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Variable Printing needs more Variation

Published on April 4, 2012

Latz Personal Printer has been doing personalized printing since 1937. Not much has changed in personal printing space since that time. Frank Romano urges printers to go "beyond" the name.




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By David Avery on Apr 04, 2012

I do find it amazing that I do not receive VDP mailings that rise above the "Dear David," class. Unless its from a company trying to sell me software or supplies for VDP.


By James Olsen on Apr 04, 2012

I wonder if Henry Latz used Heinz Ketchup http://www.myheinz.com/Home.aspx#/choose


By Deb Haines on Apr 04, 2012

Love it! I worked at a (bank) check printer back in the ‘80s and they used linotype machines with punch-tape readers. I worked in order entry, and even helped the sluggers prepare the trays for the presses. (Too bad I didn’t keep the slug with my name on it, would have been a great souvenir.)

I agree, that the bulk of VDP, especially direct mail, is not much more than a name/address and perhaps unique value (like current point values or amount owed). I am surprised that the only fully personalized print pieces I receive in the mail are from my car manufacturer. The reason I’m surprised is that I fill-out all the forms, all the preferences, and I know that many retailers/hotel chains/etc. have tons of information that could be used, instead I only see my name a few times on the document. Since teaching how to use variable is my job, I am very critical when I see personalization of any kind and actually do pay attention to what could have been personalized for me.

I have seen many innovative campaigns that use blocks or pages of text, colors/fonts, charts, images and personalized imagery and more. (I do have an advantage, many of the implementers of those campaigns are customers I train/support.) However, I’ve also seen countless number of targeted campaigns where a little more thought in how to use the data (they already have) could do wonders for the client.

I believe the issue is the agencies that create these materials and campaigns. Once they catch up to advertising and communicating to each individual (on a massive scale) is completely possible, nothing will stop them pushing rich personalization as the norm for variable.


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