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Variable Content Printing

Simple to Complex Variable Content…It’s a Piece of Cake!

Variable content printing has long been a specialty at Chromagraphics. We can handle your more simple needs by using an address block and/or text teasers.  With more moderate complexity, we can process your files with variable content imaging and layering and by utilizing PURLS, custom barcodes and QR codes.  For even more complex files we can work with complex data and variable image integration.  We have the technical expertise and resources to not only produce the work effectively and cost-efficiently, but to consult with you to set up the art and data files for easy production. We recently produced a postcard mailing with over 20,000 different photographs and with dozens of custom data fields.

Variable Text

Utilizing variable text within your printing project has been around for decades. However, the sophistication and ways you can now incorporate variable type through digital printing have greatly expanded. What used to be just a simple black copy address block or teaser copy can now be full variable copy throughout the entire piece. Variable copy can be worked into the design in any color, can be knocked out of graphics or even knocked out and/or overprint color photos. Barcodes, UPC codes, and QR codes can also be easily incorporated through digital printing.

Variable text with PURL knocking out of 4CP build
Variable text knocking out of 4CP build and photo
Variable text knocking out of 4CP builds and photos, with satin film lamination, spot gloss raised UV on top of satin film lamination, and a contoured diecut

Variable Graphics & Versioning

A powerful way to segment and make the content of your piece more relevant to the recipient is by versioning your message. A campaign that is targeted to multiple demographics segments can cater to each segment through the printed piece’s content and design. As long as the trim size and stock remain the same, the entire copy, design and look can change altogether within each demographic segment.  For selfmailers, this workflow also can minimize mail list costs and postage costs by processing as one larger list and not multiple smaller mailing lists.

Customized variable content 8pg self-cover college viewbook. There are hundreds of different possible variable content combinations of text, graphics and photos based on recipient’s PURL survey input.
Selfmailer brochure with 5 different versions with different artwork & photographs for each version and variable copy throughout
Customized variable content 32pp self-cover college viewbook. There are thousands of different possible variable content combinations of text, graphics and photos based on recipient’s PURL survey input.

Variable Photographs

Another sophisticated approach to making a more relevant message to your recipient is by using variable photographs. Pictures that relate to specific demographics can boost response rates. A health club could use attractive photos of people to populate the photos of a mailpiece targeting young single adults for new memberships. An automobile supply company marketing third party products to its audience could use a picture of the type of car the recipient may actually own. Therefore, this would tie that picture to the products they are offering. Variable photographs can also be used in a 1 to 1 level. Below we produced a mailpiece with over 20,000 unique photographs of people who ran in a footrace thanking them for participating in the event.   It also listed all of their pertinent running stats from the race.

The participant’s bib number allowed us to key the photo library to pull the picture of them crossing the finish line and all of the their own racing stats.

Variable Content Within Photographs

Used in a subtle manner or a more direct and obvious approach, variable content within photographs can be a powerful differentiator. A travel company marketing getaways can show a beautiful beach scene with the puffy clouds spelling out the recipient’s name. A restaurant can send out special birthday offers where the recipient’s name is spelled out in the icing of a cake or within the bubbles of a champagne glass. This is a very creative option that is relatively new and can really make your piece standout from the others.  If you’re so ambitious you can create your own font graphics or you can choose from the entire Xerox/XMPie content library located here. (link to