Giving your customers a tailored product experience doesn’t require you to meet them in person. Your product label can help you with that thanks to digital printing technology.

Variable data printing, sometimes shortened to variable printing or VDP, is an enhanced form of digital printing that allows a business to change certain elements in a design, such as headline, image, name, or color without interrupting the printing process.  VDP is a direct outgrowth of digital printing technology, which harnesses computer databases and digital print devices along with specialized software to produce a customized product label.

What is Variable Data Printing?

Personalization is an effective strategy for product promotion. Variable data technology enables you to modify elements of your label in a way that alters how your customers engage with your products, regardless of whether you want to build a label specifically for a particular person or add some variation to your items, such as a new flavor, aroma, or color.

The fuel for variable printing is information. This information comes in the form of a spreadsheet or another type of file and can have a wide range of components, including text, colors, graphics, and other features. The next step is to establish a set of guidelines that govern when and how an element is updated.

Using this method, you may take a single label design and turn it into numerous individualized labels by instructing a printing press what should be printed and when.


Benefits of Variable Data Printing

Digital printing of variable data has the advantage of not slowing down the printing process, which is one of its main advantages. Unlike other printing processes, you can produce different versions of the same label without switching out the printing plates. Since all the variable data is digitally saved, it is possible to program the press to print a variety of labels in a single run without having to stop the presses. This enables you to obtain your variable labels more quickly and affordably than otherwise possible.

With its capacity to transmit distinctive, individualized marketing messages to customers, variable data printing is very useful. It helps  support a strong organizational process by labeling inventories and equipment with straightforward alpha-numeric text and sequential numbering. Such development of distinctive barcodes, QR codes, and other forms of serialization is essential in the security and medical industries.

Variable data labels enable seamless product tracking throughout the supply chain, from raw material delivery to final consumer sale. This is especially important for consumer protection when a product recall is required. Based on variable data, manufacturers, dealers and consumers can pinpoint exactly which products are affected. Additionally, you can find the cause of the error more easily and fix it more quickly. This reduces the time and cost of product recalls. 

At the same time, variable data labels also serve as brand protection. Product labels provide the original manufacturer with an effective countermeasure against counterfeiting and block unjustified product liability claims.

Variable data printing can also print the base graphics and add a unique product identifier to the label at the same time to protect the brand and prevent counterfeiters from entering the market.

It’s easy to see how variable printing can help you print barcodes, serial numbers, and other uniquely identifiable markings on your labels. Digital presses also allow you to add covert serialization features using inks that can only be read under machine or UV light.

Variable Imaging can also enhance label security by adding a guilloche pattern. The guilloche pattern, which consists of 1-pixel wide lines, is practically invisible, but allows for quick and easy product authentication. Guilloche can also be generated algorithmically  for variable printing, so no two labels are the same, providing another protective barrier against counterfeiting.


How Does Variable Data Label Printing Work?


Variable data printing uses variable data software, a digital press, and stored data. This data can come from a spreadsheet or other file format of your choice and is made up of various elements such as colors, graphics, text and other characteristics. 

 Once you have selected your data, within your variable data printing software you can create a set of rules that determine how the elements are changed and controlled. 

 This process then tells the digital press what to print, allowing users to create multiple personalized prints from one design. 

 Suppose you are the owner of a successful brewery that produces several seasonal craft beers on site. Each type of craft beer bottle needs a label so customers can identify which type it is. 

VDP allows you to print a different name for each beer on existing labels made for this brewery’s brand. The same concept can be applied to various other markets.

VDP technology allows companies to create custom labels at scale. You can use all the information available about your current customer to create a personalized one-to-one experience over an otherwise cold communication channel. 

 VDP software synthesizes available customer data to personalize labels. This is true whether you simply include the customer’s name in the text or create an entire targeted marketing campaign for her based on the customer’s profile. 

 By combining the print project file with the individual information in the customer database, the marketing department uses their VDP software to capture the unique images, text, or data associated with the campaign and convert it into customer-specific materials.

VDP is especially popular for products in industries such as food and beverage, chemicals, health and beauty products, and cannabis.


Ready to Use Variable Data Printing For Your Business?


If you want your business to streamline document printing, stay innovative and personalize print content, Variable Data Printing can help your business. 

At Alpine Packaging, we understand how difficult it may be to manage the various printed labels your business needs.  Our design and customer service team works closely with our customers to evaluate your printing requirements and are able to assist you in developing innovative solutions such as Variable Data Labeling.