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What Is Variable Data Printing?

In the printing industry, more specifically, commercial printing innovation is critical to streamlining processes and staying ahead of the competition. One such innovative approach is variable data printing. But what is variable data printing exactly? 

Join us as we explore the definition, types, and benefits of variable printing.

What Is Variable Data Printing?

The phrase "variable data printing" (VDP), sometimes known as "variable information printing," is a digital printing practice in which printed products are produced with minute print variations amongst them.

You may make sure that each product has unique information by using variable data printing. This is very important for direct mail advertising. For example, this can be receiving a flier or brochure in the mail.

Our printing team may now easily alter consecutive or varied print aspects product by product by simply loading a spreadsheet containing variable data into the printer. This is made possible by modern digital printing technology. 

This means that each printed product may include unique text, graphics, or photographs. Variable printing guarantees the accuracy of your prints and eliminates the possibility of human error.

With our professional digital printing services, you’ll get the high-quality VDP printing your business deserves!

What Is Variable Data Printing?
Source: / Photo Contributor:

Digital Printing: How Does Variable Printing Work?

Digital printing is the sole method available for printing variable data. VDP cannot be used along with other conventional printing methods. 

Traditional printing techniques are great for large-scale production, but they just can't offer the customization and flexibility required for variable data printing. The capacity of digital printing to create individualized, personalized tasks is one of its primary advantages.

Digital printing for VDP enables projects to be transmitted straight to the printer, eliminating the need for printing plates by utilizing the following: 

  • Information systems

  • Digital printing technology

  • Specialist VDP software

Digital printers operate similarly to home printers in that they print tasks straight from a computer as a PDF or other sort of file onto paper, canvas, cardstock, or any other printable medium.

With variable data printing, we can personalize every aspect of a printed product to meet your requirements and preferences. The following variables may be customized:

  • Names

  • Images

  • Text

  • QR codes and URLs

  • Locations and logos

  • Graphics

  • Colors and taglines

Types of Variable Data Printing

So, as we mentioned, variable data printing allows us to customize prints by changing and replacing elements like color, text, image, etc., through a database or an external file.

The types of variable data printing include the following:

  • Name and address variability

  • Additional versioning

  • Image personalization

  • Transactional information

Types of Variable Data Printing
Source: / Photo Contributor: Mayuree Moonhirun

Name and address variability

The name and address variability type of VDP refers to the process of printing several documents with different contact details and names for each. For example, this helps direct mailers to send bills by utilizing name and address variability to streamline the process. 

Additional versioning 

This type of variable data printing allows each printed product to contain elements that are personalized and variable. For instance, additional versioning would be the specific text parts of a sales letter or an offer letter that may be replaced for each printed piece. 

Image personalization 

The image personalization type of variable data printing incorporates customizing images in a database for printing purposes. One example of image personalization is customizing contact information with an image for a marketing campaign.

Transactional information 

Transactional information VDP involves personalizing geographically variable elements, including QR codes, barcodes, or data specific to the document’s recipient. This type of variable data printing is utilized when printing charts or when a client requires number-based data.

What is Variable Data Printing Example

Mass mailing marketing campaigns

In order to help the business track who is scanning the code or accessing their website, they put the name, address, and possibly even a personalized QR code or website.

Businesses can make customized mailers by using consumer data, such as names and addresses. All they have to do is send their variable data and art files to a printing company that makes the customized mailers.

Linear barcodes

Linear barcodes are widely utilized in the industrial and logistics sectors for inventory management and process control.

However, the majority of businesses require dozens, even hundreds, of distinct linear barcodes in order to track and keep track of data for every item in their inventory. 

Variable data printing enables you to upload the information to a company that can quickly and efficiently print one or more copies of each linear barcode you need. This saves you the time and effort of printing and programming the information for each barcode.

Linear Barcodes
Source: / Photo Contributor: Reezky Pradata

Asset statistics 

A vital component of the daily operations of numerous manufacturing businesses is asset statistics. They provide a means of tagging and uniquely identifying every piece of machinery, equipment, tool, and component owned by a business. 

Employees can also quickly retrieve information about an item, such as its location and maintenance history, by scanning the barcode on asset tags.

Asset labels are also necessary to ensure regulatory compliance in particular industries because of legislation requiring them to be on specific categories of assets.

Because of this, you must collaborate with a VDP printing business that can promptly provide your asset labels when you need them and is aware of the regulatory codes you must adhere to.

Benefits of Using Variable Data Printing

With variable data printing, you get to customize high-quality print materials quickly for business purposes. Some of the biggest benefits of using variable data printing for businesses include:

  • Less color usage – because variable data is stored digitally, there is no need to stop and restart the printing press. Instead, a wide range of prints may be done at a faster rate without wasting materials.

  • Increase engagement   as we mentioned, variable data printing is used for target mailing campaigns, which further increases engagement.

  • Label art and design customization – the ability to customize your prints is an excellent tool for making promotional products and attracting potential customers.

  • Easier tracking – with VDP, businesses are able to track their target audience more easily, allowing them to apply the collected data to various marketing strategies.


What is variable data printing? It is an advanced type of digital printing. VDP allows printing companies to create customized prints by changing and replacing specific variables using a database or a file.

VPD offers clients the ability to customize their printed products to maximize their marketing efforts.


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