Global Graphics has published a revised edition of its variable data printing guide, ‘Full Speed Ahead’, including several new international standards that were published towards the end of 2020.

These include the second edition of the PDF 2.0 standard, a new standard for submission of PDF files for production printing, PDF/X-6, and a new standard for submission of variable data PDF files for printing, PDF/VT-3.

Full Speed Ahead: How to make variable data PDF files that won’t slow your digital press’ is a guide designed to complement the recommendations available for how to maximise sales from direct mail campaigns, with technical recommendations as to how you can make sure that you don’t make a PDF file for a variable data job that will, ‘bring a digital press to its knees’, according to the company.

The impact of poorly constructed PDF files on production schedules has increased as press resolution, colorant count, speed and width rise, greatly increasing the data rate required to drive them. This increase in data places additional demands on the processing power of the DFE and risks slowing down the digital press. As an example, it is noted that a delay of half a second on every page of a 10,000-page job adds 90 minutes to the whole job, while for a job of a million pages an extra tenth of a second per page adds 24 hours to the total processing time.

The guide carries these lessons into additional print sectors that are rapidly adopting variable data, such as labels, packaging, product decoration and industrial print, with hints around using variable data in unusual ways for premium jobs at premium margins.

The guide provides objective information and advice for graphic designers, print buyers, production managers, press operators, owners of PSPs, and developers of digital presses and composition tools. The free guide is edited by Martin Bailey, distinguished technologist at Global Graphics and the primary UK expert to the ISO committees that maintain and develop PDF and PDF/VT.

He commented, ‘The main aim of the guide is to provide practical recommendations that help ensure that VDP jobs don’t slow down the print production workflow, without affecting the visual appearance that the brand owner, buyer or marketeer is trying to achieve.’

Download a free copy of the updated ‘Full Speed Aheadhere.