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An Interview with Tom Catalano, ArtScribe Founder

July 1, 2008

Tom Catalano is a designer and LightScribe enthusiast. Not long ago he came up with an idea to create backgrounds and artwork specifically optimized for burning LightScribe labels. He sells the collection, known as ArtScribe, on two CDs. We liked his idea so much we decided to offer it to our SureThing CD/DVD Labeler customers. Following is an interview with Tom about his ArtScribe project and LightScribe labeling in general.

So what exactly is ArtScribe?
In a nutshell, ArtScribe is a unique collection of background and clip art images digitally enhanced specifically for printing, a.k.a. burning, to LightScribe media.

Specifically for LightScribe? What do you mean by that?
Well, when you think about it, paper CD labels are designed to work primarily with color images printed with either an inkjet or laser printer. The surface of a LightScribe disc is engineered to reproduce a monochrome (black & white or gray scale) version of an image by etching it on to the disc itself. These are two completely different mediums. ArtScribe images are specifically designed to work with the LightScribe print method.

How did you go about creating these images? Is there a method to the madness?
Just a lot of trial and error. Doing a bunch of test prints to find out what works and what doesn’t. If you’re creating them yourself, what you want is a clean black & white or gray scale image with high contrast and high-resolution (about 300 dpi). Or you can simply purchase the ArtScribe Studio CD and save yourself a lot of time and effort. Sorry, I couldn’t resist getting in a plug.

Any tips or tricks?
Probably the best tip I could pass on to your readers is this. When designing a LightScribe label, try to keep images and text separate if at all possible. When they compete for visibility, you end up the loser. Another thing is, always select the highest print quality option when printing to LightScribe. The little time you save printing in draft mode is not worth it in my opinion. If the label is worth printing at all, it’s worth a few extra minutes to get the best results possible.

What would you like to see in terms of enhancements? Where do you think LightScribe is headed?
Right now it takes quite a bit longer to print a LightScribe label then it does a conventional paper one. I’d like to see the print time cut down substantially. Also, the center hole on a LightScribe disc is considerably larger than a standard CD due to the fact that the LightScribe enabled drive needs to read the data they store there. This leaves less room for your artwork and text. I’d like to see the printable surface area increased. I would certainly like to be able to print in full color. This seems a long way off, but hey, if we can put a man on the moon....

What are the benefits to using SureThing?
Tons of cool features, it’s intuitive, easy to use and its support for LightScribe is the best I’ve seen.

Where can I get ArtScribe? Are there any samples?
ArtScribe Backgrounds and ClipArt are currently available from [click here to visit the ArtScribe page]. You can also view and download free samples there.

Articles, Tips and Tricks:

SureThing LightScribe Software
SureThing CD/DVD Labeler lets you easily create, design and print beautiful LightScribe discs.

Buy LightScribe Discs
LightScribe Discs for all occasions. Choose from the classic gold discs or five new vibrant colors. Available in CD and DVD formats.

Backgrounds for LightScribe
New! ArtScribe Backgrounds for LightScribe Classic works of fine art tuned to produce LightScribe masterpieces. Available only from

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