Variable Data Printing


An Advantage of Digital Printing

Thanks to digital printing capabilities, customers can have greater flexibility with their custom labels in a relatively affordable and quick manner. Variable data printing is available on digital label presses and can be used for printing serialized barcodes, consecutive number labels and more. Whether you have a labeling project with variable data or need personalized labels for a marketing campaign – digital printing is an efficient and effective solution

How It Works

Digital printing uses similar technology to personal inkjet printers where dots of ink are used to recreate an image from a digital file. Using a computerized system, the operator can tell the press what pieces of variable data information – like images, text, numbers or colors – should be printed. The server on the digital label press can store an extensive amount of information allowing customers more options and flexibility with their custom labels.

An important consideration before you submit your variable data to us is to make sure it’s in a file format that works with our system. If you have a mail merge, list of barcode numbers or some other type of variable data, you should use spreadsheet or database software to create your variable data file. That way, there are minimal chances of errors during press setup and print.


  • Spreadsheet software – Microsoft Excel, AppleWorks, Google Docs
  • Database software – Microsoft Office Access, FileMaker, Oracle


Why Choose Digital Printing for Variable Data Projects?

As previously mentioned, digital printing can give label customers more flexibility that isn’t as readily available through traditional label printing processes like flexographic. Whether your labels have the same design with one or more types of variable data, digital printing can handle a variety of label projects. Below are some examples of how variable data printing is typically used so you can have a better idea of the label opportunities available.

  • Serialized barcodes
  • Consecutive number labels
  • Multiple languages
  • Scratch off labels
  • Direct marketing campaigns
  • Promotional labels with personalized images/text
  • Variations in color, image, text, etc. from one label to the next.
  • QR codes
  • Labels for different brands
  • Country of origin labeling – typically used for meat and produce.
  • Date labeling (use by, sell by, best before, etc.)

It’s important to note that there is a difference between labels with variable data and multiple design versions. Variable data printing is for labels that have the same layout and design throughout the entire run, but a section of the design is left empty where the variable data will be printed. Labels with multiple versions or designs are printed from a digital file that pulls up each label’s individual artwork. Variable data printing uses a digital file (for the design/layout) and a spreadsheet or database file to input the variable data information onto the label. For more information about digital label printing, please contact our dedicated customer service team.


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