Skip to main content
Intermedia Print Solutions
100 Overlook Center Suite 200, FL 2,
Princeton, NJ 08540

August  21, 2023

Variable Data Printing: Why It Matters in Label Production

Source: Packaging News (PKN)

You encounter labels every day—on food packaging, clothing tags, and even prescription medicine bottles. While it may be easy to overlook the meticulous effort behind their creation, labels hold significant importance. They play a crucial role by providing vital information and helping quality products stand out.

In the dynamic world of the printing and packaging industries, the ability to personalize and customize labels is an indispensable tool. Variable data printing (VDP) is a powerful technique for efficient and accurate label production. By seamlessly integrating design and data, VDP allows for highly tailored and visually striking labels.

In the humorous image of a VDP label above, the designers used one black and white photo. They swapped out the hat, glasses, mouth and neck, etc. to create various disguises. The label printer then applied hot foil, cold foil, light line foils, silk screen white and additional colors, high build coating enhancements to create a series of variable data printed labels.

This blog delves into the significance of variable data printing in label production and explores its applications so you can understand its impact on the industry and your daily life.

What is Variable Data Printing?

Variable data printing (VDP) is a sophisticated digital printing technology that customizes printed materials by integrating variable elements into the design. With VDP, you can easily tailor each piece with unique information, such as names, dates, and images, without manually changing the printing copy. VDP also has an increasing popularity demand because of its improved flexibility and higher customer engagement. 

Variable Data Printing Benefits

VDP brings many advantages to label production and other printing endeavors. As opposed to other types of printing, which mass-produces copies of a single document, VDP lets you produce unique labels with customized messages for each customer.

1. Customization

You can create highly targeted marketing campaigns on an unprecedented scale. Each promotion, flyer, or product can have a customized message tailored to each customer’s preferences, leading to increased customer engagement and improved conversion rates. 

2. Accuracy

VDP utilizes automated interactions between databases, eliminating human error and ensuring accurate and consistent information. Industries with strict regulations or a need for precise details, such as ingredient lists or medical products, can significantly benefit from this level of precision.

3. Cost and time reduction

VDP provides a competitive edge by enabling quick turnaround times and cost-effective production. The ability to print variable data in a single pass reduces setup time and eliminates the need for manual sorting or labeling, making your workflow more efficient.

4. Profit improvements

Did you know that one in five customers is willing to pay up to 20% more for personalized products? VDP not only reduces costs for the mass-personalization of labels but also gives a unique selling point that attracts buyers willing to pay a premium.

How Does Variable Data Printing Work?

This process is what a typical variable data printing operation looks like.

1. Data collection and integration

The process begins with collecting relevant data, such as customer information or product details. The VDP system then integrates the data into a database or variable data file, making it easy for the system to access the necessary information.

2. Label design

During the label design phase, designers create a template or layout. This step incorporates the parts that stay the same for every label, the fixed elements, and the factors that the VDP system changes, called the variable elements. Variable elements include everything from simple text to design elements like color, images, and format.

3. Print job set up

The print job requires specialized software and equipment capable of handling variable data. Printers link the data file to the printing system, enabling automated retrieval and placement of variable information onto the labels. They also configure print settings, such as color, size, and finishing options at this stage.

4. Print production and finishing

Once the print job is ready, the VDP system generates the labels. It prints each one with the personalized data in a single pass, seamlessly merging the design template with the variable data from the database. The system ensures accurate information and consistent quality. After printing, people or different machines cut, sort, and prepare the labels for application.

What are the Uses of Variable Data Printing in Label Production?

Variable data printing revolutionizes label production with its versatile applications. Here are some essential uses of VDP in businesses across industries.

1. Personalized mailings

VDP enables personalized mailings by incorporating recipient-specific information. This level of personalization captures attention and improves customer engagement.

Example: A retail clothing brand can print labels for direct mail catalogs, including the recipient’s name and personalized product recommendations.

2. Customized URLs

VDP can generate unique URLs or QR codes on labels, allowing businesses to direct customers to individual landing pages. The company can then track responses instantly and gather valuable data.

Example: Beverage companies can host contests using unique QR codes on their drinks, drawing attention while enhancing customer engagement.

3. Tailored offers and promotions

Using VDP, companies can create custom labels with specific offers and discounts based on customer profiles and purchasing history. This personalization drives sales and fosters loyalty.

Example: A grocery store chain can print labels with personalized coupons for loyalty card members, pushing them towards relevant products.

4. Variable imagery and graphics

VDP isn’t limited to text. You can include variable imagery, creating visually relevant and striking designs based on demographics, locations, or product variations.

Example: Cosmetic companies can use VDP to print labels with product images corresponding to specific skin tones or hair colors, ensuring a personalized visual experience for each customer.

5. Regulatory compliance

Regulatory standards can be strict in specific industries, and VDP can help ensure that labels meet those requirements by dynamically incorporating pertinent information.

Example: The pharmaceutical industry can easily adjust dosage instructions and warnings, letting them print labels for entire catalogs of medication in one print.

Transform Labels into Tailored Experiences

Variable data printing revolutionizes label production, blending data and design to create engaging, dynamic, and tailored experiences. It transforms labels from static elements to powerful tools that enhance customer communication, elevate brand presence, and foster deeper connections.

If you’re ready to unleash the power of variable data printing in your label production, consider partnering with Intermedia Print Solutions! We cover all your printing needs using the latest techniques and technologies. Check out our product catalog today!


Our Clients & Partners