CD Label Template

Having used PageStream to create the actual PageStream CD labels, let me tell you how I did it. You will (eventually) find the final template for the generic CD Labels that I use attached to this article.

The basic design is to create a master page that shows the location of the labels on the paper with non-printing guide lines on the page. Further, since the basic shape of the CD label is round but the average picture is square, a need exists to crop out the extra data to save ink used to print color labels. Really pretty simple.

Start with a new document with the same page dimensions as the label paper. On the master page draw circles who's size and location match the location of the CD labels on the paper. If your label paper includes any extra labels, draw boxes to match the location of those extra labels as well. The fill of these objects should be turned off, and the outline should be a solid black hairline stroke or the color of your choice. Before disabling the printing of these guide lines, print the master page out on regular paper and compare it to the labels to verify placement.

Once the guide marks match the label paper, select those objects on the master page and suppress the printing of those items by clicking on the Printer icon in the Edit Palette to turn off printing of those marks. They will still guide you in the placement of objects on the pages of the document, but will not actually mark the page. The reason you can't print them is that the sheet feed mechanism of most printers is imprecise. It will actually print in slightly different locations each time based on the alignment of the paper. Usually this misalignment is less than 1/16 of an inch, but that is enough to show your guides on at least one side of the actual label if you were to allow them to be printed.

The next step is to create a mask that will cover anything that extends outside of the labels to prevent excessive waste of ink. Begin by drawing a box that starts in the upper left hand corner of the page, and ends in the lower right corner of the page. Then draw a circle around the outside of each of the CD labels. The circles should be just a little bigger than the CD label guides. About .1” should be enough, but more may be needed if your printer is more imprecise than most. Do the same for any additional label guides that exist, drawing over sized boxes around those label guides. With the Object tool, select all those over sized boxes and circles and the full page box. By selected Merge Paths from the Object menu you will create a single mask path who's shape is the inverse of the labels. Finally, set the fill of the mask to white, and turn off the stroke. Last by not least, create circles inside the inner CD label guide, but in this case a little smaller than the inner CD label guide. Set these circles to white fill with no stroke and the masks are done!

Now if you turn back to the first page of the document, you will see the label marks, and the rest of the page should be masked to white. Select Edit Page from the Layout menu, and set the master page to Display in Front. This will cause the white path mask to print over any objects you place on the page. Now is a good time to make a template from this document. Just choose Save As Template from the File menu. When you go to reload this document at a later time, PageStream will forget where the template was loaded from so as to reduce the chance that you will save a modified version of the template over the original template.

Now design your CD labels, and remember to leave important parts of your design well enough inside the labels that any misalignment will not cause those elements to be printed off the label.

If you don't need to print edge to edge of the label, the mask is really not needed, but the ability to print edge to edge is well worth the effort. The basic concepts are useful in any label design, and while the task is not difficult with PageStream, a little effort up front can produce very professional labels. If you create a label template for a different label set that the one I created, please share it!

 

CD Label Template  Index  url:PGSdgallery/cdtemplate
  created:2006-06-19 14:48:21   last updated:2006-08-19 13:46:06
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