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An Overview of Variable Data Printing

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If you are still stuck on in-house printing so that you can cut back on your operation costs, you are missing out on the latest innovation setting corporate prints apart: variable data printing. In VDP, your printer will use software that changes the output of his/her digital printing press. These changes allow the personalization of each of your printed pieces with specific information from a database or spreadsheet. Personalized prints are guaranteed to increase your ROI since consumers will engage with them, act on the messages, and remember them.

Printing and fulfillment services can personalize your prints with a customer’s address, age, name, hair color, and just about anything that will make them feel like a significant part of your brand. This does not, however, mean that the in-house prints contain people’s details can replace VDP. Different vital components set VDP apart from the traditional prints with attached personal information.


This denotes the things that will be displayed on various pages of your print. They include static and dynamic images, text, and graphics. Dynamic content will use placeholders usually named by a data column’s headers to mark the location of all elements and reference data. Once your document is printed, your record data will replace the placeholder.

Business Rules

You cannot afford to ignore business etiquette in your prints just because they are personalized. Business rules are among the things that set VDP documents apart for corporate marketing. There are different sets of criteria that your printing company will check against your prints to determine what should be displayed on your pages. The printing company will also use various levels of scripting to guarantee the final product is relevant, understandable, flawless, and meets your industry’s grammatical requirements.


There are multiple layout options for VDP documents since word length and character width will change per print, and there should be enough space to accommodate the changes. This will prevent oversetting while maintaining your print’s desired look. In some cases, printers will also recommend varying the images on different copies to fit the document’s size. In all cases, a professional printing company will endeavor to match your product’s layout to the size or length of your page.



In its early days, printers would hand code VDP since it was both a PDL and programming language. Nowadays, there is various software used for the creation of VDP documents. The basic software types used in most cases include a dedicated VDP application, third-party plugins, and software with built-in functioning inside a page layout.

The given elements of VDP are the primary ones that determine the prints you will get and their impact on your target clients. Most businesses assume that traditional prints have been overtaken by online marketing and would rather invest in the latter since it is far cheaper. Though VDP might be more expensive compared to most marketing alternatives, the guaranteed profits from this option will make it worth your investment. When well executed, the prints will be the primary elements that drive traffic to your online pages and physical business location.

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