “moiré” appears in the final image. The term is from the watery or wavy pattern seen on moiré silk. Suggested Screen Printing Angle Yellow 0 Degrees_____________ Cyan 75 Degrees or l5 Degrees Magenta 45 Degrees or 45 Degrees Black 15 Degrees or 75 Degrees To minimize printing problems and potential rejection during film inspection, please follow printing specifications in the AMI booklet. Please include a hard copy proof with your order. Be sure your job identifies your file name for easy film identification. Printing Tips You are responsible for your own designs; however, the following guidelines will be helpful in providing you with the best results for your job. Font Size (size of text) – Minimum of 6 points for positive printing Reversed Font Size (size of text knocked out to silver or disc background color) – Minimum of 8 points bold or 12 points regular – Fonts smaller than this have a tendency to close as the ink spreads. Reversed Font on Halftone Size (size of text knocked out on halftone in background) – Minimum of 8 points bold Keep in mind the lines/inch in preparing your artwork. Customer’s Acknowledgment: Date: Please sign and return to Fax 336-228-1409.