darkHouse Multimedia



If you are commissioning or collaborating on producing artwork you will need to observe certain technical specifications to get the best results for any printed artwork. Below are some guidelines and things which will help you with this. Please use them and feel free to direct others to them. If you have any questions, just ask us.


There is a big difference between what looks good on screen and what looks good when printed. Your screen resolution is usually 72dpi (dots per inch). This is not a high enough resolution to achieve good quality print. To ensure acceptable print quality, artwork or photographs need to be supplied/created at 300dpi, at actual size. Enlargement introduces loss of quality, so artwork and photos need to be at the physical dimensions you need (or larger), at 300 dpi (or higher) in the first place.


If you are supplying any elements for artwork the files should be PC (not Mac) format, and ideally one of the following:

  • TIF (same as TIFF - PC byte order)
  • PSD (Photoshop - PC format)
  • JPG (same as JPEG) - but use MAX quality - JPEG always compresses and therefore reduces image quality even on max settings so use an uncompressed format like TIFF ideally

If you want to use a different format to supply your artwork, please ask us first whether we can accept it.

CD Artwork - Notes on design briefs

Below are guidelines for you to follow when deciding what you want to include in your CD artwork. For smoothest and quickest results, please work through them as a list of questions/pointers and prepare the text and resources necessary and then we can put a brief together from there. By all means drop us a line to talk about your design in terms of the artistic content first, but you will need to think through these points in order to set the brief, so please feel free to copy them into a doc or email and work through them to send back to us.

CD booklet printing options - 2pp / 4ppFIRST STEPS

  • Firstly, it's best to choose a CD replication plant; we will need to work to their specific templates for print. If you're not sure where to start with that, we can probably recommend one, so just ask.
  • Decide on the packaging options you want - such as whether it is a jewel case with a booklet or a carboard sleeve, how many pages your booklet will have, etc. When thinking about CD booklets, '2pp' means 2 printed pages - but this really means a single-side print made into a single fold booklet. This will give you a front and back cover when folded but will be blank inside. '4pp' means a single fold booklet with all four faces printed (double-sided print).
  • Once you've decided on the plant and the packaging options you want, we can then get the correct templates/specs and begin the design brief and layouts.


  • We'll need some pointers for the overall design and style; please describe what you have in mind for your design, and ideally supply references (URLs to examples online are very useful) wherever possible of things you like / dislike and tell us why
  • NOTE ON IMAGES: * All supplied images need to be at least 300dpi - uncompressed format is best such as TIFF, EPS, PDS, or MAX quality JPG at least at actual size or larger
  • NOTE ON TEXT: ** Please supply text electronically as text (i.e. not as images or handwritten) thanks


  • Any image(s) to be supplied or sourced? If supplying please ensure copyright clearance, and quality*
  • Title of work?
  • Name of artist?
  • Any specific fonts/logos? (please supply* if necessary)
  • Anything else on the front cover?


  • Number of booklet pages?
  • Song titles? Please supply list in correct order
  • Lyrics? Please supply with titles as text (proof-read first!)
  • Contributors to be listed? (performers, writers, etc)
  • Credits, thanks, etc?
  • Any Copyright info? (see entry below in Back Cover)
  • Any Photos/Images?*
  • Any Contact info?
  • Anything else inside the cover/booklet?

BACK COVER (Traycard):

  • Is it an extension of the front cover or a seperate item in terms of design? Wrap-around images need to be sourced/supplied large enough for this purpose*
  • Track listing on the back? Please supply titles in correct order
  • Title of the work on the back?
  • Name of the artist on the back?
  • Catalogue number (XYZCD001 etc) on the back?
  • Record label name/logo* on the back?
  • Publisher name/logo* on the back?
  • Web address(es) on the back?
  • Email address(es) on the back?
  • Credits on the back?
  • © Copyright info and date for the work? Standard format is: © [Year] [Copyright Owner Name] All rights reserved... etc. Please specify text for this
  • Barcode on the back? If needed, you will need to obtain one from an issuing authority and supply in correct size and format.
  • Anything else on the back?


  • Title of work
  • Artist name
  • Catalogue number (XYZCD001 etc)?


  • RE Design elements - is it a continuation of cover theme or seperate design idea?
  • Title of work on the CD?
  • Artist name on the CD?
  • Track listing on the CD?
  • © Copyright info and date for the work? Standard format is: © [Year] [Copyright Owner Name] All rights reserved... etc. Please specify text for this
  • Compact Disc logo on the CD? (this should only be placed on proper Red Book standard CDs)
  • Catalogue number (XYZCD001 etc) on the CD?
  • Record label name/logo* on the CD?
  • Publisher name/logo* on the CD?
  • Web address(es) on the CD?
  • Email address(es) on the CD?
  • Anything else on the CD?

Those are the main items to consider, based on a standard jewel case and booklet packaging style. If you have a simple card wallet in mind, obviously some of that stuff will not be relevant to you. Please have a think through these items though, and make a list of what you need at the start.

Sending Files

You can send us your artwork on CD-R, or alternatively, you can email files up to about 10Mb, or if neccessary for large files you want to transfer digitally, we can set up FTP access for you - please enquire if you need this. There are also some free file transfer sites like YouSendIt which are easy to sign up for and use, but please let us know you are intending to send files before you do so, thanks.