Conventional barcode scanners use red light or infrared light. It is strongly reflected on red surfaces, which are therefore interpreted as white. If the background is also light, there is not enough contrast.

Subsequently, How small can a barcode be?

UPC bar codes can range from 0.8 to 2.0 magnification. At 0.8, the bar code is reduced to 80 percent from the nominal size. At this magnification, the bar code is 1.175 inches wide by 0.816 inches high. This is the smallest that a bar code can be and still be scanned.

Keeping this in consideration, Can a barcode be any color?

Does my barcode have to be black and white? While black bars on a white background are a very good combination, your barcode does not have to be black and white. The colour chosen must appear black under red light, so blue and green are possible options.

Beside above Can I change the color of a barcode? Yes, but with an important note. Barcodes are typically printed with black bars on a white background. These colors can be changed, but caution should be taken to ensure the barcode is still readable by a barcode scanner.

Do Coloured barcodes work?

While you can have a barcode with other color combinations, they have to be contrasting colors. Laser scanners and other scanners need light to reflect and absorb to read the barcode. If the background of the barcode absorbs the light like the bars, there will be no code to read.

25 Related Questions and Answers

What is standard barcode format?

While EAN-13 (comprising 13 digits) is the default form factor, you’ll find EAN-8 (covering 8 digits) barcodes on products where only limited space is available, for example on small chewing gum packages.

Commonly used 1D barcodes are:

  • EAN-13 and EAN-8.
  • UPC-A and UPC-E.
  • Code128.
  • ITF-14.
  • Code39.

Can you scale down barcodes?

For regular linear product barcodes, the simple answer is yes, you can scale it (both case are safe). However, if you scale too far and the bars end up too close together, you will start to get a high level of read errors.

What is the minimum height of a barcode?

Barcode Number Requirements: The barcode number (Which is also called “Human Readable Interpretation”) should be printed beneath the bar code symbol. The suggested typeface is OCR-B at a height of 2.75mm at nominal size (100% magnification, X-dimension 0.33mm).

Does it matter what color your shipping label is?

If you must print on color paper for whatever reason use a light color. Soft yellow, soft pink, soft indigo, etc. If it must be colored, get it as close to white as possible. The colors in the picture above would not be a good choice.

Does a barcode need to be a certain size?

UPC Barcode Size Requirements

In order for a UPC symbol to be scannable, it must be generated within the acceptable size range. … The overall dimensions of a 100% UPC are 1.46″ x 1.02″. The sizing range for UPC magnifications is between 80-200%.

How do I Barcode a product?

Obtaining barcodes for your products is an easy four-step process:

  1. Step One: Apply for a U.P.C. Company Prefix.
  2. Step Two: Assign Unique Product Numbers.
  3. Step Three: Determine how your product will display barcodes.
  4. Step Four: Obtain accurate UPC barcodes for each item.

How do I change a barcode?

Bar codes can be changed anytime by encoding the new data, printing a new bar code sticker, and placing the sticker over the old bar code. Open your Internet browser and visit websites that offer free use of bar code-generating programs such as, or (see Resources).

How do I barcode a product?

Obtaining barcodes for your products is an easy four-step process:

  1. Step One: Apply for a U.P.C. Company Prefix.
  2. Step Two: Assign Unique Product Numbers.
  3. Step Three: Determine how your product will display barcodes.
  4. Step Four: Obtain accurate UPC barcodes for each item.

What is the barcode called?

The Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode is used in the retail industry. UPC-A consists of 12 numbers. UPC-E consists of 12 numbers that are compressed into 8 numbers for small packages. The European Article Numbering System (EAN) is a superset of U.P.C.

Why are barcode scanners red?

Barcode scanners are known to use red laser diodes because laser diodes that emit red light are known to be much cheaper to produce, hence the reason why many barcode scanners use red light. Essentially, it is all due to economic reasons. … Using a blue light will require a more expensive and specialised laser.

What is the most common barcode symbol?

The UPC-12 is the most widely used and most recognized symbol in the United States. Its primary usage has been for product identification in the retail industry. This symbol has a fixed length of twelve numeric characters.

What is the difference between a barcode and a QR code?

The main difference between barcodes and QR codes is one of physical dimensions. Barcodes can be scanned in a line. … QR codes, on the other hand, add another dimension from which information can be written and scanned. Instead of a single line, these labels can be read both vertically and horizontally.

How do you identify barcode types?

Most linear barcodes can be identified by comparing start and stop patterns. Start/stop patterns tell barcode reader where to start and end. Code39 is a simple format that encodes alphanumeric data (capital letters and some punctuation). Extended Code39 is capable of encoding all 128 ASCII characters.

How do you damage a barcode?

Harsh conditions may cause enough damage or distortion to the barcode or substrate to render even the best-quality barcodes unreadable. Damage can range from minor scratches, partial obstruction of the code by blotches, stains, or even debris causing torn or entirely missing barcodes.

Does it matter what size a barcode is?

The size of the barcode will impact their utility greatly. Too small a barcode for an advertisement will go unnoticed and prove ineffective. Too large of a tracking barcode will leave little room for other important information like who the letter came from and who it is being sent to.

Can a barcode be too big?

Yes, it is too big. The barcodes are the most important part of the label, and when you print it the size of a full piece of paper, the scanner needs to be further away from the label to encompass the whole barcode. You may notice someone with a handheld scanner has to hold it so far away that it’s almost out of range.

How much white space is needed around a barcode?

Quiet zones for two dimensional (2D) barcodes are calculated differently. The popular QR Code that is being used in marketing materials recommends a white space of 4 times the size of a module (that is the size of one of the black squares within the code) on all four sides of the code.

What is barcode length?

A UPC-A barcode contains 12 digits, along with a quiet (blank) zone on either side, and start, middle, and stop symbols. The middle symbol separates the left side and the right side, which are coded differently.

Does it matter how tall a barcode is?

It is recommended to make the barcode as high as the printer permits. If the barcode is not high enough, the laser may deviate from the barcode, causing unstable readings. It is recommended to keep the height greater than 15 % of the barcode length.


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