When you design packaging for your products, it’s crucial that you ensure your barcode conforms to required specifications so it will scan properly. You must check its print quality to make sure that it’s visibly defined and easily scanned at all points in the supply chain. To do this, consider the following.
Size of the Barcode
Basically, the minimum barcode size will depend on the type and scanning environment, whether warehouse or point-of-sale, etc. In general, however, GS1 barcodes have a maximum and minimum size requirement, but bigger barcodes are known to scan more properly. A suitable barcode printer could recommend the most appropriate size that’s perfect for your design, printing method and packaging.
Height of the Barcode
GS1 barcodes have specific height requirements, but barcodes such as EAN/UPC require the height to be proportionate to the width, while GS1-128 and ITF-14 have a predetermined height save for some particular applications. Otherwise, your barcode might not scan or might need multiple scanning to get recognised, or worse — not scan at all, which in turn will require manual data input, which could then result in more inefficiencies and errors.
Understanding the Quiet Zones
Basically, quiet zones are those clear sections prior to the first bar of the barcode and following the last bar. For 2D barcodes, the light area surrounding the barcode is the quiet zone. The quiet zone essentially informs the scanner where the barcode begins and ends; this means that without it, the barcode couldn’t be scanned. Its size will depend on the barcode’s size, but it’s generally advised to allot a bit more than the required size to accommodate potential issues with plate registration or ink spread issues.
Colours of the Barcode
It’s crucial to utilise dark colours on light, solid backgrounds because scanners read barcodes by using infrared light to determine contrast between colours. This is why the majority of barcodes you see have white backgrounds and black bars.
Human Readable Interpretation
These are numbers and letters that people could read in the event that the barcode fails to scan. The location of these characters will depend on the type of the barcode.
Keep in mind that retailers could reject your product if you fail to comply with standards accurately or misprint your barcodes. This, in turn, will result in expensive reprinting, resupply and repackaging.