Barcode Design 101


If you’re selling goods to customers, you’ll need a barcode on your items, especially as your business grows. Getting a barcode doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. If you keep a few important tips in mind, you can select a barcode that will make your business more reputable.

What Is a Barcode and Why Do You Need It?

They are a binary coding system that is comprised of several widths of “bars” or vertical black lines and white spaces. When these images are red by the scanner the bar code is translated so the scanning machine can interpret it. Spaces and bars are one of the main characteristics of a barcode.

Barcode design is beneficial because they offer precise and speeding recording of data. This can save you time and money while reducing errors in your transactions.

What Goes Into a Barcode?

Nearly all BC have start and stop symbologies. At the start and end of many BC symbols, there are characters known as start and stop characters. These images describe the symbology and make it possible for the scanner to read the barcode in the correct direction and interpret the data in the right order. It usually include a number at the end. The number is determined from an algorithm based on the characters that come before it.

It also require a quiet zone. For the scanner to read the barcodes, there should be a wide area 1/4 of an inch next to the beginning and ending characters with no markings. If this space is not large enough the scanner won’t be able to read the barcode symbol.

When the scanner passes over the barcodes, the dark bars aren’t reflected by the light scanner. However, the light is reflected by the white space. BC scanners have a photocell detector that reads the reflected light and turns the light into an electronic signal. When the wand goes over the barcodes, the scanner generates a low electrical signal for the reflected light and a high electrical signal for the black bars. This is interpreted by the barcode reader into the characters represented by the BC and the data is transferred to the computer.

Best Practices for Barcode Creation

When you’re selecting the right barcode, make sure they have a resolution of at least 200 dpi on a white background. It’s also important to consider the end user when it comes to barcode placement. Make sure BC placement is uniform on all your packaging so you can complete customer transactions quickly and efficiently.

It’s also important to establish white space padding on both sides of the barcode. The standard minimum is half in inch for ID barcodes. This lets the scanner know where the code starts and stops. Many barcodes arent read correctly because they don’t have a quiet zone, or the quite zone is too small. Keep in mind that 2D barcode quiet zones are detected differently, so you should create a white space that is four times the size of the module.

Don’t forget to incorporate these tips when you’re creating or updating barcodes for your business.


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