What is Variable Data Printing?

Chances are that if you have sent out multiple invitations to something or if you handle print projects at your business, that you’ve used Variable Data Printing (VDP). But these are just basic ways to use this printing technique and incorporating VDP into your marketing strategy can make a big impact. If you’re not familiar with the technique, or if you want to learn more about the process, keep reading!

House of Printing is a high-quality print shop located in Burtonsville, Maryland who wants to provide superior service and products to each of our customers. Our digital printing services include a variety of options to give you the resources you need to complete your print project, whatever it may be. We offer desktop services to help increase workflow, digital printing for fast and efficient products, direct mailings, offset printing, binding, foil stamping, and more. And if you’re not located in Burtonsville, or would rather have your finished products delivered to your door, we offer free shipping to the Washington and Baltimore areas.


What is Variable Data Printing?

Often used in large mailing projects, VDP is used to target specific people by changing out the name and address on each piece. At House of Printing, we go beyond simply changing out names, but we can also switch out graphics, making it possible to deliver personalized pieces. The important part of VDP is that the printing process doesn’t stop every time something in the design needs to be changed. The variable data, whether it’s a name or part of a graphic, is generated and printed as a unique piece. This gives your company the opportunity to target individuals within your audience for specific information, such as location, age, income, and household size.

Here are some helpful tips if you’re wanting to use Variable Data Printing

  • Use Basic Information: While you can use a large amount of data to increase the personalization for each piece, it can sometimes be more beneficial to simply use first and last name, email, and/or a mailing address.
  • The Design: When creating the initial design, it’s important to think ahead. If you’re sending a flier to a customer with the name Elizabeth Jane Baker-Campbell, this character count will take up more space than someone with the name Lynn Smith. Create a design with these space parameters in mind.
  • Use a Default: The tricky part about variable data is that when a field is not complete, it may create an empty space within the design. If you’re adding a business logo to each piece depending on which company the receiver works for, either make sure that you have every logo for every piece, or find a filler design to make sure that the space isn’t empty, which could affect the overall look.
  • Edit Your Proofs: This will be an essential step before sending the final approval to your print shop. A proof of a design with variable data will include pages of samples with the variations that you have chosen. Closely editing the proof for errors and mistakes will be your last chance to check for problems.
  • Is it Too Personal?: If you’re creating a design for a holiday advertisement and want to personalize the design based on the receiver’s age, gender, household size, and religious beliefs, it may border on being weird. You want to make the advertisement personal, but don’t want to offend them.
  • Printing Technique: There are a lot of options when it comes to how you want your project printed, including laser printing, full-color digital printing, and inkjet high-speed printing. To get the best finished product, choose a technique that complements your personalizations. The team at House of Printing will be more than happy to help you decide which is best.

If you’re looking for a print shop with the best equipment and service, contact House of Printing in Burtonsville. We also offer free shipping to the Washington and Baltimore areas.