FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

MonotypePressing FAQ cd production icon
MonotypePressing FAQ cassette production icon
MonotypePressing FAQ vinyl production icon
MonotypePressing FAQ production icon
MonotypePressing FAQ printing icon
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CD PRODUCTION

We need music, label (CD imprint) and cover artwork, if it’s part of your order.

CD replication involves producing a glass master and stamper from your digital data, followed by pressing the discs using the stamper. In contrast, CD duplication involves utilizing blank, recordable discs (CDRs or DVDRs) and employing a laser to imprint the information onto them.

At MonotypePressing, we offer glass-mastered replicated CDs, starting from 50 copies, to provide our customers with durable, high-quality audio CD and DVD releases.

The content of a CD/DVD should be delivered digitally in DDP 2.0 format with MD5 checksum or traditionally on a CD-R/DVD-R disc (2 copies). If unable to provide a DDP for CD production, we can create a DDP 2.0 image from .wav or .aiff files for an additional fee. ISO and NRG formats are also accepted (excluding DVD formats).

Disc Description Protocol (DDP) is a format for specifying the content of optical discs, including CDs and DVDs. DDP is commonly used for delivery of disc premasters for duplication and must contain 4 parts: 1) Audio image(s) (.DAT file(s)) 2) DDP Identifier (DDPID) 3) DDP Stream descriptor (DDPMS) 4) Subcode descriptor (PQDESCR). An optional text file can also be included, this will contain the track titles and timings.

Yes, we can create a DDP 2.0 image from .wav, .aiff files upon the client’s special request, and for an additional fee.

The accepted files are .wav and .aiff only (.mp3 is not accepted as using this format is against your interest).

The files should be named in such a way that the computer browser can line them up alphabetically in the correct sequence. For instance: 01 02 03 04 05, etc. Thus, when you put your files into one folder, everybody will know the right order.

The names of all the files, including the main folder, should not contain diacritic characters.

CD-TEXT may be added to a DDP file on request. The ordering party should provide a text document that may include these elements: the author, the album title, the track title, ISRC code, UPC/EAN code. All these elements are optional; therefore, the request may only contain the first three.

Adding breaks or any other interference into the material should be arranged between the client and MonotypePressing.

Yes, but if you do, please, confirm the address to send these to, and later provide us with a tracking number (unregistered shipping is at your own risk). Inform us in advance – when shipping from outside the European Union, you are obliged to pay customs fees.

All masters sent on CD-R/DVD-R medium should be production-ready and edited exactly as expected to work in the final product. The image on DVD-Rs should be burnt to the disc’s main sector. DVD-R DL is an acceptable medium for DVD 9 production.

All masters must be of the best quality, free of physical damage, errors etc. All masters should be adequately protected against possible damage during transportation, dirt, etc. Defective masters or those that do not meet the recommended specifications may incur delays and change the process of possible complaints handling.

Replicas can be used as masters provided they are not copy-protected.

The Philips Red Book specifies that CD recordings should not exceed 74 min and 44 s. Most (not all) CD audio players support long-play discs, up to 80 min. However, not all players will work properly with discs longer than 78 minutes. If the optimal time of 78 minutes is exceeded, we reserve the right to refuse a complaint concerning the sound quality or proper functioning of the discs.

DVD-5 – 4,7 GB max

DVD-9 – 8,54 GB max

DVD-10 – 2 x 4,7 GB max

Yes, you can ask for a custom matrix name on the disc. The number of marks on a matrix cannot exceed 110 characters (including spaces) and can only consist of ASCII characters (excluding ampersand or punctuation marks).

Yes, we can do it for an additional fee. Please, describe precisely where the numbering should be and what it should look like. We can use pens in various colours (e.g. white, black, silver, gold) and thicknesses – please specify what your expectations are.

  1. For a standard CD with covers: ca. 15 working days,
  2. For a standard CD without covers: ca. 10 working days.

The turnaround is counted from the moment we receive the payment and your approval of artwork files (using previews sent by mail) and proofs (if ordered), assuming the master audio you sent does not include any errors.

The following timeframes are tentative and may be affected by the type of production ordered.

Please note that we do not work during weekends and Polish national holidays, and from 24th December to 7th January we have a maintenance break – those days are not counted as working days and are not part of the turnaround.

The CD production has a tolerance of -/+ 5%, ie. you may receive slightly more or slightly fewer discs (but no more than 5% of the overall quantity).

CD Text and metadata are not the same thing.

CD-Text is information that can be embedded on a DDP or CD-R master for CD production. It can only be displayed by CD players and software that support CD-Text (e.g. car stereos and high-end home CD players).

On the other hand, metadata is a collection of information (such as song titles, artist name, album name, cover art.) that appears in the music playback software on your computer. For this to happen, however, the audio CD must be registered with Gracenote (for iTunes support) and All Music (for Windows Media Player support).

CASSETTE PRODUCTION

For cassette production, you will need the following materials: music in .wav format along with a .md5 file, cassette label print, J-card/O-card artwork file, and for example download codes if they are part of your order. Please visit our Useful Information section for more details.

We only accept music in .wav files with a 44.1 KHz sampling frequency and 16-bit depth. Please note that .mp3 format is not accepted, as using it is against your interest. Each side of the cassette should be supplied as a single file (two files per double-sided cassette). Additionally, all files should have an MD5 checksum attached. Failure to provide the MD5 checksum may result in difficulties filing a complaint if any problems with the end product arise.

If the delivered master is divided into individual tracks, the engineering studio will charge an additional fee to prepare new single-side files by merging the individual files. In this case, please send us a tracklist document. Ensure that all tracks are named alphabetically and in the correct sequence, with the letter representing the side name and the number indicating the subsequent track (e.g., A_01, A_02, B_01, B_02). Proper pauses should be included in the audio material itself.

Before supplying the master, it is your responsibility to check its sound quality, identify potential errors, verify the track sequence, and ensure the integrity of the audio material.

Audio masters can be supplied in one of two ways:

The mastered files should be sent to monotypepressing.wetransfer.com, or the link to the files should be pasted in the “Additional Comments” section in the order form.

When sending audio material this way, please note it must be compressed (e.g., as a ZIP file) and it has an MD5 checksum attached.

An MD5 checksum file is used to verify the integrity of digital data. It ensures that a file has been correctly transferred from one computer to another. There are various programs available for both Mac and PC that can generate MD5 checksum files, such as MD5summer, Sophos, PowerShell, Hash Generator, MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility, and others. If the customer notices errors that may have occurred during the file transfer but did not attach an MD5 checksum to the files, any claims regarding such errors will not be considered.

If the delivered master is divided into individual tracks, the engineering studio will charge an additional fee to prepare new single-side files by merging the individual tracks. In this case, please provide a cassette tracklist document. Ensure that all individual tracks are named alphabetically and in the correct sequence, with the letter representing the side name and the number indicating the subsequent track (e.g., A_01, A_02, B_01, B_02). Proper pauses should be included in the audio material itself.

The maximum length of one side of the cassette is 45 minutes and must not be exceeded. Side A should be slightly longer than side B; otherwise, we won’t be able to duplicate the material. If side A is shorter, you will need to add the necessary amount of silence to match side B. If you are unable to do so, the engineering studio can do it for you for an additional fee.

The length of the cassette is determined by the time of the longer side multiplied by 2. For example, if the material lasts up to 15 minutes, you should choose C-30.

Although not mandatory, we strongly recommend ordering test cassettes. Test cassettes serve the purpose of checking the quality of the master tape. Test cassettes are primarily used to identify major defects such as loud clicks, crackles, pops, or any other audible flaws. Analog cassettes convey a certain type of sound different from digital media, and test cassettes may exhibit some additional noise. Once approved, we can proceed with high-quality duplication to ensure a perfect finished product.

Please be aware that the test cassettes come in standard black shells without any on-body printing. Their sole purpose is to verify audio quality.

  1. For a standard order (black, white & transparent tape shells) without test cassettes: approximately 12-15 working days.
  2. For an order (black, white & transparent tape shells) with test cassettes: approximately 5-7 working days, then an additional 12-15 working days from the moment of confirmation.
  3. For both options: an additional 5-7 working days for cassettes with UV LED print.

The turnaround time starts from the moment we receive the payment and your approval of artwork files (using previews sent by mail) and proofs (if ordered). Please ensure that the master audio you sent does not include any errors. Please note that these timeframes are tentative and may vary depending on the type of production ordered.

Please be aware that we do not work during weekends and Polish national holidays. Additionally, from 24th December to 7th January, we have a maintenance break, during which those days are not counted as working days and are not part of the turnaround time.

Yes, you can send additional components for your production. However, please confirm the address to which these components should be sent and provide us with a tracking number for the shipment. Please note that unregistered shipping is at your own risk. If you are shipping from outside the European Union, you are responsible for paying any customs fees.

UV printing is a digital printing technique similar to ink printing, but with the difference that the prints are fixed with UV light. The print is hardened, leaving a thin layer of coloured and durable plastic on the surface of the material. As a result, the print may have a delicate rough structure. In areas where there is more paint or dark colours, the print may appear more convex.

Due to the special forms required for UV printing, slight shifts and uneven spreading of the paint are possible. Each print may slightly differ from the others, and ink traces may also appear on the edges and even on the tape if the cassettes are fully printed. If you prefer sharp contours, you may consider tampography as an alternative to UV printing.

Please note that in UV printing, it is not possible to use colours from the Pantone palette. We use 4 colours (CMYK) with a white undercoat or only a white undercoat for printing.

Please find more details & examples of different printing methods in our cassettes catalogue.

Pad printing (tampography) involves transferring an image onto a photosensitive plate using a silicone pad and then applying it to the cassette shell. It is important to note that tonal transitions cannot be achieved through pad printing, so the project should be prepared in 100% black (K).

Keep in mind that pad printing is a manual process, and minimal image shifts of approximately 2mm to the left, right, up, or down are possible.

Please find more details & examples of different printing methods in our cassettes catalogue.

The minimum order quantity is 50 pieces.

Cassette production has a tolerance of -/+ 5%. This means that you may receive slightly more or fewer items, but the quantity will not deviate by more than 5% from the overall quantity ordered.

VINYL PRODUCTION

We need music along with the tracklist/pressing specification, labels & cover artwork, DL codes, etc., if they are part of your order.

We only approve music in .wav files (along with the tracklist for metalworks) or on supplied lacquers. Mp3 format is not accepted – using it is against your interest!

Sampling frequencies and bit depths: 44.1 KHz (16, 24 bits); 48 KHz (16, 24 bits); 88 KHz 24 bits; 96 KHz 24 bits (on special request, we approve files of 192 KHz 24 bits.) The preferred files for vinyl are 24-bit single wav files for each side (2 files per single double-sided vinyl disc).

If you submit separate files, they should be named in such a way that the computer browser could line them up alphabetically in the correct sequence. For instance: A_01 A_02 B_01 B_02 C_01 C_02 D_01 D_02. This way, when you put your files into one folder, everybody would know the right order and which songs belong to side A, B, C, or D of your album. The names should not contain diacritic characters.

Please thoroughly check and label masters before sending them – the number of tracks, their order, titles, and times must be the same in the description of all components – master, label, printing files. Folders and files transmitted via the Internet must be clearly marked, indicating the information regarding the component they are including. The information about the sent materials via courier or transmitting them by the Internet must be provided to the Sales Department of MonotypePressing. Any claims relating to the final product, caused by errors and defects of source materials, will not be considered.

We can print Pantone labels on request, but we can’t say that we recommend this solution. It does happen that during the pressing process, under the influence of high temperature, the Pantone colours on the labels lose their saturation and fade, therefore the final result may not be as expected. For this technological reason, we do not recommend Pantone labels. If you decide to choose it, please acknowledge that you do it at your own risk and the change of Pantone colour on the label due to heat will not be subject to complaint.

In addition, the pressing plant has the right to refuse to use Pantone on labels in some cases.

Although it is not required, we strongly recommend ordering test pressing. The primary goal of doing test pressing is to check the quality of the plates from the cut DMMs/lacquers. The plating is the most expensive part of the record pressing process. Before we move into production, we want to give you the opportunity to request changes or to supply a new master and order new plates if the error was not on the plant’s side.

The purpose of test pressing is to listen out for any MAJOR defects such as skips, loud pops, or any other audible flaws. Fortunately or not, vinyl is an organic medium that conveys a certain type of sound, different from digital media.

Upon approval of the test pressing, we start working on a record in terms of high-quality pressings.

Please note that test pressing can often be noisier and sometimes slightly warped or in a different colour, owing to the limited press of 5-10 tests we run.

Technically speaking, the procedure of processing lacquers is more complicated than DMM and involves a three-step galvanic process. The first step is cutting the lacquer disc, which is used to make subsequent metal copies. The next generations are called father (negative), mother (positive), and at the end, we get stampers (negative) used directly for pressing plates. The procedure of processing DMM is shortened – it bypasses the first stage of the galvanic process. The grooves are cut directly into the steel plates with a thin layer of copper, which act as a mother and is used to produce stampers.

The sound of lacquer is described as fuller, warmer, smoother, and more pleasant to the ear, while the DMM is more precise, with sharper transients and brighter, with a more defined frequency response in the top end.

You can choose from several different colours. Check the available record compound colours in our vinyl catalogue.

First of all, when deciding on one of the non-standard colour versions, please send us a complete set of reference materials (mock-up, example pictures, and colour codes from our record compounds catalogue) to be used for your release. After reviewing it, our sales department will advise you about the possibilities and best solutions.

Secondly, it’s important to remember that such products are mostly made by hand and that the result is not repeatable – the process involves mixing multiple colours of PVC together, which can only be controlled to a certain degree. Therefore, the final result is also predictable only to a certain extent – some pieces will look as expected, while others will be significantly different (even though the colour compounds and technology were the same). This is why no guarantees can be given regarding the resemblance of the final pressing to the mock-ups or provided examples; rather than that, one thing is sure – the results will be surprising, and each copy will have a unique look.

If you want to receive more information about the available options, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please note that due to limited access to certain PVC colour versions, the turnaround is set individually.

Yes, custom colour versions might slightly alter the sound. Please find more information about it in our vinyl catalogue.

Yes, if you can provide a mock-up or reference pictures, please do it. This way we will be able to try to bring the end result closer to your vision. However, if you don’t have any reference materials and decide not to send them, that’s fine too – although we might not incorporate your vision into the production, we will still execute it with artistry, our best intentions, and experience.

The files should be submitted with a filled-out Vinyl Master Specifications for Lacquer Cutting tracklist document. Such a tracklist determines the positioning of VTMs – the Visual Track/Time Marker – the “visual” breaks between tracks on the record (in the form of a widened groove). By standard, VTMs are placed on every vinyl production. If the customer does not want to place VTMs, it should be noted in the order form.

Please note: Pauses between tracks should be included in the sent files (they should be built into the audio material). VTMs do not cause any breaks in the audio signal. Uninterrupted music will play over them.

Playback conditions worsen when closer to the centre of a record. Therefore, it’s advisable to position important works closer to the outer edge of the disc. The playback quality is least favourable for a 7″ diameter format, recorded at 33⅓ RPM, as the linear speed of the record decreases when the needle stylus approaches the centre. This decrease in linear speed affects the sound and results in a degradation of high frequencies, causing a change in their characteristics. Ultimately, the quality of playback will heavily rely on the technical capabilities of the playback devices.

12-inch vinyl records:
33⅓ rpm – recommended/optimal 19:30 min. per side (max length: 23:00 min. per side)*
45 rpm – recommended/optimal 12:00 min, per side (max length: 14:30 min. per side)*

10-inch vinyl records:
33⅓ rpm – recommended/optimal 13:30 min. per side
45 rpm – recommended/optimal 10:00 min. per side

7-inch vinyl records:
33⅓ rpm – 6:40 min. per side*
45 rpm – 5:00 min. per side*

* – if the optimal time is exceeded, we reserve the right to refuse a complaint concerning the sound quality

For the best possible sound quality, we recommend ordering records cut at 45 rpm.

When the playback length of the side for the ordered format is out of the recommended values, it is necessary to lower the cutting level – the record will be quieter. However, a short playback length doesn’t mean that it is possible to increase the level over technical limits, which arise from groove geometry, parameters of the playback systems, and limiting values of the cutting device.

Yes, but the possibility of pressing material beyond the maximum length per side largely depends on the sound material involved. If you describe your situation to us, we will try to provide a specific answer regarding its feasibility.

Records cut at higher speeds generally sound better. This is because at higher speeds the sound waves are longer, and the risk of distortion, noise, and other sonic artifacts is lower. We recommend that you use 45 rpm speed if the record you want to press matches this option.

If the order form does not state otherwise, we presume that the client desires the sound of the pressed vinyl to closely match the delivered master. Therefore, we make every effort to achieve a result that stays true to the original sound, within the limits of the technology.

However, any modifications or alterations to the material, such as adding pauses or equalizing pauses, must be explicitly agreed upon with MonotypePressing. If the order form lacks any information regarding such alterations, the material will be pressed based on the original files submitted by the client.

Yes, but only in a narrow range, e.g. using de-esser, stereo limitation, EE, HP, and LP filters.

The loudness of the manufactured records may vary. This depends on two factors: the length of the material and the amount of treble present. If the material’s length does not exceed the recommended limit for a particular format, the volume level should remain consistent with the master. However, if the material contains a substantial amount of treble, it might be necessary to reduce the volume level to prevent distortion.

First and foremost, the possibility of a loud cut depends on the characteristics of the sound material. Secondly, we refrain from applying any compression. Our approach involves a careful examination to achieve the loudest possible cut without compromising the upper band’s integrity or causing harm to the equipment. To achieve this, we select an appropriately thick groove to ensure smooth playback without any needle jumps.

The spacing between grooves has a significant impact on the sound quality. Increasing the spacing artificially can have adverse effects on the upper band, leading to a reduction in linear velocity as the recording radius decreases. Ideally, more material should be cut on the outer radius to optimize the record’s performance. Our default approach is to maintain balanced values, ensuring even material distribution on both sides. However, we are flexible and can accommodate client requests to either tighten or stretch the record based on their preferences.

The maximum level of the digital source signal should not exceed 0.0 dB True Peak. Note that the True Peak Level is not the Peak Level.

Both ends of the audible bandwidth (below 30 Hz and above 18 KHz) should be kept at a decent level (not exceeding the rest of the audible spectrum). One should also realize that the bandwidth of high frequencies is limited toward the end of a disc side, especially on 7’’ discs played with 33⅓ RPM. This phenomenon is inevitable and cannot be avoided by using pre-emphasis / de-emphasis means.

The stereo correlation should stay below 90% for optimal results. A correlation of 0% indicates a mono signal, while 180% implies an anti-phase signal. Specifically, for the bandwidth below 200 Hz, a narrower correlation is preferred, and below 100 Hz, it should be 0% (mono). Deviating from these specifications may lead to unwanted clicks, crackles, and distortions.

Firstly, it is crucial to avoid excessive levels of sibilants (such as: sss, shhh, zzzz, etc.) and upper band contents (like hi-hats) in the audio intended for vinyl. These elements can lead to cross-modulation effects, resulting in distortion and an unstable stereo image during playback. To ensure optimal sound quality, it is highly recommended to use de-essers and other tools during the pre-mastering process to maintain these sounds at a balanced level.

Secondly – it is strongly recommended not to overdose the usage of maximizers during the pre-mastering process. The loudness level of -10 dB LUSF seems to be enough for a really loud undistorted vinyl.

Keep in mind that the process of cutting and reproducing vinyl is inherently analogue, introducing its unique non-linear distortion to the sound. As a result, certain non-linear effects may take on new, sometimes unpredictable characteristics on vinyl. Being aware of this factor is vital when preparing the audio for vinyl production.

No, labels are necessary for the records to maintain the correct geometry.

Yes, we offer the option to request a personalized matrix name on the disc. It’s important to note that the number of characters should not exceed 60. For the exact cost of this alteration, please refer to the Additional Costs section on our website.

Absolutely. To proceed, kindly provide precise instructions on the specific location and format you desire for the numbering. As part of our standard practice, we utilize either a black or white pen of medium thickness, depending on the graphics. The availability of other colours will need to be verified.

For detailed pricing information regarding this service, please visit the Additional Costs section on our website, where you can find the exact cost associated with this customization.

Yes, but if you do, please notify us in advance and confirm the delivery address with us, and later provide us with a tracking number (unregistered shipping is not recommended). When shipping from outside the European Union, you are obliged to pay customs fees.

The minimum order quantity for vinyl pressing is 100 pieces.

The vinyl production has a tolerance of -/+ 5%, i.e. you may receive slightly more or slightly fewer items (but not exceeding 5% of the overall quantity).

The turnaround time is tentative and begins from the receipt of payment and your approval of artwork files (using previews sent by mail) and proofs (if ordered), provided that the audio master delivered is error-free. However, please note that the actual turnaround time may vary depending on our current workload, market conditions, and other factors, potentially resulting in shorter or longer timelines. Additionally, please be aware that we do not operate during weekends and Polish national holidays. Furthermore, from 24th December to 7th January, we observe a maintenance break, during which these days are excluded from the calculation of the turnaround period.

The estimated total turnaround time will be specified in the order confirmation email. For any inquiries regarding this information, please feel free to also contact our customer service or Sales Department.

However, please note that the turnaround is tentative and subject to potential variations based on the specific type of records ordered. The actual timeline may also be influenced by our current workload, prevailing market conditions, and other factors, possibly leading to longer processing periods. To ensure accuracy, we advise against setting release dates until you have received the final production date, following the approval of test pressings.

No, it is not possible to choose between 140 and 180 gram weight in this case. Picture disc vinyl records are made with a single weight of 160-170 grams per record.

Yes, test pressing is indeed offered for picture disc vinyl orders as well. However, it’s important to note that the test pressing process for picture disc records differs due to their unique manufacturing method. Unlike standard records made from PVC granulate, picture disc records have distinct characteristics. The puck (core) of picture discs is composed of black PVC, while the playable grooved surface is a layer of clear PVC foil. Consequently, comparing sound characteristics between records produced entirely from PVC granulate and picture disc records is not possible. Hence, for picture disc orders, we provide test pressings featuring full white labels on both sides of the record.

PRODUCTION

When uploading the production materials, please consider the following:

  • Send the materials only after placing the order.
  • Upload a complete set of materials in one upload.
  • Include only the materials that you want us to use for production. For example, if you send us a master audio in DDP format and want us to use it, do not include the master in WAV format. Similarly, if you send us an artwork correction, do not add the audio master.
  • Keep the names of the materials consistent with the name of the order.

Yes, you can send additional components physically. Please confirm the address to send them to and provide a tracking number. Note that unregistered shipping is at your own risk. If shipping from outside the European Union, you may be required to pay customs fees.

If the specifications are not met, the correction process may delay the start of manufacturing by the number of days needed to obtain the correct versions of the files.

To avoid unnecessary production delays, please provide us with the complete shipping address(es) for your production within 5 days after placing the order. Failure to do so may result in delays. Additionally, any additional elements added to the base order or changes in the shipping address may affect the turnaround time and result in a revised quote.

Double-check the product details in the order form and invoice when you receive them to ensure no discrepancies between your desired and requested items. Orders are manufactured based on the exact details submitted in the order form, and email exchanges serve only an advisory function.

When ordering an album that has been produced before, it’s important to clarify whether you’re requesting a repress or reissue.

  • Repress: In the case of a repress, both the source material and the specifications (format, printing details) must be identical to the original.
  • Reissue: A reissue is a variant of the original that may have different source material, packaging, and even format. Reissues often include additional stickers, inserts, or bonus tracks.

If you’re ordering a repress, specify how you understand the concept and indicate which parameters of the original order you would like to keep. If you want to make changes compared to the original order, clearly inform us about them. While we strive to produce represses identically to the original, please note that we work with materials currently available on the market, which may result in slight differences in the final product.

If you wish to make changes to your order, please do so before accepting the printing files and paying the pro forma invoice. Changes made after this point may not be possible or may incur an additional fee. Adding new elements to the base order or changing the shipping address may also affect the turnaround time and result in a revised quote.

No, expediting the production process by paying extra is impossible. Orders are processed in the order they were placed.

Production has a tolerance of -/+ 5%, which means you may receive slightly more or fewer items, but not exceeding 5% of the overall quantity.

Yes, you can cancel the order. However, please note that the costs of components already produced and work already done will be deducted from your refund.

PRINTING

Covers are printed using offset or digital printing. Our printers utilize their own ICC profiles, such as Fogra37 or Fogra39.

The cover is typically finished with matte or gloss foil or machine varnish. We do not apply any foil or varnish on reverse board covers (printed on the uncoated side of the cardboard.

It’s important to note that the finish may darken the project – matte foil reduces contrast, while gloss foil intensifies dark colours.

Artwork should be provided in PDF or TIFF formats, using CMYK or Pantone colour mode (no RGB), without template lines. We do not accept formats like PSD or JPG, as they are not in your best interest.

 

We conduct artwork checks regarding to:

File type (TIFF, PDF)
Colour mode (CMYK)
Design compatibility with our template (proper placement of spines, presence of bleeds)
Total ink amount (300%)
Resolution of print file (minimum 300 dpi)
Rasterization of gradients
Suitability of hot stamping/embossing/debossing/UV printing

We do not check the following issues:

Content correctness (e.g., typos, language usage)
Page orientation on templates
Correct page order
Flattening of transparency
Hidden layers
Size of letters/fonts/graphic elements (in terms of ink flooding)
Clearness/brightness of the artwork
Presence of overprint in the artwork
Bitmap resolution embedded in the file (must be 300 dpi)

These checks can be done for an additional fee.

Please consider the following points:

Use PDF 1.3 or TIFF format; JPG, PNG, or GIF formats are not accepted
Keep the total ink amount (CMYK) up to 300% on coated paper and 260% on reverse board
Ensure a minimum ink amount of 6%; anything below won’t be visible in print
Consider ink contrast for dark elements; what is visible on the screen may not be visible in print
Remember that the image on the screen appears brighter than in print
Use letters larger than 6 points; below that size, sharpness may be compromised, especially for Thin or Light fonts
Use CMYK colour mode; if using Pantone colours, specify the numbers used
Do not embed ICC profiles
Make sure the artwork fits the template; use our provided templates or contact us for custom templates
Add 3mm bleeds around the artwork
Flatten transparency
Rasterize gradients
For hot stamping/embossing/debossing/spot UV, use vectors on a separate PDF page, marked as an additional colour or 100% K
Ensure a minimum thickness of 0.3mm for hot stamping lines
Delete the template layer, leaving only artwork and crop marks
Bitmaps should be at 300 DPI
Keep in mind that finishing processes may slightly alter colours: matte foil reduces contrast, while glossy foil darkens colours

Before sending us the files for printing, please use the following checklist:

Use the correct template
Ensure correct page orientation (not upside down)
Check the correct page order for booklets or properly number files
Double-check cover text for typos (file changes after digital previews confirmation will incur an additional fee of 100 EUR for new exposure)
Ensure letters and objects (especially dots and thin lines) are large and thick enough for accurate printing
If you require precise colour representation, consider sending a print proof created using a professional, calibrated printer or including proof printing with your order (the proof will be shipped to you for colour assessment and confirmation prior to the main printing). CMYK proofs we offer are based on composite files, made according to the FOGRA 39 standard.
PANTONE colours are referenced to the PANTONE® pattern; values being compared to the proof.

Before sending us the file for CD imprint, please take note of the following guidelines:

  • We accept PDF files with a maximum version of 1.3, resolution of 300dpi, and CMYK colour mode.
  • Ensure that the fonts are embedded in the materials, and provide a minimum of 3mm bleed.
  • In the case of Pantone printing, please provide the exact Pantone number(s). The pricing may vary based on the quantity and different types of Pantone colours used.

For offset CMYK printing, it can be applied directly onto the disc’s surface or on a white pre-print background. Additional PANTONE® colours or varnish can be added to the project if desired.

Due to the transparency of black paint in the offset method, ultra-rich black areas in offset printing should be underlaid with CYAN 80%, MAGENTA 80%, and YELLOW 80% to ensure optimal results.

The minimum type size for text is as follows:

  • Sans-serif fonts: 4.5 point for positive (dark text on light background) and 5 point for negative (light text on dark background).
  • Serif fonts: 5.5 point for positive and 6 point for negative.

We offer two main printing techniques for CD labels: CMYK/offset and Pantone (screen-print). The cost is the same for CMYK or two standard Pantones and is already included in the production cost of the CDs.

You can choose to print directly on the “silver” surface of the disc or on a white base. The white base is free of charge and does not count as one of the screen-printed Pantone colours.

The choice between the two methods depends on the artwork. If your design is a colourful illustration, offset printing is recommended. However, if your artwork consists of solid colours, especially with large areas of a single colour, screen-printing is the best choice. Screen-printing provides sharper edges for letters, more uniform colours, and eliminates the risk of different shades.

To prepare a file with Pantone colours, you can follow these methods:

Set an additional colour to the desired Pantone using the colour Library in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign (check Pantone Solid Coated).

Set the file to grayscale, with the colour set as 100%K. Inform us of the desired Pantone number, and it will be printed accordingly.

Yes, you can send additional components for your production. However, please confirm the address to which these components should be sent and provide us with a tracking number for the shipment. Please note that unregistered shipping is at your own risk. If you are shipping from outside the European Union, you are responsible for paying any customs fees.

Although not required, we strongly recommend ordering CMYK proofs made on certified proofing paper.

Proofs serve as a colour reference guide for adjusting the machine and ensuring that both the client and printer are in agreement on the desired outcome before final printing.

The primary role of a proof is to prevent and address unforeseen problems with text, images, colours, spacing, and other design elements before printing. It allows for identification and correction of print quality problems in advance, saving time and avoiding the expense of a reprint.

It’s important to note that digitally printed proof serves as a colour reference, but it is not a test print in the offset printing method. The proof is printed on white paper, which may cause slight colour differences compared to the final product printed on other kinds of cardboard. Additionally, finishes such as matt or gloss lamination/varnish or printing on the reverse board can also affect the colours of the final product.

For digital printing (less than 300 copies for digipack and ecopack covers), instead of a proof, you will receive one test print on the machine used for the main production. Please be aware that the test print will not be laminated/varnished like the end product and this kind of finishing also affects the printed colours.

Yes, you will receive PDF previews shortly after placing the order and submitting a complete set of materials. If you do not receive the previews within three business days, please let us know.

We will check the artwork twice, and if it requires correction for the third time, a fee will be charged for each subsequent revision.

Yes, you can make changes to the graphic files even after accepting the previews. However, there is an additional fee involved.

If you require a barcode for your release, kindly provide the subsequent details:

  • Artist/band name
  • Album title
  • Label name
  • Catalogue number

We can generate a barcode and deliver it to you via email. Alternatively, it can be integrated into your artwork by our graphic designers or applied using paper stickers on the finalized items. Please note that these services are priced separately. For further details, please refer to the “Additional Costs” section on our website.

Yes, we can implement the barcode file in the cover design. Please note there is an additional fee involved.

Yes, we can do it for an additional fee. Please, describe precisely where the numbering should be and what it should look like. We can use pens in various colours (e.g. white, black, silver, gold) and thicknesses – please specify what your expectations are.

Yes, we can assist you with fixing issues with your cover for an additional fee. Please send us the open files, and we will do our best to make the design printable. However, please note that we will only be able to highlight the best aspects of your design and make necessary fixes; we will not rebuild it from scratch.

Absolutely! We offer a range of optional services to enhance your project, including imprint/cover design for CD/DVD, vinyl, cassettes, DTP editing, typesetting, and more. These services are charged individually, ensuring you get tailored solutions for your specific needs in the music industry.

Please note that the previews we send cannot be treated as the exact colour reference. We print using CMYK digital print or offset, which can result in variations in colour compared to the screen. Screens emit light, while paper does not. Additionally, the cover is usually finished with matte or gloss foil/lacquer, which can further affect the appearance. Matte foil lowers the contrast, while gloss foil makes dark colours appear darker.

Paper weight may vary slightly from batch to batch or vendor to vendor, so a tolerance of 10-15% is considered standard.

PAYMENTS

No, we cannot start the production process without receiving payment first.

According to our regulations, full payment is required to initiate the production process. We do not accept payments in instalments.

You should receive a pro forma invoice, which includes a full quote, in two business days after placing the order and submitting a complete set of materials. If you do not receive it, please let us know.

The final invoice will be issued to you after the production is complete and the goods have been shipped.

We offer bank transfers and TransferWise as accepted payment methods. Credit cards, cash, and checks are not accepted. In exceptional circumstances, we may consider PayPal as a payment option upon approval, but it requires a formal request sent by MonotypePressing. Please be aware that any fees associated with PayPal payments are the customer’s responsibility. We reserve the right to decline PayPal payments due to possible errors and the customer’s ability to block or withdraw the payment.

If you are a VAT registered payer within the European Union or a client outside the EU (e.g., USA, Canada, UK, Norway, etc.), you will not be charged VAT. In order to qualify for the VAT exemption or 0% VAT rate, the goods must be shipped outside of Poland and delivered to a country or recipient entitled to VAT exemption.

You will be charged VAT if you are not a VAT-registered entity within the European Union or if you are a client from Poland (including companies, private individuals, foundations, etc.). We will add VAT in situations where the customer decides to personally collect the order in Poland or if a customer outside the European Union (e.g., from the USA) orders delivery to a private recipient within the European Union who is not VAT registered.

You can check your VAT registration status by visiting the European Commission’s website at https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/.

SHIPPING

For shipping, we require the following information:

  • Full name and surname of the recipient
  • Detailed address, including street name, city, state/province, postal code, and country
  • Email address
  • Telephone number with the correct area code

Please provide us with the complete address(es) for shipping your production within 5 days after placing the order to avoid any delays.

Yes, we can accommodate split shipments to multiple addresses, but up to a maximum of 4 addresses. Please note that there is a service fee per additional address for this service.

To process a split shipment, we need the following information for each recipient:

  • Full name and surname
  • Detailed address, including street name, city, state/province, postal code, and country
  • Email address
  • Telephone number with the correct area code

Yes, we do ship outside the European Union. If you are a private individual, we can send the shipment in parcels, and the only required document will be an invoice. However, if you have a registered company, we can send the shipment in packages or on pallets. In the latter case, an invoice, as well as a valid VAT number and EORI number, will be required for customs clearance

No, couriers do not deliver parcels to post office boxes. Please provide a physical address for delivery.

In the event of goods being damaged during transport, please follow these steps:

  1. Remember that the risk of loss or damage to the products passes to the customer upon reception of the products by the courier company.
  2. Please inspect the delivered goods immediately in the presence of the courier. If you notice any damage, ensure that to have the damage report signed by the courier.
  3. Immediately inform us about the damage so that we can file a complaint with the local representative of the carrier as well.

Time is of the essence when filing a complaint. Please ensure that the complaint is submitted within the designated time frame. The required documents include a copy of the waybill, shipping protocol or confirmation of receipt, and all documents confirming the value of the goods, such as a copy of the original invoice. Pictures of the damaged goods, as well as the boxes they were delivered in (with the shipping label visible), might also be necessary.

While we can accommodate the request to pack the vinyl records outside of the covers, we strongly advise against it. The cover is designed to hold the vinyl record inside, and removing the vinyl may cause the spine to get crushed. Additionally, if we ship the vinyl records packed outside of the covers, the covers themselves may be pressed by the records, leading to imprints or wear rings on the covers.

Due to these reasons, we do not recommend packing vinyl outside of the covers. If you still choose to proceed with this option, please note that you do so at your own risk, and any possible damage during the transport of goods will not be subject to complaint. Additionally, the pressing plant reserves the right to refuse this type of packing in some cases.

To minimize the risk of damage during shipping, we recommend the following:

  • Shipping records on a single pallet rather than as groups of boxes.
  • If the quantity of your order allows, consider shipping a sealed pallet for added protection.

These precautions can help reduce the chances of damage occurring during transportation.