Composing Graphics #32: Card Case With Flap Grows A Spine


Composing Graphics #32: Card Case With Flap Grows A Spine

The standard CD jewel case is an object of almost repulsive ostentation, an injection-molded puzzle-box tribute to the alleged preciousness of its contents. And back in the Reagan-encrusted 80s it’s just possible that that ostentation was justifiable, given the edge-of-the-precipice high tech that the compact disk represented at the time as well as the usurious investment required of the consumer.

But times, y’know, they change, and here in the present the CD no longer represents either the elite chic or consumptive cachet it once held. No longer the grail of the hi-fi set, it’s now the accepted standard, as common and comfortable as milk and just as likely to be packed in paper. Card cases have become the norm for many short-run and short-length releases. But one bastion of the industry has resented and rejected them: the DJs and program managers at radio stations. And with good reason: the standard CD sleeve has no end title to make it locatable in a standard CD rack.

We’ve written here before on the utility of card cases for CDs and on their construction. Composing Graphics #9 offered a tutorial on the basic card case, while #10 provided the customized version with an overflap. Thanks to recent research and innovation at the Chickadee Glen Home For Wayward Greyhounds And Practical Origami Development Center, we’re finally able to remedy the lamentable lack of spine in previous design releases.

Of course, the makers of ordinary commercial card sleeve CDs end-run this problem by using heftier weight card stock. They can get away with this because they use genuine offset presses which only become remotely cost effective in runs of multiple hundreds. For the homeguy or gal wanting to bang out a dozen at the local Kinko’s, the choice of stock weight ends up a lot lighter in the loafers. In order for it to support an end title, we’ll include the extra thickness of an overflap.

The form looks like this:



As previously, the layout for this li’l beauty goes on a standard 8 ½” x 11” sheet:


Card Case With Spine Outside (Left-click to download)

With an inside layout on the back:


Card Case With Spine Inside (Left-click to download)

Plus the prerequisite paste-on panels.

Construction is similar to the ordinary overflap sleeve with the addition of the extra fold for the spine. You’ll find the guide lines invaluable for lining up the folds.  Check out CG #10 for details.

Next Month: #34– Paper or Plastic?


Thaddeus Spae is a Seattle-based musician, audio producer and award-winning songwriter. He also owns and operates Dash Design & Disc , a small-but-doughty graphic design and short-run CD/DVD manufacturing service.


this is one of two that go together. the other is Composing Graphics #10


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