The Importance of Printing Estimates in Variable Printing

Adan Ines asked:

Having a printing estimate is a very important option that you can have in your prints – more so in your variable printing strategies. Having the correct printing estimates will immensely improve your variable printing and direct marketing campaigns. But before we discuss how printing estimates can help you, here is a little background on what variable printing is.

Variable printing is a digital printing method that enables printers to mass produce your custom prints. For example, 3,000 personalized and custom prints can be produced as opposed to printing 3,000 copies of a single design that you can achieve through traditional offset printing.

There are three types of variable data printing options:

?    On-demand short-run variable printing service – On demand short run color printing is the most basic of all the variable printing services available. This type of variable printing service is done by dividing your prints and printing a set number of copies in short run. This is the easiest type of digital variable printing method because it only utilizes the short run process and there is no data programming involved.

?    Selectable variable printing service – selectable variable printing is the second type of digital variable printing services. It is more complicated than short run variable printing in the sense that there is a little programming involved. Here, you will have to determine which elements of the design will remain static (the same) and which elements will become variable (different).

This type of variable printing is used mainly for direct marketing campaign since it allows you to retain the original design and layout of your design but it also allows you to print a different name and address on each.

Ticket printing and stub printing also works on the same premise. You retain the design and layout that you want but you can change the number of the tickets for every print.

?    Full variable printing service – full variable printing service is the most complicated of all variable printing services. Full variable printing service relies heavily on the printer’s computer database and programming language. You can program different codes and scripts (you can specify the codes that you want or you can also leave them random) on to your computer. The computer in turn processes these algorithms and scripts that you input enabling the printer to alter your prints at random or at a controlled setting (it depends on the codes and scripts that you enter earlier). In theory, you can print different types of prints every copy.

Having printing quotes will help you with your variable printing services by:

•    Letting you get instant prices of your prints – you can budget more and control how you can go about your marketing strategy.

•    It lets you canvass for the cheapest prices that you can get – having online price quotes allow you to shop around and get the prices of competing printers. Just choose which one fits your budget perfectly. Now you can print how many you need and not waste any more money.

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