The world around us is ever changing. Technology, the very land itself, and everything living in it Is changing and adapting to new and unique challenges. The print industry is no different.
Offset printing was a long time mainstay, and now digital printing has emerged from the need to have a more convenient printing method that allows for an important key: variable data printing. What is variable data? It includes graphics, texts, and images that need to change from one printed piece to the next, based on the client’s needs. Variable data printing offers printers and their clients the ability to go beyond basic mass production and focus in on large scale customization. The top drivers for this kind of printing are personalization and branding.
What can you create with variable data printing?
This unique offshoot of digital printing opens printers up to many new markets, including coupons, lottery tickets, direct mail, trading cards, and other personalized mailing pieces, as well as labels. Label printing is infinitely simpler with variable data since there are now so many SKU’s and bar codes stores must keep track of. Direct mail is another big player, since many messages in this for are tailored to individual age, gender, history, and more. Variable data printing is also great for product lines with many versions, such as Crest toothpaste. There’s 3D white, gum protection, enamel renewal, and more! These printing abilities also make it easy and cost-effective to brand products with labels that reflect their local region.
What are some other benefits?
Since runs are not limited to one image in a certain quantity, there is less material waste and more money saved. Variable printing is also great in fields like medicine, where many labels are created and it is paramount that they are named and numbered properly for safety concerns. This type of printing is also now capable of handling high resolution jobs, and small graphics and bar codes are easy to print. The precision of this method is also valuable, especially for QR codes.
Print based communication is still the favored method of contact for many, and the need for product tracking help solidify the future of variable data printing. Marketing is also starting to mix with variable printing, with different game and QR codes being featured on different labels and packages to gain customer interest.
So where does one see variable data printing?
It’s everywhere! Pressure sensitive labels on products, decals on windows, menus, tags, gift cards, and more are all items that are variable printed for maximum impact.