>I have a good working relationship with DiscMakers and have used their
>online templates on projects and asked Alex for some other 
>recommendations of programs that I could use to get more options. He
>suggested the usual ones plus GIMP. I sent him an email asking about
>the PDF/X-4, and will likely hear from him today on that.
>He said don't worry about the RGB they can do the conversion for me
>for free. I did send him the PDF of the CD front cover, plus the
>actual pic I started with, so he can check it with his graphic techs.
>So thankfully I have some help on their end.
>I just didn't want to do too much more work before checking to see if
>I'm on the right track and then find I have to redo everything a 3rd
>time. The thing I was concerned about was on their tutorials saying
>that a regular PDF can distort the image to fit on an 8.5x11 paper and
>that the PDF-X4 doesn't do that. I hope that doesn't apply to this

Thats sounds very helpful, I hope it turns out ok.

Going back to your original question, how to hide the writing.

I went back to the DiscMakers site and downloaded their complete bundle of
templates for the various applications they support. One of them is a Photoshop
template, A CMYK .psd file, so does not open in Gimp. I do have tools to convert
that to RGB and is attached.

Nothing complicated with what is provided. Two layers, the outlines and text, a
transparent layer on top. A white bottom layer called 'Your Artwork'. So the
answer is put your artwork between those layers, follow the sizes given in the
template. When finished turn the visibility of the top layer off.

There is also a 'UsersGuide_V1.pdf in the bundle which helps, it says

..quote..Illustration C shows what the proof we send you will look like

So you will get to see what it looks like before ordering 1000's.

* http://www.gimpusers.com/system/attachments/829/original/UD109.xcfgz

rich404 (via www.gimpusers.com/forums)
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