Global Graphics has published a second edition of its guide to variable data printing (VDP), Full Speed Ahead: how to make variable data PDF files that won’t slow your digital press. The freely-downloadable publication (in PDF, naturally) now includes several new PDF-related international standards that were published late in 2020.

Edited by Global Graphics CTO Martin Bailey, the guide provides technical tips on how to prepare and optimise jobs so that they will not take unduly long to process in the Rip/DFE and thus slow down the press – a delay of half a second per page on a 10,000-page job adds 90 minutes to running time, while just one tenth of second per page adds a whole 24 hours to a million-page job. As well as established variable data applications in transactional and direct mail printing and publishing, the advice is also applicable to developing fields like labels, packaging, product decoration and industrial print.

Full Speed Ahead is directed at graphic designers, print buyers, production managers, press operators, print business owners and the developers of digital presses and composition software. It includes the ‘dated revision’ (a second edition) of the PDF 2.0 standard, the PDF/X-6 standard for production job files, and PDF/VT-3, the latest iteration of the PDF version designed specifically for variable data printing.

Mr Bailey says 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.’

Full Speed Ahead is available for download from Global Graphics’ website.