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Benefits of Printing Labels With Variable Image & Data

Posted by Advanced Labels NW

Variable image and data printingVariable data printing (VDP) and variable image printing (VIP) have been around for years, since the dawn of digital label printing. And yet many brand owners are still unaware of the tremendous benefits it offers. Far from its technical sounding title, variable printing offers clear and obvious benefits for brands– cost savings, package personalization, and design flexibility.


Cost Savings with Variable Label Printing

Here are the basics: with variable label printing, different images, graphics, and text can be printed within any label order where the labels are all the same size. That's it. Since the per label cost of any order drops dramatically with increased quantities, by grouping several same-size labels into a single run keeps costs down. And keep in mind, the labels in these variable runs can look considerably different, or feature a simple product revision such as a varietal name for wine labels, consecutive numbering, or barcode serialization.

A simple example of the cost savings: With variable printing, you can order 10,000 labels for 5 different SKUs, instead of paying for the setup cost of 5 orders at 2,000 labels each. Your total label order cost will be significantly lower by using variable printing on labels of the same size between these 5 products.

If you need to meet the minimum order of 1,000 labels, you can combine different labels (again, of the same size) into one variable printing run. For example, if you have 3 products but need just 400 labels each, your order would be 1,200 labels with variable printing.

Variable Image Label Printing
Package Personalization with Variable Label Printing

You've probably seen the "Share a Coke with..." campaign on store shelves, and maybe even found a bottle with your own name on it. How did they do it? With variable printing of course! In the same way direct marketing can print and mail thousands of identical postcards directly to you and your neighbors, a label printer can use variable printing to add a personal touch to your packaging in support of your promotional campaign, with a much greater impact. 

You can print labels featuring dozens of different animals, or each of the 50 state birds, or quotes from renowned philosophers– anything you can think of. Variable label printing makes packaging dynamic and engaging.


Label Design Flexibility with Variable Label Printing

Variable data label printingAs mentioned above, variable printing allows brands to combine same-sized labels into a single order. But it also allows for striking color and image variations within a single product line. Variable printing allows for different languages to be used across products within your order, seasonal variations, promotional opportunities targeted at specific demographics or geographic locations and more.

Diversify your label packaging within a single label order, take a promotional campaign to the next level, or differentiate products within your line– all with lower costs over smaller individual orders. Variable label printing is a good option for brands looking to tell their story in a unique way, stand apart and get noticed.


File Setup for Variable Label Printing

Just as with a traditional mail merge, variable printing uses an Excel .CSV (comma separated value) file to communicate with the digital printing press. Your variable data should be organized in a .CSV, and for variable images the .CSV should contain image names. And remember, when using variable images in your label design it is crucial that the images are the exact same size and orientation (portrait / landscape) to avoid any scaling issues.

Speak with a customer service representative today to discuss the many possibilities available with variable label printing.


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Topics: Digital Labels, Technology

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