ISO 16612-2: PDF/VT for personalized print

Following three years of collaboration among industry leaders, the PDF/VT format was published as the ISO 16612-2 standard in August 2010.

This version of PDF is based on the PDF imaging model and is designed specifically for the requirements of variable (V) and transactional (T) data printing workflows. The stated goal of ISO 16612-2 is to bring the advantages of PDF workflow to the production process involved in variable data printing (VDP). PDF/VT serves as an exchange format for graphically designed content and simplifies the process for businesses, marketers, designers and print professionals.

ISO 16612-2 – also known as PDF/VT – brings all the advantages of PDF workflow to the world of personalized print. This format builds on PDF/X-4 and PDF/X-5 and is optimized for the specific needs of variable (V) and transactional (T) workflows. This PDF version supports graphically rich and personalized documents, including their various layers and transparency effects, while simultaneously satisfying the industry’s need for complete job portability, page independence and device neutrality. Portability is the prerequisite that enables PDF/VT to function as a reliable – and more importantly secure – exchange format for graphically designed content.

Thanks to ISO 16612-2, digital printing can now process even the most-sophisticated documents in variable data printing (VDP) format, since the complexities of VDP job authoring are decoupled from the particular methods of print production. PDF/VT offers a wide range of benefits: Repeating texts and graphics no longer need to be refactored since repeating elements can be cached in VDP jobs. PDF/VT can be preflighted (i.e. checked) with standard software tools. And it enables reliable proofing and distributed correction/approval workflows prior to printing, such as with Adobe Reader.

With all these advantages, this exchange format provides significant added value for everyone involved in the printing process and is an ideal asset for use in direct marketing campaigns or for handling high-volume print runs.