ACDSleeve 2010-2018

So, this is the end. ACDSleeve is over, I had a good run but ultimately it couldn’t work forever.

Over the last eight years I singlehandedly made 88,196 pieces of packaging, worked on 918 different releases, duplicated/printed 28,918 CDs, but now it’s over.

I struggled to find an employer who would hire someone with little to no real work experience other than running a business on their own and part time retail work through college/university. I found a job in June 2017 that really wasn’t for me, so I kept ACDSleeve running in the background, which ran me into the ground a little, doing an 8 hour work day that was physically exhausting and then 1-2 hours of ACDSleeve work before and after that. It was packing orders for an online music retailer, I had no creative input and it really got to me. I managed to last at that for 6 months but wanted to try and give ACDSleeve one last go, or find something more relevant. In that job on more than one occasion I was packing up releases with packaging I had made, they had gone from where they were printed in Leeds, delivered to Manchester, where I made the packaging, sent the order to the label, who then sent them to distributors and then it ended up back with me to send out to the final customer, which baffled me a little bit.

But that’s beside the point, I left that job in November with nothing lined up, which looking back was a stupid idea. I looked for work, had a few interviews, but none could see past the fact I’d been self employed for the last 8 years or I had to spend the bulk of the interview explaining how ACDSleeve works (“I make everything, and handle all enquiries/quotes, and box up all orders, and design the packaging layouts, and check/tweak artwork, and run the social media, and…”) so I got nowhere. Then I had to deal with a death in the family in April which meant I had no time to find work. The last ACDSleeve job was sent out in June this year.

I stumbled upon a manufacturing company in July who make wooden products and specialise in super high end packaging, they could see the potential in what I’d done, and seeing what they can do I knew it would be a perfect fit. The only issue is that the job was in Warrington and I’m based in Manchester, a half hour drive on the motorway, working for myself I’d never needed to drive so had only had a handful of lessons 13 years ago, so this was an issue as the commute is an hour and a half on the train. They were happy to wait until I’d learned to drive, so I took a fast track course, which went well until I failed my first driving test the week before my start date, so I had a month of getting up at 4:40am to get in for the 7am start time, but luckily I passed second time around.

And here I am a month into a job I enjoy, my life seemingly back on track after a rough 2 years of uncertainty. The Pop-Up/Pop-Out cases are still available but I’m not too sure how long for. I’m still happy to help with any advice on packaging, just wing me an email.

Thanks for all the support over the years if you’re checking this out seeing what’s happening here, it’s unreal that this all started with an idea I came up with when I was unemployed that I put on YouTube and I’ve grown into a business I could live off for so long and worked with some of my all time favourite bands. It’s been amazing.

Tom Leggett

If you’ve got a question about what we can do, have a look through our FAQs and see if it’s already been answered. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How do I make an order?

Send an email to acdsleeve@gmail.com with what you want to order and we’ll send over the relevant templates or if you’re unsure of costs we can finalise those for you, once the template(s) are sent back with artwork if it needs changing we’ll advise what needs to be done but if it’s ready to go you’ll be sent an invoice for the work, once paid the cases will be sent to print and we’ll aim to have the cases/CDs with you in 4-5 weeks from payment, smaller jobs should be with you quicker but the 4-5 week production window allows for other jobs in production at the same time. If you want CDs duplicating once you have paid for the work send the master CD to the address on the “Get in touch” page, as duplication is a quicker process it won’t take as long as the packaging production but it’s best to have the master CD here as soon as possible.

What are your turnaround times?

As all of the designs are manufactured by Tom, turnaround times can vary from job to job. Due to high demand it could take 4 to 5 weeks to receive your order from artwork being finalised/payment. The Pop Up and Double Pop Out cases usually take more time, due to the longer lead times with the printers that we use. This is just an estimate, some jobs will be quicker and some may take longer it all depends on the order size and design.

How much will postage cost?

For smaller orders of up to 100 Cut Cover Slipcases or 50 Natural Card/Matt Laminated CD Cases, next day, insured delivery costs £14, extremely small orders (20 cases) will be less than this. For larger orders we use a next day courier service, which usually costs £20, depending on the packaged weight/cost. Very small orders will cost less depending on the size of the order and will be quoted on request. Delivery within mainland UK for orders of the Pop-Up/Double Pop-Out CD Cases is £25+VAT.

Do you accept international orders?

The only thing stopping more international orders is the high cost of shipping and possible customs charges. If you’re outside the UK and willing to incur the much-increased shipping costs and possible customs fees, please get in touch to discuss this further.

Do you have a minimum order number?

Cut Cover Slipcases and Natural Card Cases can be produced in limited runs of as little as ten units, as they are both individually made. The recommended minimum for the Matt Laminated CD Case is 50 and due to improved production methods the minimum order for Pop Up and Double Pop Out cases is now 500 units, as their setup costs are much higher.

Can you print onto the DIY CD Cases?

I can’t screen print here, but it’s worth checking out Vino Sangre or Get A Grip for you screen printing needs, a quick search online will find other companies able to print the cases also.

I need a big job completed in two weeks, can you help?

As ACDSleeve grows, we are finding ourselves increasingly busy, meaning it has become more difficult to squeeze in rush jobs. Please get in touch as soon as possible so that we can try to meet any tight schedules.

Can I print the DIY CD Cases using my inkjet printer?

I wouldn’t recommend doing this due to possibly damaging the printer but people have tried it and it does work, they won’t fit in a desktop A4 printer, it would need to be an A3 printer that can take thick card stock (315GSM – 350GSM). Check out this album to see what other people have done with the DIY CD Case for inspiration to get around conventional print methods.

Do you have any artwork guidelines/templates?

We will supply you with an artwork template for each design that we offer. Artwork should be sent in CMYK colour at 300dpi. We are not graphic designers by trade, so it’s best to have your artwork pre designed, or to at least have a good idea of what you want. If you’re unable to put the artwork together yourself we can offer some limited advice / design input.

Do you offer CD duplication / printing?

Yes! Check out prices here

How do I send audio for CD duplication?

Audio needs to be posted to me as an audio master CD, this needs to be exactly what you want people to hear when they put the disc in a regular CD player, not a data disc that’s only accessible through a PC. The audio master CD should be posted here once the order has gone into production, there’s no huge rush to get it here as duplication/printing is an automated process but the sooner it’s received the better.

My artwork is too large to send through email, how should I send it?

Use www.wetransfer.com

Can I call you?

As ACDSleeve is run completely by one person, everything from checking emails, updating the site/social media, manufacturing, checking artwork, boxing, sending out orders and everything in-between is done by Tom so working via email is the only option to keep on top of everything and discuss orders, this way emails can be replied to in breaks in manufacture rather than interrupting production. Also it’s much quicker to explain the products/services with links to past jobs and attachments.

Can I order less than 500 Pop-Up/Double Pop-Out CD Cases?

Unfortunately as these designs are made in a pressing plant the set up costs involved mean it would cost the same to order a run shorter than 500 as it would to order a run of 500.

What’s your best price/is there a discount if I order CDs?

The prices on the site are the best prices I can offer, due to the amount of work that goes into making the cases by hand. I only offer CD duplication to people ordering packaging so those prices are also the best possible.