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Jewelcases vs. Digipaks


Digipaks are definitely becoming more popular. Before you spend the extra money for the “look” consider this:

Pros: As a designer, I love to design digipaks. Many people love how they look and feel. They are perceived as being more “eco-friendly” (which isn’t exactly true, however). They automatically include full color inside because the printing is all on one side and folded over.

Cons: As a consumer I don’t like them. They take up more room in my CD collection (I MP3 all my CDs, take the inserts out of the jewelcase and file them in a vinyl sleeve).

They get dinged easier and can’t be repaired. If the plastic hub breaks there is no way to replace it (jewelcases are interchangeable). Yes, jewelcases do crack, but you can replace every part of them by cannibalizing another case.


Jewelcases are more water resistant. You can set one on a wet table and it will still protect the insert. Try doing that with a digipak. You can even set a cold sweating drink on a jewelcase with no damage.

If the CD comes off the hub, the disc can slide out and become damaged easily. The jewelcase snaps shut, so even if the disc pops off the hub, it isn’t going anywhere.

People think digipaks are lighter and thinner, but they’re not really. (Wallets are, but they don’t have the tray.)

You get less and pay more: They have less room for information. A 4-panel insert in a jewelcase has 3 full panels for information, plus the cover and traycard. A 4-panel digi only has 1. You’d have to do a 6-panel digi to have more panels for text, and that would cost about twice as much as the jewelcase with a 4-panel insert.

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