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Variable Data Printing:

Variable Data Printing or VDP is a form of On Demand Digital Printing that allows for a part of the printed piece to change as it prints. The piece that changes can be text fields, graphics or images. Typically the variable data is provided though a database (such as SQL, MS Access, MySQL, etc.) or through an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, CSV (comma separated value) file, or delimited value file. This is also referred to as One-to-One Marketing or Personalized Printing.

Here are some examples where Variable Data Printing is useful:

  • Addressing Direct Mail Pieces such as Postcards
  • Personalized Letters
  • Self Mailers
  • Brochures with Customer Specific Personalization
  • Variable QR Codes
  • Variable Background Colors
  • Personalized URLs or PURLs to drive website traffic to a customized web page
  • Cross Media Marketing
  • Thank You Cards

How Does Variable Data Printing Work:

Once the graphic design work is complete, the variable part is identified. There are two methods of applying variable data to a printed piece. The first is a simple record by record method. Here a server steps though each record and applies the fields identified to the printed piece. This is how addresses would be applied to a direct mail piece or a name is inserted into a letter.

Variable Data Spreadsheet

Variable Data Postcard Image

The second way is by using rules. Here, variable text, pURLS, QR Codes, images, or templates are applied using a series of specific rules. For example, the color of the printed piece could change based on a zip code, or an image could change based on what your customer previously purchased.

Benefits of Variable Data Printing:

  • Save Money - On Demand Digital Printing allows for custom run sizes, when mixed with variable data the run size can be limited to the size of your database.
  • Save Time - Never hand label or address a printed piece again
  • Personalization draws attention to your printed piece
  • Using rules based variable data, artwork can change based on customer preference
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Quality Imaging Services, Inc.
225 Broadway, Lower Level, NY, NY 10007
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