ISSN Magazine Barcodes

  • ISSN Barcode Images

    ISSN barcode example
    Here you can purchase ISSN Barcode images (based on your ISSN number). These will be manually created and emailed through to you in 5 different formats (eps, bmp, jpeg, tif, pdf) once the order has been received. Please enter your 8 digit ISSN Number in the “additional information” section when you are checking out. If you don’t have an ISSN number yet please apply for one from The British Library, and then come back here to purchase the barcode images for it.

    Quantity    Price per image
    1 £ 15.00
    2 £ 12.50 each
    3 £ 10.00 each
    4 + £ 8.00 each
    10 + £ 6.00 each
    20 + £ 4.00 each
    50 + £ 2.00 each


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Example of EAN-13 Format:

This 13 digit barcode format can be used on all issues of your magazine (it doesn’t change from issue to issue). Therefore you only need to buy 1 x ISSN Barcode Images.


VERSION ONE (more common): To turn an ISSN number into an EAN-13 format barcode = the 8 digit ISSN number (12345678 in the example above) is converted to a 13 digit number by adding a 977 to the beginning, taking away the check-digit, adding two numbers (00) to the end and recalculating the check digit. The number is then created as an image using EAN-13 Symbology, which can easily be read by all barcode scanners and is essentially the same as other products with EAN-13 barcodes on them that go into stores. In this case, the same number would be printed on each issue of the magazine. An example of this format is above. NB: If you purchase ISSN Barcode Images from us and give us your ISSN number, we will send you barcode images in this format (unless you request a different format or tell us what issue number it is or what supplements you want).

VERSION TWO (less common): Again, the 8-digit ISSN number is converted to a 13-digit number. However, this time, the ’00’ added on end is changed various times to create a different EAN-13 image each time. In this case, a separate barcode image would be created for each issue of the magazine.


Example of EAN-13+2 Format:

EAN-13+2 is the most common format of magazine barcode in the UK. It has 2 supplement digits at the end representing the issue number (“01” = Issue One):

ISSN plus 2

To create an EAN13+2 barcode, first, the ISSN is turned into an EAN-13 number (as per ‘version one’ above), and then an additional 2-digit supplement code is added to the end, creating a 15 digit (EAN-13+2) number. The supplement changes for each issue and can be done on a monthly (01-12) or weekly (01-52) basis (or any other way you wish). The barcodes can be re-used the following year (e.g. if the “01” supplement represents the January Issue, this barcode can be re-used the following year for the next January Issue, as long as the previous year’s January Issue is no longer for sale).


Which Barcode Format should I get?

It is your choice. However, in the UK, the EAN-13+2 format is the most common. Other countries tend more towards the 13 digit formats (options 1 and 2). It is a good idea to check the stores you are hoping to stock your magazine to establish which format is the most common. If you choose to go with the EAN-13 format, you only need to buy ISSN Barcode Images once (because the same barcode can be used across your magazine/periodical). If you choose to go with the EAN-13+2 format, this gets a bit more expensive (as you need to buy ISSN Barcode Images for each magazine issue). However, you can re-use the barcodes the following year.


When will I receive my ISSN Barcode Images?

We process these orders manually based on your specifications – you will usually receive your ISSN barcode images within 12-24 hours between Monday-Friday. If you want an accurate idea of when you will receive an order, please give us a call.


I don’t have an ISSN Number yet. How do I get one?

International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN’s) are allocated to all periodical publications such as magazines or journals. These numbers are applied for through an international organisation that allocates all ISSN numbers. If you already have an ISSN number, then you can purchase the barcode images for this here. If you require an ISSN Number, these can be applied for here. Once you have your ISSN number, come back to this page to order the barcode images for your number.



If you want to register your ISSN Barcode Number, you can purchase barcode registration here. This is an optional service. It will connect your ISSN barcode number with your magazine/periodical in major internet barcode/product databases. You don’t need to buy barcode registration for each issue number. You just need to buy it once (for your magazine/periodical as a whole). We will then provide you with instructions for how to register the EAN-13 barcode number.