As those involved in 1:1 printing know, moving to a dynamic, data-driven workflow requires more than the integration of data. It requires adjustments in design that accommodate the potential impact of variation in the text and graphics being flowed into the template.
For example, when you are incorporating the name of the person into the text or design, you must adjust the design so that it will accommodate the name regardless of the space it requires. A design that accommodates the name “Jane” may not accommodate “Rumplestiltskin.” What happens to the layout if one of the names is unexpectedly long? What happens if it won’t fit into the space provided?
There are myriad issues like this, so whoever is designing the piece must be aware of the issues and have a plan to accommodate them.
The same applies to images. Unless all images used in the campaign have identical dimensions, some may be vertical, others horizontal, and yet others that need to be cropped or the formatting otherwise adjusted to fit the space. Designs and protocols must be set up to accommodate design elements with sizes that will change on the fly.
I’d love to hear your stories — complicated design issues you’ve come across, how you solved a particularly thorny 1:1 design issue, or 1:1 design mistakes you’ve witnessed in other marketers’ campaigns. Please share!