Proof Generation for the Customer:
With a PDF of the mailing piece, operators can combine a sample address and or other variable data to the PDF and then email it to their customer. The customer will be able to see what the mailing piece will look like once the variable data are added... before it even reaches the direct mail equipment.
The PDF proof generator tool can be useful in other ways as well. For instance, most operators add variable data fields to the layout designer on their inkjet, and then print a piece and hope the variable data will print in the right position on the mailing piece. With PDF proofing, the operator can load the mailing piece PDF to the background of the layout designer, and can then place the variable data fields exactly where they belong. This feature makes setup simple, and saves lots of valuable time.
A PDF overlay tool allows the operator to load a single PDF file, add variable data fields, and then print the PDF and variable data simultaneously. This is especially useful with inkjets with wide print coverage. Buskro inkjets, for instance can be configured with 1" - 24" print coverage of cut-sheet or continuous forms. Entire pages or post cards can be printed at high rates of speed using a PDF overlay method.
PDF Rip is when a different PDF is printed on each mailing piece. Only some of the higher capacity direct mail equipment, such as Buskro, offer PDF rip. The customer can provide PDF files rather than a database, and then not have to worry about whether or not the mailing pieces will be printed correctly. Some mailers have a single data person create PDFs for each inkjet, rather than relying on the operator on the floor to setup the job properly. Quality control managers especially like the PDF rip feature. It ensures high quality print for each and every mail piece because the process of creating the image (the PDF file) can happen anywhere (the art designer's computer, for example) instead of part of it being created in one spot and then the data being added by the inkjet address printer.
These are just a couple of ways PDF's can be used in the mailing industry. For more information, talk to your direct mail equipment vendor.