Stock Photo Sites

Green Disk mus073a Blue hills Eagle Nebula

Stock photo sites are especially good for finding backgrounds and enhancements to complement your own photos for your CD/DVD insert.

Here are some sites you can search to see if anything jumps out at you. BE SURE TO CHECK IF THEY ARE TRULY COPYRIGHT/ROYALTY FREE and always check how the credit (if any) should read.

What’s the Difference Between Free and Royalty-Free Images?

“Royalty-Free” may not mean FREE. It usually means that when you PURCHASE the right to use an image, you can use it as many times as you like without any additional payments.  A royalty payment is a payment that must be made each time an item is used or sold. So royalty-free images for sale, means you pay a one-time fee for the use of the graphic.

These are my favorite sites: (free) – Photos only – some require permission. (free) ($5 or $10 each for the sizes I would need) – Photos only SEND ME THE IMAGE NUMBER AND I’LL DOWNLOAD ($4-$6 each for the size I need) – Photos and illustrations SEND ME THE IMAGE NUMBER AND I’LL DOWNLOAD FREE. Be sure to download the Largest size. Limits you to 15 MB downloads per day unless you pay for a membership.


Here are a few others you can try: royalty free photos and illustrations. Every image is free, with an option to buy high resolution versions for use in print or graphic design. – not the best quality images (more like people’s snapshots) but you might find something here (especially for backgrounds, etc.) $1-20 Clipart, public domain. Free. Most are very small though and probably unusable for print. Many free. Some $1.50 each. Be sure to check resolution and format. Photos. Free. You’ll need to download and email to me – they don’t seem to have numbers. Medium resolution should be fine for a cd cover. Those run $5-$40.  Try using couponcode BAKER25 for 25% off. – US Libray of Congress – Old/Historic Photos – most copyright free, but must credit. Check collection copyright restrictions first. If you download a photo, get the wording of how they want it credited (in your liner notes).

Space – Public domain, just credit NASA. Also (may have same images)

“Our Earth as Art” Satellite images – public domain – just include credit. Be sure to download the hires version. Great for backgrounds. I do not have a subscription to this, but it’s not too expensive if there’s something you really like. Illustrations, photos, fonts. Free. must be credited with the image. May not be high enough resolution, but I can probably use. – $50 for use on resale items. $3-4 for items not for sale (personal use). $4-5 each for personal use, $10 for resale. large for $15 large images cost $5 to $15. Try code HW2333 for a free image (got this from an ad) $2 each. EITHER DOWNLOAD THE HIGH RES IMAGE or give me the image number and I’ll pull down the high res version to use. If you have me download, I will pass on any costs associated with obtaining the image(s) you want. royalty free photos and illustrations. Every image is free, with an option to buy high resolution versions for use in print or graphic design.

Font Sites

Here are a few sites I use to find fonts for my projects. It might be quicker for you to browse them and find exactly what you want.

IMPORTANT: Enter your text into the custom preview and hit submit so you see your words in the actual font – the letters in your word might not work well in some fonts.

Hint : enter your sample text as UPPER CASE, Upper and Lower case AND all lower case. Some fonts have character sets that work better in one or the other.  Especially if there are numbers or punctuation (some fonts don’t have them. So for example, if I was looking for a font for my name I’d enter “DIANA Diana diana” in the customize box.) – has some nice fonts, but many require “donation” to use them commercially, so please abide by their licensing.


Once you find one or two that you like, you can email me the ttf (true type) or otf (open type) font for PC.

Disc Face Design Instructions

Creating artwork for disc requires different techniques than creating artwork for paper printing.

Furthermore, manufactured and Short Run disc templates are different.

Duplicated Discs

Download template or

Create your own template.

Software: I recommend using Photoshop or Illustrator.

  1. Set your page size to 120 mm (4.72″) square – do not alter this size – The duplicator will try to resize your image if you change this and it may not size correctly.
  2. color mode: CMYK or Greyscale – discs are printed in either full color or black only. No spot color with duplicated discs.
  3. Resolution (raster effects) High (300 ppi)
  4. Outer circle is at 116 mm
  5. Inner circle is at 24 mm

Create your artwork

  • Use high res images – DO NOT USE AT 72 AND THEN INCREASE!
  • Do not use copyrighted images
  • Allow enough margin inside the inner and outer circles.
  • Type: No smaller than 6 points. Serif type faces for small text is not recommended. Consider using bold type to increase the legibility of small text. Use bolded 8pt or larger for reversed text (light on dark).
  • Note: The ink may appear differently on the clear inner hub, the mirror hub, and the silver surface of the disc.
  • Note: Colors can shift from how they look printed on paper because of being printed on a reflective surface (plastic).

Create production file

  1. DO NOT MASK or knock out the inside or outside – your artwork should bleed past.
  2. Hide anything you don’t want to print (crop marks, template elements, notes, etc.). What you see will print.
  3. Save as a PDF, using High Quality or Press Quality settings.

Upload / email file

  • Name file with artist name, project title and “label” (example: “Beatles Abbey Road CD Label.PDF”)
  • ZIP files before uploading.

Manufactured Discs

Download template or
Create your own template

  1. Set your page size to 120 mm (4.72″) square
  2. color mode: CMYK
  3. Resolution (raster effects) High (300 ppi)
  4. The inside print diameter is 24 mm. The outside diameter of the disc is at 116 mm.
  5. Allow enough margin inside
  6. Create a small cross hair registration mark in the exact center in a small white circle no bigger than 15 mm.
  7. The mirror band runs from 36-46 mm.

Do NOT knock out the inside or outside – your artwork should bleed past.

For Spot color discs: Use standard PANTONE (PMS) numbered colors only. Use a PANTONE “solid coated” chip guide. Be sure to notify me of what spot colors you use.

File submission:

For Manufacturing:
  • if disc print will be CMYK: TIF, PSD, PDF
  • if disc print will be SPOT: AI with all text converted to curves and attach all linked files.
    Warning: TIF and JPG files cannot maintain spot colors. If you don’t know what I’m talking about please call Diana for assistance in preparing your files.
  • Name files with artist name, project title and “label”
  • ZIP files before uploading.

Determine whether you will use CMYK or SPOT colors.

Shortrun (duplicated) discs are printed with CMYK (or black). CMYK printing is the way magazines are printed.

Manufactured discs can be printed with either CMYK or SPOT. Spot color disc printing is similar to how T-shirts are printed. Each color gets printed one color at a time like painting a wall – you only get the colors you indicate.

CMYK disc printing

  • Create your disc art as you would for paper printing using Photoshop and/or Illustrator.
  • Colors can shift from how they look printed on paper because of being printed on a reflective surface (plastic/silver).
  • Using a white flood fill underneath is standard to help reduce color shifts and effects from the silver beneath. You do not have to indicate this in your file, but please let me know if you want a white flood fill.or

Spot Color Disc Printing

  • Use standard PANTONE (PMS) numbered colors only. Use a PANTONE “solid coated” chip guide – this is not something you can just run out and buy. It is an expensive swatch book ($70-100), which you can usually ask to see at a local service bureau or printer. It looks a lot like a paint chip book at your paint store.
  • Please alert us if you choose Metallic, Flourescent or Pastel PMS colors.
  • Do not use RGB or CMYK or hexachrome colors.
  • Be sure to tell us what PMS color numbers you use.
  • Tif and Jpg files cannot maintain spot colors.
  • Spot color process is best chosen when you have solid backgrounds or other simple designs. Spot color printing is more even and solid than CMYK.
  • Do NOT rely on a screen or inkjet printer representation of PMS spot colors, as your results will vary. That’s why they make the swatch books.


  • Avoid thin fonts or fine lines and detail.
  • Lines: minimum thickness for lines within positive images is .25 pt; and for reverse or negative images, .5 pt.
  • Type: No smaller than 6 points. The use of serif type faces for small text is not recommended. Consider using bold type to increase the legibility of small text. Use bolded 8pt or larger for reversed text (light on dark).
  • Screens: Keep screened areas between 20-80%. Lower values will not be visible, higher values will fill in. Screen printing is a relatively coarse output. Complex designs are possible, but the simpler designs tend to look better. Avoid gradients.
  • Trapping: Multiple spot-color designs are printed in order of lightest to darkest tonal value. We recommend that wherever two colors meet, you provide a .5 pt. stroke. This will guarantee that no silver disc (or under-color layer) is visible between colors. A final black layer may always be overprinted.
  • The ink appears differently on the clear inner hub, the mirror hub, and the main silver surface of the disc.
  • Flood fills: All images will be printed on the silver reflective disc unless indicated that a flood fill background needs to be printed first. Whatever is white on your computer screen or printout will be the silver background of the disc. If you want a solid color background, just request a flood fill and tell us the PMS color number. You do NOT need to create a layer for this color since no film will be output (as long as you use one of our standard template sizes). A flood fill does count as a color. Use caution with colors other than white, since it can alter the shade and tone of other colors printed on top of it (because the inks are slightly transparent). If you are concerned about this, then don’t use a flood fill – create a new layer under so that it separates and knocks out.
  • Design Tip: Request a clear matte finish over the top of a coated ink to achieve the look of uncoated ink. Not recommended for small or highly detailed imagery. (Matte finish is considered an additional color for additional charge.) Get fancy and apply the Matte Finish over only parts of your design for a two toned effect. Varnish counts as an additional color and will have additional charges.
  • REMOVE ALL EXCESS GUIDELINES, TEMPLATE MARKINGS AND MEASUREMENTS. The only thing that should be visible is what will print on the disc, the registration marks, the center cross hair, and any identifying text such as release number, color names, etc, (set outside the image of course).


Delete unused layers and colors.

Save Illustrator file for submission

1. Make a backup of the finished layout. Once you create outlines there is no going back to re-type words and sentences. Save a version of the non outlined layout before proceeding. You’ll need the original file with text as text in case you need to go back to fix something.

Save the file, then Save As and call same name plus “curves” at the end of the name.

2. Convert all text to curves:

Select, Objects, Text Objects

Type, Create Outlines

3. Remove all circle guidelines in the template – Leave center cross hair.

4. Save File (with the “curves” in the name)

Business card, post card and poster printing services

There are lots of online printers who specialize in business cards, postcards, etc.
  • If you check a bunch, you can usually find a sale going at one of them for the item you need printing. I just got 500 business cards at gotprint for $23 with shipping cause I caught a sale.
  • COUPON CODES: Google “promo codes” for the printer you want to use and you might even find a coupon code for a couple bucks off.
  • I recommend ordering 500 or more – you will find the prices for 250 and 500 are almost the same.
  • watchout for sales tax now – some printers are starting to collect sales tax across state lines due to a new law or having a plant in your state.
I’ve used:
I’ve also seen ads for: – seem to have good prices. – have a cool square card, slim cards, and even specialty shapes (circles, rounded, etc.). Prices seem good too. – claim to be environmental and union – small quantities at good prices – try HOWMAG coupon code for first time order, 20%

Writing Liner Notes

Track titles, written by. Include track numbers here also (not just the traycard).
Always include contact info. A website is a must, a phone number and email are optional because they often change.
Recording info: studio and engineer
Producer (even if it’s self-produced)
Mastering engineer and company
Graphic design/manufacturing
Artist/Band Bio
Photo / Art credits – Don’t forget to identify people in the photos. You might need to get permission to use a professional photograph (get a signed release).

Musicians and Singers

Method One:
Each song individually
Pleasure and Pain (1992)
©1998 A. Motter
Buckyspeak Music, BMI
Angela Motter – Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
Ricky Keller – Bass, Keyboards, Sequencing
David Strohauer – Dijerido

Method Two: Combined at end of liner notes (takes less room).
Angela Motter – Vocals & Acoustic Guitar on tracks 1,2,5,6. Ricky Keller – Bass, Keyboards on track 4, Sequencing on tracks 4,5,7,8. David Strohauer – Dijerido on track 3
Courtesy credits if a signed artist performs on your album: Michelle Malone appears courtesy of Velvet Records
Song Information – written by, copyright info, publishing info & BMI/Ascap
Introduction: The hymns on this CD are mostly, though not all, ones I listened to growing up as a missionary kid in Mexico. In that foreign land, my brother Michael managed to amass an impressive array of gospel music….

Song background/history
Logos (publishing, record label)
Thank you’s
Misc band photos
Ordering information

This land is your land / This land is my land / From California to the New York Islands

This land is your land
This land is my land
From California to the New York Islands

Also available from artist
(past albums)
Quotes about the artist/band

Check the commercial CDs already in your collection

TIP: Don’t try to squeeze too many liner notes so they are so small that no one can read them. Don’t waste your money printing a package no one can read without a magnifying glass because you tried to save money.



Clean your scanner glass and photograph with a soft cloth before placing each item.

Do not scan at a lower resolution and then enlarge it later! This actually lowers the resolution and can turn it into garbage. For example, a 2.5″ x 2.5″ image scanned at 300 PPI that is later doubled 5″ x 5″ becomes 150 PPI. Photoshop cannot invent pixels that were never present in the image to begin with. So you need to scan something that will be used at twice the size of the original picture at twice the resolution (600 PPI at 100%). I’d rather you scan too high.

Black & white and grayscale are NOT the same type of file! A 1-bit black & white scan contains only black or white pixels; there are no shades of gray at all.

The bigger and cleaner the original artwork (such as a logo), the better it will scan.

Convert your color scans to CMYK color mode to get a sense of how they will look when printed – some colors, such as blues, greens and oranges, can change dramatically.
Grayscale images should be saved in grayscale (8-bit) mode. Avoid RGB or CMYK – it tends to add a magenta tinge to them.

Save your scans as TIF. If you use EPS files, save the image with an 8-bit TIF preview.

Do not open and resave a JPG mutliple times – every time you do, it degrades the image. If you plan to tweak the image and resave, save as a TIF first and use that file to edit.

MOIRE Crisscross patterns or checkerboarding in a scanned image. This occurs when an image was previously printed using the offset process (i.e. a picture from a book or magazine or newspaper) which converts the image into little dots. This may not show up on inkjet or even laser printouts at home. Moire problems do not occur with scans of actual photographs. One common occurrence is scanning an old CD insert you want to reprint. I do have a fix for this, but be aware that the fix includes slight blurring, so you should always scan from real photographs if possible.