CD and DVD packaging

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CD and DVD packaging are used to protect, store and transport optical data storage media . Some of this packaging also offers space for supplements, so-called booklets . CD and  DVD packaging are usually made of plastic, sometimes also of cardboard. They are to be distinguished from cartridges which are connected to the CD-ROM and inserted into an optical drive .

This article deals with the packaging for data carriers (and their leaflets) with a diameter of 120 mm. The packaging for the rarer mini CD or mini DVD with a diameter of 80 mm is similar.


The cover of CD and DVD packaging is a flap that forms the front of the packaging and is movably connected to the back so that the packaging can be opened and closed again. The actual holder for the data carrier, the tray, is attached to the underside . With some packaging, the tray itself also forms the bottom.

The cover and tray of CD and DVD packaging are usually not printed or artistically modified. However, some of this packaging offers space for supplements, so-called booklets , which contain further information about the content of the data carrier. In the case of an audio CD , the booklet may provide information. a. on the names of the participating artists, producers, music titles, lyrics and is usually artistically designed , similar to a record cover . With a CD-ROM, the booklet can also replace the manual and the license document for the serial number. A booklet consists of two to about 80 pages.

In addition, many packaging offers space on the front and / or back for narrow inlays, called inlays , in addition to the sometimes extensive booklets. The inlays represent the outer design of the packaging and must be marked with the FSK or USK mark at least 1200 mm² on the front of films or video games tested by the FSK or USK from April 1, 2010. Since the test labels have a negative aesthetic effect for many consumers, some packaging is provided with inlays printed on both sides, which the buyer can turn over after purchase and use the reverse side, which is printed without the FSK / USK mark. Such inlays are called reversible covers .

Lines of development

Line of development with a hinge mechanism

The hinge development line describes all CD and DVD packaging that consists of several hard plastic parts (polystyrene) and where the cover and the tray are connected by a hinge.

Jewel case

The first packaging for the CD was the jewel case (Engl. For jewel box ), sometimes Jewelbox called. It is 142 mm wide, 125 mm high and 10 mm thick. This packaging consists of the following components:

  • A cover (flap) made of transparent plastic that holds a holder for
  • contains a booklet (dimensions 120 × 120 mm).
  • The back of the cover consists of three parts: a transparent plastic, a paper insert (inlay) and the carrier (tray).
  • The inlay usually describes the content of the data carrier in short form. It measures 151 mm × 118 mm, with the left and right folds each 6.5 mm, so the main area is 138 mm wide.
  • The tray is the carrier of the storage medium. This is attached to the holding mechanism of the tray. The tray originally consisted of black, later also of gray or white, today often also made of transparent plastic, so that the inside of the inlay can also be printed. Since holding pieces often break off with the original plug-on mechanism, there are now a few more variants. Generally, the tray bears the official CD or DVD logo. With newer CD and DVD packaging, there is often an empty area instead of a logo for two different reasons:
    • The lack of a logo allows the manufacturer to use a jewel case as both CD and DVD packaging for sales.
    • The missing logo can also be a legal notice for the buyer: The use of the logo must be licensed and also applies to the data carrier and the packaging. If the data carrier does not meet the official specification of a CD or DVD, neither the data carrier nor its packaging may bear the logo. The specification guarantees that the disc can be played in any valid drive. The best known counterexample is the copy-protected audio CD , because the official specification ( Red Book Standard ) does not provide for copy protection.

Cases for several CDs based on the jewel case

For two to four CDs there is a kind of double jewel case, which in principle consists of two rear sides (transparent plastic parts plus trays) of the single jewel case, which are hinged in a common carrier. For sleeves for three or four CDs, this carrier is equipped with one or two additional retaining rings. Since the edge of the hinge needs space to turn when folded, this type of case is 24 mm wider than two single jewel cases. These sleeves have space for two inlays (one of which has to be designed as the front) and up to two booklets; If only one booklet is intended for a publication, a piece of foam is usually inserted instead of the second.

Various versions of double sleeves are as slim as a single jewel case, the tray of which can also be folded and on its back has an additional retaining ring for a second CD (e.g. the so-called Brilliant Box [sic]). Depending on the version, the hinge of the tray lies on the same or the opposite edge of the hinge of the lid flap. Like the single jewel cases, these sleeves offer space for an inlay and a booklet.

The combination of two of these folding trays with a common carrier of the thick double sleeves (with additional retaining rings) results in a sleeve for up to six CDs.

CD single and slimcase

Jewel case (1), CD single (2) and slim case (3)

The two best-known further developments in jewel case packaging are the CD single (also called maxi CD ) and the slim case , which differ from the jewel case in particular because of their thinner design. If the jewel case is 10.3 mm thick, the CD single is only 7 mm, the slim case is only 5 mm thick. This was made possible because in both further developments the snap mechanisms of the tray were integrated into the outer shell and the inlay for additional information was omitted on the back. The CD single does not contain a booklet, just a sheet of paper that is folded on the right side so that there is also a narrow, legible spine here. In contrast to the jewel case, the CD is visible from the outside when the packaging is closed and is therefore inserted with the printed side facing out. It is considered a disadvantage that the rear wall contains openings due to the resilient fastening clips, which means that more dust and dirt can get into the interior of the packaging.

Opened slim case

The CD single was created out of marketing considerations that an audio CD that contains only a few tracks (usually less than 20 minutes) must look different from an album. The smaller content could be well symbolized by a leaner packaging.

The Slimcase (Engl. For slim case ) has been developed to the needs of the computer area to take into account to store many individual disk space as possible. This was made possible by dispensing with a legible spine (compare Maxi-CD) and using more elastic plastics that are sufficiently stable even if they are less thick.

Super jewel case

Super jewel case

The super jewel case is a higher quality variant of the standard jewel case. It is made of plastic, has a new, reinforced mounting star, rounded corners and reinforced hinges. With the special inlay of the super jewel case, not only can the side bars be labeled on the left and right; there are also printable bars at the top and bottom, so that the case can be printed on all around the bars. The dimensions of the new inlay fit into a classic CD jewel case, but because of the two notches for the reinforced hinges, the inlay does not extend over the entire front side and there are also two gaps on the back. The external dimensions for CDs and SACDs correspond to those of a jewel case; for DVDs , the sleeves are slightly larger than the usual keep case (142 mm × 10 mm × 190 mm). There are special super jewel cases for DVD-Audio , which are shortened at the top and bottom, but otherwise look similar to those for DVDs.

Development line with folding mechanism

This development line describes all CD and DVD packaging in which the flap (cover) and the back (tray) are not connected by a hinge, but by a flexible fold (bending mechanism) and are made of softer plastic (polypropylene), cardboard or paper.

Keep Case / Amaray

The usual Amaray case for DVDs
Keep case (blue) and super jewel case

This type of packaging only emerged with the DVD. Since the DVD was to become the successor to the video cassette, attempts were made to convey this to the consumer using the packaging. The VHS video cassette is packaged in a flexible plastic mechanism. Based on this basic idea, the outwardly similar but thinner Keep Case was created, which is also known as a DVD video box , DVD case or - after a manufacturer of these cases - Amaray .

The keep case (135 mm × 14 mm × 190 mm) is mostly used as packaging for DVDs and is larger than the jewel case. On the outside there is a title page (cover, or because of the secondary function for the interior design also called inlay card, standard dimensions 273 mm × 183 mm), on the inside of the cover there is an optional booklet, which can be used as a manual for software or further information on the CD DVD contains. This packaging, which is available in over forty variants from different manufacturers, is used for many game CD-ROMs and DVDs. There is also a slim version (7 mm) for one or two data carriers for space-saving storage.

Such packaging is usually - in contrast to the jewel cases common for CDs - equipped with a mechanism that not only releases the data carrier when the retaining ring is pressed, but also lifts it so that it can then be removed from the packaging without overcoming frictional forces Need to become.

The Blu-ray Disc has slightly modified keep cases in Western countries. These differ from the previous keep cases primarily in their uniform color (as an allusion to the data carrier, noticeably blue-transparent) and the smaller dimensions (170 mm in height and, depending on the manufacturer, between 130 mm and 150 mm in width ).


Kodak Digifile

The Digifile is a three-sided cardboard packaging that can be opened. The first and second side (left and center when opened) are usually labeled, the third side (right) contains a slot for the CD / DVD. However, this type of packaging is quite unusual. Therefore there is still no standard for the structure of a Digifile. As a result, the position of the CD in the Digifile varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.



The Digipak is a package to hold one to eight CDs or DVDs. It is considered high quality, but is more prone to damage. Digipak is a registered trademark of AGI.

Digipaks are usually the same size as the normal jewel case, but - at half depth - are also available up to the format of a VHS cassette . The larger formats are particularly popular with film DVDs and are often referred to as digibooks here . A tray made of black, white or transparent plastic to hold CDs or DVDs is glued into the sleeve , which is usually made of chromo cardboard and finished with glossy laminate. With the larger formats, a three-sided plastic coating is usually attached to the outside as edge protection.


The digisleeve is a fold-out cardboard bag. This packaging also offers space for a booklet.


The Ecopac is a fold-out CD packaging made from recycled paper and is therefore biodegradable.

Snapper case

The Snap Case, Snapper Case or (named after the supplier of Warner Home Video ) Ivy Hill Snapper Box was an inexpensive packaging until about 2004, consisting of a plastic tray to hold a single data carrier and a book cover-like sleeve made of printed cardboard that was clamped on the back of the tray and folded over the front, where a snap mechanism cast onto the tray locked the construction. The packaging was taken out of circulation relatively quickly after falling prices for Amaray casings neutralized the main benefit. In addition, due to its design, the Snapper Box was unsuitable for the distribution of two or more DVDs.


The mediabook is made of thick cardboard. In the inner part there is often a multi-page booklet with brief contents, text about the production and pictures. At the end of the Mediabook is the medium DVD or BluRay, often both, in a plastic tray that is attached to the inside of the cover. Mediabooks are often packed in a transparent protective cover. The FSK logo is only on the protective cover.

Development line with sliding mechanism

This includes all CD and DVD packaging in which the data carrier is not placed but pushed (inserted) into it. The advantage is the simpler structure of the packaging, since the medium is held in the packaging by static friction and there is no need for a fastening mechanism that fixes the medium at the central hole. The major disadvantage of this type of packaging, however, is the higher stress on the surface of the media as a result, as it can be easily scratched by being pushed in and out.

Paper window pocket

An open paper window pocket that contains a CD.

The paper window pocket (also called paper sleeve , paper pocket or paper sleeve ) is usually made of white paper in the quality 90 g / m² with a round viewing window (diameter 110 mm) and has the format 124 mm × 124 mm. In order to be able to glue the bag into a magazine or book, it needs a rubber coating on the back. The closure is usually self-adhesive. High quality bags (absolutely flat, accurate folding, neat gluing) can be filled by machine.

Bird bag

A special paper window pocket is the so-called bird pocket with a wide edge (format 145 mm × 190 mm), which is named after the book and magazine publisher Vogel , who introduced it in 1992. Like the normal paper sleeve, it is often used for CDs and DVDs that come with magazines or books. However, the bird's bag is stapled or glued between the pages of a magazine or a book in such a way that it is difficult for thieves to remove the CD inconspicuously. In contrast to small-format paper sleeves, the wide edge makes it suitable for filing.

Cardboard cover

The cardboard cover is a simple and inexpensive type of packaging for CDs and DVDs. It does not have a closing mechanism (such as the paper bag). Music magazines usually use cardboard sleeves as packaging. This may be based on cardboard record sleeves. The cardboard sleeve is also very popular as packaging for demo CDs.


An e-slimcase in which the CD has already been pushed out a bit

The e-slimcase (also called Flip 'n' Grip , VarioPac , Kickout Case or Disc ProTexx ) is the size of a slimcase, but it cannot be opened. The CD is inserted at the front and can later be ejected using a lever. Due to the floating storage in the case (the data carrier is only fixed at the edge) there is no contact between the data carrier surface and the case.

The e-jewelcase is a further development of the standard version . It offers the option of inserting a cover. The e-slimcase is also available in a file version with standard perforations, whereby an additional, colored plastic piece with perforations is snapped into the open side of the case. There is also a double version for two CDs, which is of course thicker, so no longer "slim", and has two levers for ejecting.


The polybag is a simple transparent cover that is welded on the left and right and folded at the bottom. The top is either open or has a locking tab that is held in place with a sticker. In addition, the cover can be provided with a rubber coating on the back so that it can be glued into a magazine or book. The plastic parts of the ejector mechanism are monochrome, the remaining plastic parts are transparent, so that the label on the data carrier is always visible.


The Musicpac is mainly sold in Brazil, but today you can see it more and more in German shops. It is simple packaging to save costs and materials.

The CD is fixed on a normal plastic holder known from the jewel case and then pushed into a cardboard slipcase. Most packaging does not have a booklet.

Other lines of development


Spindle for 100 media

A spindle box or short spindle ( english Cakebox for cake tin ) is a reusable package for storing a large number of CDs or DVDs. It consists of a round plastic plate (usually made of polypropylene ) with a spindle in the middle, onto which the CDs or DVDs are attached. It has a high, mostly transparent plastic lid and a bayonet lock.

Spindle boxes are available in different sizes. Common frame sizes are 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 or 150 CDs / DVDs. They have been the preferred type of packaging for recordable CDs and DVDs since 2004. The advantage of the spindles is the high packing density of the media at a very affordable price for the packaging.


The JakeBox is a patented packaging from Sweden. The data carrier is held in the packaging by a claw that rises when the packaging is opened. The JakeBox is made of 100% cardboard and is available with or without a booklet slot .


A SteelBook is a DVD case whose outer casing is made of metal; the insert is made of plastic. The cover is printed in color, can be embossed and is usually delivered with a cardboard slipcase. SteelBooks have the usual size of a DVD case , are rounded at the corners and can be opened.

SteelBook is the protected brand name of the Danish company Glud & Marstrand ; they are sold worldwide by the company Scanavo, which was the first to come onto the market with this type of packaging. Other providers name similar products z. B. Metalpak .

DVD cases from vending machine video stores

Vending machine video libraries usually use foldable packaging specially developed for their system. The sleeves must have a centered cutout so that a barcode glued to the data carrier can be read . In addition, it is important to keep storage in the machine as space-saving as possible.

Slidepac and Discbox slider


The Slidepac is an alternative to the jewel and softbox. The cardboard sleeve provides space for a plastic tray that can be pulled out, with a simple stop so that the tray cannot easily fall out of the cardboard sleeve. The Slidepac is available in three different sizes (CD, BluRay and DVD format).

The Discbox Slider is a similar cover . However, instead of the plastic tray, there is a cardboard carrier. It can be pulled out halfway and then opened, after which the data carrier can be removed. A booklet can also be inserted together with the data carrier; In addition, the pull-out cardboard carrier offers space for liner notes which, when pushed in, are covered by the outer cardboard cover.

Some publications are offered in parallel in a version in traditional packaging (e.g. jewel case) and a cheaper version in a slide pac. The Slidepac versions are then sold, for example, as a (limited) pure edition .

CD mailer (shipping packaging)

A CD mailer (also known as DiscMail or CD letter ) is used to send a CD or DVD by post. CDs and DVDs are also transported in conventional shipping packaging, but v. a. CD mailers are used by professional users (e.g. advertising agencies) because the data carriers are better protected.

Clip tray

A clip tray is packaging that consists of a tray and a transparent polypropylene film. The PP film is glued to the tray. A clip tray is super flat and offers space for a data carrier and a booklet. The tray also has 80 mm filing holes for modular storage in ring binders and files. Clip trays are available in different colors.

Packaging variants made of tinplate

CD-DVD packaging made from tinplate
CD packaging with metal tray and magnetic closure

The type of packaging made of tinplate is available on the market in a variety of designs and is often part of a sales promotion campaign . The variety of shapes ranges from round to square to rectangular in different heights, mostly with printing or embossing. This type of CD / DVD packaging is also used for PC games. Tin cans in CD / DVD look also serve as advertising material with enclosed company brochures or product catalogs.

External dimensions of the most common types of packaging

The dimensions are given in millimeters.

Type Number of data carriers length width height
CD jewel case 1-2 142 125 10
CD-JewelCase 6 CDs 6th 142 125 24
CD single case 1 142 125 7th
CD-SlimCase 1 142 125 5.2
CD-Super Jewel Box 1-2 142.2 124.6 10.4
1 CD Digifile 1 138 125.5 4th
2-CD digifile 1-2 138 125.5 4th
1-CD digipak without booklet 1 138 125.5 6th
1-CD digipak with booklet 1 138 125.5 7th
2 DVD box slimline 1-2 135 190 7th
1 DVD box 1-2 135 190 15th
1 DVD digipak 1 137.5 187.5 6.5
1 Blu-Ray case 1 135 170 6 ~ 11
2-Blu-Ray sleeve 14 mm 1-2 135 170 14th

Dimensions of the paper inlay

The dimensions are given in millimeters.

Type Type of depositor width height web
CD-JewelCase & Slim-Case FRONT 1- to 2-sided 121 120
CD-JewelCase & Slim-Case FRONT 4 to 8 pages 242 120
REAR CD jewel case 151 118 6.5 - 2 × (1 × left, 1 × right)
DVD box 275 183 14 (back)
Blu-Ray Amaray 269 148 9 (back)

See also

Web links

Commons : CD and DVD packaging  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence