I just wrapped a three hour workshop on Variable Data Printing for the International Graphic Arts Education Association (IGAEA)‘s 2007 National Conference currently being held at RIT. It’s a teach the teacher type event. I spent most of the weekend preparing my material, and, of course, once I got on the ground, I scrapped about half of it.

Variable Data Prints are print products that are customized by pulling information out of a database. The primary use is direct advertisements (what some folks outside the biz commonly refer to as junk mail). The workshop, based on the class I’ve been teaching for the last year or so, presented a method for introducing students to the marketing, technology, and visual aspects of creating VDP.

Or at least that was the plan. As usual, once you begin to execute things change. The lecture part stayed mainly the same. But I changed the exercises pretty significantly. Things definitely need to be more “tactical.” Next time I’ll use more step-​by-​step hand outs. I think I avoided them because I wasn’t sure if they would limit the need to have an instructor — the concern of going too far down the path of a self taught workshop.