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Variable Data Printing

Learn more about this process here!

Variable Data Printing

What is variable data printing?

BAG MAKERS now offers variable data printing services for Digital Full-Color orders. With variable data printing, elements like text, graphics, and images can be changed or customized from one printed bag to the next without stopping or slowing down the printing process. Because variable data is stored digitally, there is no need to change out plates or screens to create variations. Digital Full-Color variable data printing can accommodate changes in copy, photos, logos, and colors, as well as different imprint placements on the bag.

How can variable data printing benefit customers and promotions?

Variable data offers a personal touch to orders. For example, an insurance company could customize bags within the same order to feature different agent's names, office locations, photographs, and contact information. Schools could assemble supply kits for students and print each child's name on their respective bag or hold an art contest and feature each student's artwork on their bag. Corporations could make giveaways more personal by printing each employee's name on their own bag. Variable data printing can also help customize kitting projects.

How should customers specify customizations needed within a variable data order?


Customers need to provide:

  • A purchase order that requests variable data printing and authorizes the $0.06 (A) per bag variable data charge.
  • A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that designates all the print elements that change within the order. A separate row must be filled out for every bag in the order, specifying which art file or copy change is required. For example, if the first 25 bags feature the same imprint/copy/photo, the same information should repeat on lines 1-25 of the Excel file. Each column will need to identify the information that changes (i.e. phone number, address, image file name, etc.)
  • A folder containing all images, font files, and a master template for the final layout.

If customers prefer to handle copy changes themselves, they can set up each art file by itself. In this case, they will need to provide an Excel spreadsheet with each file name (one row per bag), so the drop file can point to it. For example, if 5 bags will have the same information, then that row should be repeated 5 times in the spreadsheet.


Note: Customers should save spreadsheets in the .csv file format rather than the default .xlsx format. Any text that changes needs to be a live font. Font files must be provided and be Mac and PC compatible.


Our Digital Full-Color team will provide support to customers and can answer questions about the process as needed.

Are there charges for art or Excel file support on variable data orders?

BAG MAKERS provides one free hour of art or Excel file services per order. Art or Excel file support that exceeds an hour will incur a $60 (G) hourly fee. Our Digital Full-Color team will work with customers to determine if clean-up is needed, as well as who will handle the changes, before beginning work on the project.

What will the proof process look like with variable data orders?

BAG MAKERS will provide customers with a random sampling of proofs. The customer will receive several representative samples along with a copy of the Excel spreadsheet to proof.

Sample Proof

What is the minimum quantity for variable data orders?

Variable data customizations are unlimited within a Digital Full-Color order if the 250-piece minimum catalog quantity requirement is met.

What is the production time for variable data orders?

Please add 3-5 business days to the standard Digital Full-Color production time for standard catalog quantities.

How much does variable data printing cost?

The variable data run charge is $0.06 (A), per bag, for Digital Full-Color orders.