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Variable Information Printing – What is it and why is it better?

Updated: Jan 11


One of the areas Bespoke Labels specialises in is Variable Information Printing (VIP) – or what we like to call for short, VIP. With the ability of VIP, customers can reduce their outlay costs and inventory; instead of storing hundreds of different label types, you can buy what you need when you need.




So, what is Variable Information Printing?


Do you have one product but lots of varieties such as scent or flavour? Do you have different ingredients, weights, or batch numbers for each product? Well, the changing data is called variable information.


VIP is the ability to print all the different information in one print run. One print run consists of loading the labelling software and designing labels as per customer specification, and then setting up the printing machine which involves loading the material, calibrating the machine, and printing multiple test prints. This set up takes time, therefore if we can reduce the number of sets required, we can keep label costs to a minimum ensuring the customer receives a high-quality specialised label at a competitive price.


Let’s look at a simple example


If you sell ice cream and you have three flavours – chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry – your flavours are the variable data. You have decided you want a product label with your logo and then the flavour of the ice cream underneath which will go on the tubs of ice cream, and you need 100 labels for each flavour.


Traditionally we would create the design for the chocolate flavour, set up the printing machine, calibrate the machine and run test prints, then print the 100 labels required. Once that was complete, we would do the same for the vanilla flavour and then again for the strawberry.


With VIP we can create a database which captures all variable data. We would then, as with traditional printing, create the design for the first flavour, but this time we would do so in our specialised printing software which allows us to link the variable information database. Then as before, we would set up the printing machine, calibrate and run test prints, but this time when we print 100 labels the software tells the printer to print 100 of each variant e.g. 100 chocolate, 100 vanilla and 100 strawberry all within one print run – saving time and resources, subsequently keeping customer costs as low as possible.


The above example is a very simplified example of what VIP can do, but imagine you now have 10 different ice cream flavours, with three variations of each flavour, and all have different ingredients and batch numbers… Now the VIP database is looking very useful! One label can have multiple amounts of variable information, so the combinations are endless!




Summary


With the ability of VIP, customers can reduce their outlay costs and inventory; instead of storing hundreds of different label types, you can buy what you need when you need whilst ensuring a high-quality print throughout.


With our vast knowledge in the industry, we are here to help you – not sure where to start? Contact us now and we would be happy to talk through your requirements and together we can find a label which suits your needs.






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