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Amie Baker Creative is a boutique graphic design studio focused on helping businesses and their brands through visual identities, print design and web design.

Client Experience :: Secrets of Print Shops

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With my recent move (more here), we’ve had to fill out countless warranty registration cards and mail them in. I filled them all out and let me tell you how frustrating it is to have to fill in the model number or other product specific information on those postcards when I know in my mind they could have done it for me. I’m talking about variable printing. A magical solution to printing a wide range of information within the same exact template. For example, those warranty cards could have been pre-filled in for me and only a couple were. These are the things that challenge my mind with my clients now to find ways I can make their lives easier by the use of print technology that isn’t widely known with small business owners.

In simple terms, it is magic, variable printing lets you control content that prints in one print run with several variances. Imagine having a product line that needs warranty cards returned and having them all come back legible for you and allows you to speed up processing time.

If you have 3 models, traditionally you’ll need to supply 3 print files if you are pre-filling data for each one.  That is 3 projects to manage. 3 email strings. 3 everything. Variable printing allows you to set fields within the design file to supply 1 file. You’ll accompany that file with a date file that holds the key on what to print where. That likely sounds more intimidating than it actually is so don’t let that fool you. You now have 1 project to manage, 1 email string, 1 everything. Your printer will even shrink wrap, pack and label the different versions for you. Even though it will take a bit more time upfront prepping a data file, it will save you so much time overall.

Give me a shout with questions about a project you have interest in for applying variable data and tips on how to make it work for you. Most commonly this process is best paired with direct mail, invitations, fundraiser marketing and sales presentations.

Here is a handy visual to break it down:

variable printing-01-01

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