VDP, Who's using it and what are good uses for it?



Hey guys, Today a customer of mine approached me about some small labels they needed done. Now the labels were going on over 200 products with all different information.

I thought "Man i can finally make use of my variable data option on my versacamm", So that's what i am doing. Customers setting up the excel file for me so all i need to do is label the columns and print away.

This got me thinking and i wanted to see how many here use VDP and what are the most common types of jobs that need this type of printing?

Be a nice upsell to be able to offer.



Major Contributor
VDP is used for target marketing. The days of "carpet bombing" a whole city with media is going the way of the dinosaur.
VDP allows for personalized content for each individual on a targeted list. It is a way to save a great deal of money while garnering better response. VDP campaigns have many times greater ROI than non-VDP Applications. I can use a service in my area that will allow me to define an area down to a city block or two. I can use this along with VDP to target other businesses in an area where I have done work.
Ever get those car company mailers that say "Hi (insert first name), How about this new Challenger? Then you see your name on the license plate and the car may even be your favorite color. That is just a bit of what VDP can do.
I have a degree in printing technology and spent a whole semester designing and running mock campaigns. Even went so far as to create PURLS for added content and to hook the customers.

Your Excel file will have to be changed into a .CSV file to be used for VDP. As you progress you can set rules and limits. One strange thing is the verbage used. IF, AND, ELSE . Goes like this. IF it is this then it will look like this, ELSE. There are rules and defaults. and once you set a rule it will require specific parameters or fall to a default setting. You can set up a Male or Female column to change color schemes according to gender. Age based are another option. You can absolutely go nuts with content manipulation. Kinda strange to wrap your head around, but it makes sense after a while.
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Very Active Member
I haven't used it much for signs because the volume hasn't been there. But if I was more savvy with the set-up, the things that I've done in the past that could play into to a nice system are:

  • Locker room tags - It was a layout of the local High School's sports team logo with player names and numbers. (6"x4")
  • Sponsorship signs - Name or logo drops on Golf Tourney or Charity Event coroplast signs.
  • Room ID inserts - Department or individual names.
  • Numbering...

...and like rjssigns, I've designed a couple things for direct-mail to drop names, pictures, addresses into high volume marketing programs. (I just indicated the fields and another guy set it up.)

It can be cool stuff. But again, the volumes that I've worked with have turned out to be a balance between spending the time to set it up the VDP and test it or just duplicate the stuff - replace the info in individual files and get it printing.


Active Member
we did id badges for a google convention. had about 5 different shells and about 5000 names, title, company. we set up each shell in indesign and attached the corresponding name set excel file to it. ID will then output a multi page pdf with a name on each page. same process can be used for badges, envelopes, postcards, signs, letters, etc.


Active Member
Used Gerber to make some decals for an apartment complex that were given to residents to put on their car windows.
used Wasatch to make a bunch of soccer ball decals with the variable being the team member's name.