All you need to know about vinyl record sleeves

All you need to know about vinyl record sleeves

Jun 1, 2023

We've noticed that it's sometimes difficult to choose the right sleeve for your vinyl. From gatefold to discobag, it can be hard to understand what's behind these terms, and which sleeve is best suited to your project. In this article, we explain the specifics of each.

Classic sleeves

Vinyl record sleeves come in a variety of formats and styles. Here are some of the most common types :

Standard color sleeve : This is the most common sleeve format for vinyl records. This format is widely preferred for 12", 10" and 7" records, and can even accommodate up to 3 vinyl records. Open on one side for inserting the vinyl record, the front and back are fully customizable and printable.


Double gatefold : This sleeve opens like a book, offering more space for artwork, illustrations, photos and additional information. Gatefold sleeves are generally used for 12" LPs. They're popular because they leave more room for more elaborate visuals and create a more immersive experience.


Triple gatefold : This is an extended version of the double gatefold sleeve, with three panels instead of two. It offers even more space for artwork and visual elements, as well as for a possible insert such as a booklet, lyrics or poster. This format is often used for concept albums or special editions.


Double and triple gatefold sleeves hold a maximum of four vinyl records.

Discobag : It's a standard color sleeve, but with a hole in the center, that's all ! The advantage is that it's more economical, and lets you see the label illustration.


PVC Deluxe : While the above-mentioned types are made of cardboard, the PVC Deluxe pouch is, as the name suggests, made of PVC. It differs in several ways:

  • Being totally transparent, it offers full visibility of the vinyl.
  • The material does not allow illustrations to be printed.
  • No need for cellophane or inner-sleeves.


Special sleeves

More unique, but more costly to produce, certain sleeve designs can make a vinyl record truly original. These include :

Die-cut sleeves : Die-cut sleeves are cut to specific shapes, creating original openings or cut-outs. They can add an interesting visual dimension to artwork, revealing part of the disc or creating special visual effects.


Embossing and goffering : The sleeves feature reliefs, indentations, in short, original textures.

For even more customization

The edge : As with a book, these are the folds of the covers. For some covers, it's possible to have a thicker edge, on which you can write the name of the album and the artist.

OBIs : This is a wide strip of thick paper, which surrounds the vinyl sleeve. We also find them on certain books, to hold the pages together, or to indicate a new release, a positive review, etc. Originally, OBIs are belts used to fasten traditional Japanese garments !


We produce everything that's possible in the world of vinyl !
Nevertheless, the cost of producing sleeves can vary greatly depending on the type and degree of personalization.
For further details, please contact us !