American and European Blu Ray Case Dimensions
The average DVD case is 14mm thick. The US Blu ray case is 11 or 12.5mm. There are many reasons why the Blu ray case is thinner. The major reasons are to distinguish it from the regular DVD and enable collectors to fit more in the same space.
Another reason for the disparity in size has to do with legal issues. Originally the 11mm was intended for Blu ray, while the 12.5mm for the HD DVD.
In Europe the Blu ray case size is 14 to 15mm thick. One possible reason is to enable more booklets and info to be inserted in the case.
Note: the 12mm cases sold are likely 12.5 simply rounded off for convenience’s sake. If you’re designing covers, keep the 11mm, 12mm and 14/15mm dimensions in mind. While Blu ray covers for 11mm might be transferable to 12mm, it just isn’t with 15mm; the spine design won’t be sufficient.
Types of Blu Ray Cases
The eco case refers to any Blu ray or DVD case that’s environmentally friendly. Sometimes this designation has been applied to only certain 12.5mm cases. However the term can be used on every type of Blu ray case as long as it’s environment friendly. The eco cases are available in the Blu ray case sizes mentioned earlier.
Clones and knockoffs refer to generic Blu ray disc cases. The generic cases are not necessarily bad. But while the size is the same as branded Blu ray disc cases, their quality isn’t. Some will break more easily, but others don’t. They are available in 11mm or 12.5mm sizes, but the quality varies per manufacturer.
In most DVD and Blu ray cases, polypropylene (PP) is used. It is a cloudy plastic but is chemically treated to make it clear. This is stuck on the front of the case and keeps the cover on.
Blu ray case sizes (11mm and 12.5mm) use this material, but some swing trays employ polystyrene. Polystyrene is used for making standard CD jewel cases. Other Blu Ray case manufacturers use polypropylene however.
Color and Translucency
As stated earlier, Blu ray cases are smaller compared to standard DVDs. However there are other differences. A DVD case is usually opaque and characteristically black. The Blu ray case is usually blue.
However other colors can and are being used. While several cases are advertised as clear, the clearness actually varies. It depends entirely on the clarifier used by the manufacturer.
Although most generic cases are good, some aren’t. Some unscrupulous manufacturers will claim their product is brand X when the cover they use shows it isn’t. Check the case measurements too, just to be sure.
Because Blu ray case sizes in Europe and the US are not the same, it’s important you recognize their difference. When buying cases, make sure you look at the dimensions.