How to use your barcode
Below are some simple steps on how to use your barcode once you have received our email with the images as attached files. Let us know if you have any questions.
1. Incorporate the barcode image into your product packaging or design
If you order a “Barcode Package” from us you will receive an email containing your unique EAN-13 (or UPC) barcode number, your barcode images (in 5 digital formats – jpeg, eps, tiff, bmp, and pdf), a guarantee certificate, and instructions for how to register your barcode. The first step is to incorporate one of the barcode images into your product packaging (you can choose which image format to use). You can either do this yourself, or you can forward our email onto your graphic designer and they can do this. At this stage you (or your designer) can also resize the image if you wish, however be sure to adhere to the barcode dimensions if you are planning on doing this. Make sure your barcode will be printed in an easily visible flat location. Ideally, the barcode should be printed with black bars on a white (or light coloured) background. You might want to get a bit creative with your barcode image (as in the example to the right) so that the barcode is personalized to reflect your product or brand. If you do edit the barcode image please make sure that the bars/spaces themselves are not interfered with, and that the barcode image still adheres to the correct barcode dimensions. You can see some examples of barcode art here (please note that not all of those examples have the correct dimensions or are readable by a barcode scanner). If you have any questions, or want our feedback on a barcode image that you’ve edited, please contact us.
2. Print your packaging
Printing your packaging is the next step. Check that the lines of the barcode are straight before printing, and if at all possible, print off one copy for a ‘test scan’ before printing everything. If you require barcode verification, you can submit this first copy for verification before going to print in case revisions need to be made. You can see whether or not you will require verification here.
3. Send your product to your retailers
When your product first reaches a retailer they will scan the barcode and input the product information into their system. After this has happened, any time the barcode is scanned, the product information will appear on the retailer’s screen.
You can register your barcode at any stage throughout this process.
4. Register your barcode number (optional)
If you ordered a “Barcode Package” from us you would have received an email containing your barcode documents. The email would have also contained instructions for how to register your barcode number on the major internet barcode database – just follow those instructions to register your barcode number. Please note that barcode registration is optional, however it will increase the profile of your product on the internet.
Tips for printing your barcode onto the label/packaging:
- Changing the barcode size: The standard barcode size (for EAN-13 barcodes) is about 38mm wide x 25mm high. The barcode can safely be reduced to 80% of this (ie. to about 30mm wide x 20mm high), however we don’t recommend reducing the size any more than this. The width is especially important – barcode scanners may be unable to read your barcode if it is less than 30mm wide. For more information on barcode sizing please see barcode dimensions.
- Changing the barcode colours: If you want to print your barcode in different colours (not just black bars on a white background) please see our Barcode Colour Guide for information on which colour combinations are acceptable.
- Do a few test scans: If you are changing your barcode image in some way (either changing the colours, changing the size, or adding some artwork around the barcode bars), we recommend that you do some test scans of the printed barcode first (using several different scanners) to make sure that the barcode is readable, before printing the product label/packaging in bulk.