Variable Data Printing - Velocity
At Compose we understand Variable Data Printing is part of our life, it is around us for so long that we almost take it for granted, like getting our bank statement from our local bank or online tickets. Another popular application with Velocity is the Hang Tag printing for clothing lines in department stores, we will cover this under Hang Tag on another topic.
Why do you need personalized printing? A recent industry study by CAP Ventures shows that personalized printing will increase 36% response rates over traditional direct mailing. The average value of order is nearly 25% larger and response times are 34% faster. Moreover, personalized printing results in a nearly 48% and 32% rate of repetitive orders and overall revenue, proving that it helps to strengthen customer relationships and corporate profit with a suitable design targeting individual customer.
Below is an example of variable data label printing on flower Pots, people can pick the contents from a database, saving the work from designing one at a time.
Compose – Velocity is offered as a powerful and yet user friendly application that specialized in adding all the variable data elements to a printed matter, whether it is a self adhesive labels, tags, or envelopes. It enables users to merge high volume personalized data such as text, image and barcode at your machine’s printing speed. One thing unique about Velocity is the performance, it is independent of the output printers. It can go with any of the popular high speed production printers in the market.
With Velocity, we can use your own layout design and database, to group them together in one small document to make it highly re-producible. It is most suitable for producing labels, Hang Tags, commercial documents, personalized club cards and marketing materials. Making it simple to do repetitive work.
Compose started to work on Variable Data Printing since we got involved with Label Printing production. For digital label printing it seldom go beyond the requirement of variable data on text, image, color and barcodes or QR-codes. Our variable data engine – Velocity also comes with a Script function, allowing users to create variable data not just on the static information but also on logical decision.
Label is printed in different background color by using Script command.
Today our variable data engine is popular with Envelope printing, Post cards and Hang Tags as well. With Hang Tag we have a separate solution to Optimize Hang Tag for offset and Digital Printing, making sure it is done in a most economical and efficient way, meeting the packing and delivery requirement at the time.
Envelope printing will allow customer to take advantage of our Script facility, allowing logical decision to be made on different color or different images on each envelope. This target marketing is proved to be more effective than sending out mail shot.
With the industry changing its shape towards digital printing, we plan to bring out variable data printing on colorizing text or adding spot varnish only on text. This is useful to highlight where it is more important to get customer’s attention.
Together with our popular imposition solution Quickfit, we can offer a ganging solutions tie with the variable data engine, say we plan to produce an invitation card to about 200 people. Velocity can produce the invitation card with variable data already inserted in pdf. Using Quickfit, we can gang them together on a larger sheet to reduce the printing cost and wastage on media.
Velocity has built in more than 40 different kinds of Scripts, it will intuitively suggest how to select the logical parameter, reduce the complicated input process to a simple task for any production company.
Additional features for Velocity v2
Imposition for Sheet & Roll
Velocity 1 allows you to create the variable data document. Velocity 2 goes further by allowing you to setup the sheet that the variable data document will be printed on, and will automatically impose the document pages on the sheet according to your imposition settings.
You can impose different variable data records on the same sheet. You can also step and repeat the same record to fill the sheet. If the database also contains the print quantity for each records, Velocity will also generate enough sheets to fulfill the print quantity.
You can configure the size of the sheet (or roll), the margins around the sheet, and the gutters between records.
If you have the Advanced Imposition Options, you can also specify from which corner the flow of records start and the flow direction, the relative orientation of each record, or whether you want the imposition to be for cut & stack.
Advanced Imposition for Variable Data Records
In addition to specifying the number of rows and columns, margins and gutters, etc., the Advanced Imposition Option also provide full control on the imposition layout, including -
• the position of the first record,
• the flow direction for subsequent records,
• the relative orientation of adjacent records.
In addition the user can add marks for each record or for each layout, including trim and registration marks, eye marks, custom marks, label text. Velocity 2 also supports the Scodix marks required by Scodix Digital Print Enhancement Press.
Cut and Stack
For imposition on sheets, the variable data records can be arranged in a cut & stack order either from top to bottom or bottom to top
For all types of impositions, rolls or sheets, the user can specify the first record to start at the top-left corner of the sheet or roll, top-right corner, bottom-left corner, or bottom-right corner.
The direction of how the record flow on the sheet or roll can also be specified. It can go from left to right (or right to left) row by row, or top to bottom (or bottom to top) column by column, or zigzag i.e. from left to right, then right to left, and so on.
The user can also specify the relative orientation of adjacent records. The records can all be in the same orientation by default. Or adjacent rows or columns can be rotated by 180 degrees. Or in a checker arrangement where the one to the right and bottom are rotated by 180 degrees.
Color Swatch Library Management
Velocity version 1 provides one swatch library where all color swatches are stored, regardless of whether they are for specific projects or for general usage. There is also no spot color libraries such as the Pantone color books.
Version 2 provides much more powerful management of swatch libraries.
Document, Application and Standard Libraries
In Version 2, when creating a new swatch, whether normal (static) or variable color swatches, the user can specify that the swatch is to be created as a document swatch. Document swatches are stored with the document and is only active when the document is opened. This can make sure you have the right color swatches when you open a document, and reduce cluttering of your application swatch libraries.
If a swatch is for general usage, the user can specify that it is to be added to the Application library. Application swatches are loaded with the application and can be used with any opened documents.
It is possible to convert a document swatch to an application swatch, and vice versa.
Version 2 also provides the default color swatches that come with Version 1 as the Standard swatches, so that the commonly-used colors are available by default.
Pantone Swatch Libraries
In addition, Velocity 2 allows the import of Pantone color libraries from Harlequin RIP v11 or above. The imported Pantone colors are saved in the device independent CIE-L*a*b* colorspace. The imported libraries can be displayed in the Swatch panel and users can enter the Pantone number or partial Pantone number to easily find the required Pantone color.
Using the New Swatch Panel
Users can at any time chooses to display the document, application, standard and imported swatch libraries, or to display all libraries. The new search function provides an easy method to locate any color.
Object Management with Layers
Version 2 comes with a new LAYERS panel providing full support for element placement on layers.
Users can create layers as needed and place elements on the layer.
Existing layers can be made visible or hidden to make it easier for editing complex layout and to make it possible to print or not print elements on layers.. Specific layers can be made visible with all other layers made invisible with an ALT-click on the visibility icon.
Layers can also be locked to prevent editing. Specific layers can be unlocked with all other layers locked with an ALT-click on the lock icon.
Order of layers can be re-arranged easily by drag and drop or by selecting a layer then click the appropriate buttons to move to the top, move up one layer, move down one layer, or move to the bottom.
Variable Data from Multiple Databases
Velocity 2 now support more than 1 database per job. You can have as many databases as you like and you will be able to use the data from multiple database within the same Velocity job in regular variable fields or in scripts!
But there are more -
• Velocity 2 also supports more delimiters
• If the delimiter you are using is not in out list, don’t worry because you can also customize the delimiter you need
• The text qualifier can also be customized.
• If you database contains Unicode characters but the database file doesnt containing any encoding format, you can also manually choose the encoding method so Velocity can understsand your database file correctly.
Automate Velocity with Channels
If you are processing the same variable data job over and over again with different data, you now have a much easier and faster way to process these jobs using Channels.
Create a channel with the template of your job, set an input folder for the database files, and an output folder for the output PDF. Start the channel and save the database file in the input folder and Velocity will automatically fetch the template and the database, merge and generate the output PDF files.
Other Great Features
Creating a Document from Template
Version 2 documents can be saved as a template. The template will retain all design elements including the layout,, the color swatches, variable swatches and scripts, as well as the imposition setup. When you have received an re-order for a job you did before, you can create a new document using the template for the job - all design elements are retained. You only need to connect to a new database for the new order and print.
Creating Text Outline
Sometimes you will need to outline the text for finishing options. Velocity 2 provides a new feature to convert specific text blocks to outline. For example, if a specific text block in your document needs to have varnish and the varnish machine requires outline, you can select that text block and simply check Create Outline and the text will be converted to outline in the output PDF file.
The text outline function is fully unicode - Roman and Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts are supported.
Setting Document from the Background Image
Many users create the static part of the variable data document in Illustrator, then import the PDF into Velocity as the static data background. Velocity 2 make it easier by adding the Background Image setup directly in the Document Setup dialog, so that you can add all the page background images when creating the variable data document.
Power users prefer to use hot keys to speed up the editing speed. You will be glad to know that we have added more hot keys, and if you are Illustrator power users as well, note that Velocity is using the same hot keys as in Illustrator, so that it will be easy for you to learn to do things much quicker in Velocity 2.
Enhanced QR code for Velocity (option)
With Compose Enhanced QR Code, you can generate QR codes that are personalized with colors and logo images. You can fully customize every aspect of the QR code, including the shape and colors of the finder pattern and modules, filling the QR code with flat color, gradient or image pixels, and embedding your logo image as part of the QR code.
FINDER PATTERN SHAPE
Change the finder pattern to one of the 15+ shapes available.
QR CODE COLOR
Fill the QR code with flat color, gradient or based on an image but turn into pixel data.
FINDER PATTERN COLOR
Change the color of the finder pattern.
Add your company logo to the QR code.
Enhanced QR Code makes it easier to generate readable QR codes, with the ability to suggest the best print size according to redundancy level, scanning environment, and the scan distance. You will also be able to check the scan-ability after colorizing the QR code using the included tonal contrast calculator.
QR codes are generated as PDF, JPG and PNG files.
Built for Velocity
The Enhanced QR Code function is included in the latest version of Velocity, the powerful but easy-to-use variable document creation software from Compose.