Music CD Case Packaging Styles
At Media Medley, we sometimes run across CDs that have a different type of case than is usual. When we do, we write the case style in our listings under the CD Condition section. But what does a FLPpak mean? Or a cardboard sleeve? Or a J-case?
This page is written to help clarify and identify several CD case styles in which your CD may be packaged by the manufacturer. These include: standard jewelcase, slipcase, slim double jewelcase, chubby jewelcase, j-case, digipak, gatefold, FLPpak and cardboard sleeve.
Note: You can read this guide here in text only, or see it with descriptive color images at Music CD Packaging
Standard CD Jewelcase
The standard CD jewelcase is probably the most popular style, and most easily identifiable, on the market. The standard case is two pieces of plastic hinged together. The CD disc is held in a tray insert, which in turn sets into the plastic case.
The standard case size when closed is approximately 5-5/8" wide, 4-7/8" high, and 3/8" deep.
In Media Medley listings, when we write "CASE" without any other attribute, we are identifying the standard CD jewelcase.
The standard CD case, and other cases, may sometimes have a cardboard casing which covers 4 or 5 sides of the jewelcase (not pictured).
At least one narrow side is left open; sometimes the slipcase is open on both narrow ends. That opening is used to slide, or slip, the jewelcase into the box shaped casing. This protective casing is called a slipcase.
Slim Double Case
The slim double case is approximately the same size as the standard case and looks very much the same. The difference is in the design of the CD tray. The CD tray in a slim double case is hinged near the spine, and is molded to hold a CD on each side.
Chubby or Fatty Case
The chubby CD jewelcase, also sometimes called fatty case, was the original design for holding multiple CDs in one case. The standard chubby CD case is designed for a minimum of 2 CDs.
Made of plastic, it has two clear sides in which to hold CD trays. Each side is connected to a center section that may be molded to hold none, one, or two additional CDs.
For example, if designed to hold a total of three CDs, the center section will generally have one side flat, and the other side will contain extended spokes in order to hold the third CD. The flat side of a center section is usually used to contain a libretto (a booklet of lyrics).
The chubby CD case is approximately 5-5/8" wide, 4-7/8" high, and 15/16" deep. At Media Medley, every chubby CD case is shipped in a box due to it's thick depth.
The J case is the style of CD case used by most manufacturers to package CDs in a slim case. Most often, CDs packaged in a J case are singles or EPs.
J cases do not have a detachable CD tray. The back of the case is molded to hold a CD. The front has a molded lip near the spine. When turned the right way, the case lip appears as a J, hence its name.
The paper insert used in a J case to advertise the product do not fit the usual slim case found in office stores.
A digipak is a cardboard case with a plastic molded tray attached to it. The cardboard case is screen printed and sometimes has an interior sleeve section where a booklet could inserted. Or the booklet could be attached directly to the cardboard.
Some digipaks have gatefold flaps.
Gatefold flaps fold over to cover the CD from both sides. The flaps on the gatefolds can also be an extended length, folding over on itself and opened like an accordian.
A FLPpak, called a "flip-pak" around here, is a basic digipak with extra protection.
A molded tray is attached to a cardboard backing. The cardboard wraps from the back, around the spine, and the front. The bottom, top and opening edge is protected with a hard plastic. The opening edge has a hard plastic tab that is hinged to the back and snaps into place when closed. This snapping action helps to secure the top flap and keeps the CD in a safe position.
A Cardboard sleeve looks like a miniature LP cover, made for a music CD. A cardboard sleeve is a simple sleeve made of cardboard and printed with artwork.
Used mainly to distribute singles, EPs, advance DJ copies and promos.
Thank you for reading this Music CD Case Packaging Styles Guide by Media Medley.