Top spine labels
Those annoying sticky strips on the top edge of some cases. You have probably struggled removing them. They’re hard to remove for a reason – they’re a combination of an anti-theft device and an identification label for CDs stocked in a bin. It displays the artist, album title, release number and barcode number. Not required, but it does give a “big label” feel to your product and it can help your CD stand out in a retail bin.
Use stickers for awards, quotes, or description. Usually placed on the outside of the shrinkwrap and discarded. Useful for last minute additional emphasis.
There are actually two types of outerwrap, but they both tend to be called “shrinkwrap” – “shrink”wrap is the softer, shrinkable plastic, and Cello wrap (also called polywrap or cigarette wrap) is the more crisp plastic. Shrinkwrap is used on sleeves and digipaks. Cello wrap is used on DVDs and Jewelcases and has folded sealed edges instead of the fused seam.
Used mainly for retail product – it ensures the customer is getting an untampered with product, and also protects the case during shipment.
DO NOT WRAP PROMOS. Even if you receive all your CDs with outer wrap, remove it before sending to reviewers and DJs.
My philosophy about promos and EPs:
Since it costs almost the same amount of money to design and press a CD with 4 songs as it does one with 12 songs, I recommend using your full album as a promo.
You can request some of your CDs be marked for promotion only. This usually entails having the barcode punched or marked out and PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY stamped on the CD face in white over your artwork. You will also want to request no shrinkwrap and top spine labels on these units.