Barcode Colour Guide

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    Please click the [ Mark Complete ] button at the bottom of this page when you’ve achieved these goals: 

  • Provide guidelines for colour usage in barcode printing, including the best colours, usage of warm and cool colours, and the need to test colour combinations on multiple scanners.

  • Explain why metallic inks should NOT be used for barcode printing.


See also online:   Barcode Colour Guide (PDF).


Colour Guidelines:

  • The best colour for barcode printing is black bars on a white background.
  • Bars must always be darker than the spaces, with high contrast.
  • Cold colours such as green, blue, violet, and black make a good choice for bars, as they appear black under red scanning light.
  • Warm colours such as yellow, red, orange and white are not seen by the scanner and are therefore good for background colours.
  • If you’re using a colour combination, we recommend that you test your printed barcode label with a few different barcode scanners to make sure that it is easily readable (scanner products can have slightly different colour calibrations).


IMPORTANT: Metallic surfaces and inks should not be used for barcode printing as they reflect light away from the scanner, making scanning extremely difficult.


Acceptable colour combinations:


Unacceptable colour combinations: