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What is Variable Data Printing?

Posted 31st July 2017

What is Variable Data Printing?

Variable Data Printing, also known as VDP or Variable Information Printing, is a digital printing method that allows text, images and graphics to be changed during a print run without stopping the printer.  

VDP is mainly used in consumer contact via mailouts, invoicing, forms of advertising and many other types of documentation. For example, the most frequent and well-known use of VDP is with a direct mailout, where a letter is personalised with a person’s name and address. You have probably received a letter in the post where VDP has been used but may not have even noticed! Another use of VDP you may have spotted before is on numbered vouchers, raffle tickets and even car parking tickets.

How does it work?

A database is created which contains the changeable information that is being used to personalise the printed piece. Once this has been done, software is used to extract that data and merge it to create a new document containing all of the versions ready for printing.

Why use it?

Personalisation is a powerful marketing tool and Variable Data Printing offers numerous possibilities; such as addressing someone by name or featuring a particular brand or product based on someone’s preference or previous purchase. You could include discount coupons or unique codes to use online. With the general public receiving an abundance of mailouts and endless advertisements through their letterboxes, using a personalised approach could make a big difference.

Modern printing techniques and the improvements in workflow has greatly reduced the cost of using VDP, making it a more cost effective for newsletters, flyers, vouches or other mailings. So instead of sending 1,000 letters with an identical message, you can print 1,000 unique letters with a special message targeting an individual customer or a group of customers and still keep within your budget.

VDP allows you to be more creative, no longer do you need to leave a space for a name to be overprinted, you can change text, images, graphics and colours.

To find out more, or to learn how you could benefit from using Variable Data Printing then get in touch with a member of our sales team.