Adding a barcode to your product packaging

 

Goals:

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

  • Be able to incorporate a barcode image into a product’s packaging or design, and to explain this procedure to a customer.

 

Choose an image format:

Choose whichever barcode image format you prefer (e.g. jpeg).

 

Resize the image to fit into your product packaging:

But keep in mind our Barcode Specifications:

  • Standard size (for EAN-13 or UPC-A barcodes) is about 38mm wide x 25mm high.
  • The smallest recommended size is 80% of standard size – i.e. about 30mm wide x 20mm high. If you print your barcode smaller than this some retailers won’t accept it.

 

On a flat surface:

If the barcode is going on a flat surface (e.g. a cardboard box), the preferred orientation of the barcode is “picket fence” (where the bars look like a fence, and the barcode number is at the bottom):

On a curved surface:

If the barcode is going on a curved surface (such as a bottle) the preferred orientation of the barcode is “ladder” (where the barcode is rotated so that the bars look like a ladder).

Why?
When a barcode is printed onto a curved surface, sometimes the ends of the barcode disappear around the curve and can’t be read by a barcode scanner. By rotating the barcode to ladder-orientation you avoid this disappearing-ends issue.

 

Creativity:

You can get a bit creative with the barcode – see some examples of barcode artwork here

However, the main barcode image (the vertical bars and spaces) must remain unimpeded.

 

Colour options:

If you want to print your barcode in a different colour combination (instead of black bars on a white background), please see our Barcode Colour Guide PDF.

 

Barcode location must be easily visible and flat:

Incorporate the image into your product packaging in an easily visible flat location (to ensure ease of scanning).

 

If your packaging is already printed, use adhesive labels:

You could also have the barcode printed onto adhesive labels to be manually applied to your product.

 

Always check your label artwork BEFORE printing your product packaging:
  • Check that the barcode numbers are correct.
  • Check that the barcode image being printed is still high quality and within the official size range.

! Changes and errors can occur at many stages in the process, so it is important that you check the artwork thoroughly before printing.

 

Sample print and check:

Once you’re happy with your barcode, do a sample print and check that the barcode is the right size and prints and scans correctly.

 

Does your retailer want a Barcode Verification Report?

If your retailer asks you to get a barcode verification report, you will need to post us a sample of your printed barcode (on the label or packaging) for verification.

For more details see Barcode Verification Report