Follow Barcode Size and Dimension Requirements
Use Proper Color Combination
Make Sure the Barcode Text is Clear
Leave Enough Space for Quiet Zones
Plan Barcode Placement Strategically
Decide Which Printing Process to Utilize
Barcode Quality Check: Tips in Designing and Printing Barcodes
Various businesses, big and small, recognize the value of using barcode in their day-to-day inventory processes. It expedites and automates laborious tasks of data entry and inventory tracking. Initially intended on keeping track of warehousing, the use of barcoding has expanded to different industries and continues to be an important tool for success.
Even though barcoding makes data collection and capture look so simple, there’s so much to know about maximizing the use of barcodes. Your label should comply with specific guides and specifications. This ensures smooth scanning and capturing of data pasted on your products. The process generally starts with careful designing and printing tags. Here’s a quick guide on the basics of designing and printing barcodes to have an idea of how meticulous the process can be:
Step 1: Follow Barcode Size and Dimension Requirements
Larger barcodes usually scan more easily. However, the size of your barcode should match the size of the packaging and should depend on the intended scanning environment. In addition, there are standard minimum and maximum size requirements dictated by the type of barcode you are aiming for. Maximizing the use of today’s innovative software will help you skip the meticulous sizing process and generate a predefined bar width and height requirements for you.
It is also crucial to maintain the proportion of the dimensions. A slight change may tag the barcode as non-scannable. Be careful not to reduce the barcode height.
Step 2: Use Proper Color Combination
The most well-recognized color formatting of barcodes is solid black bars on a white background. This format scans reliably than any other color combination. Scanners recognize and read the bars by using infrared light, distinguishing the contrast between the colors. Always remember that the winning combination is dark bars on a light background.
Step 3: Make Sure the Barcode Text is Clear
A scanner’s main function is to read the bars of the label. The barcode tag should have a human-readable interpretation or the barcode text in case the scanner fails. This part is comprised of letters and numbers that can be recognized by a human. It is usually located beneath the barcode. This series of numbers and letters can be manually entered by people into their system when the scan is not successful. The location of human-readable information is based on the type of barcode present. Make sure the designing and printing of the tag show the numbers or letter clearly.
Step 4: Leave Enough Space for Quiet Zones
Quiet zones notify the scanner where the start and end of a barcode is. In one-dimensional barcodes, quiet zones are the clear areas before the initial bar and after the last bar. Quiet zones in two-dimensional barcodes are the light area of the label itself. These zones should not be reduced or else the scanner would not be able to read the barcode. Furthermore, allowing slightly more than the minimum required quiet zone is a favorable strategy to anticipate the risk of ink spread issues.
Step 5: Plan Barcode Placement Strategically
Another important part of designing a barcode label is to strategize its position on the product or its packaging. It should be placed on a clear, unobscured part of the product for convenient and promising readability. It is also helpful to position it on a specific part of packaging consistently so the people scanning the item would not encounter difficulty finding it.
Every scanning environment has barcode placement demand that will help successfully. Printing direction and types of surfaces should also be considered. For instance, if barcodes are scanned at the retail point-of-sale, omnidirectional scanning should be observed. If the barcode mentioned is set to be scanned in the warehouse as well, then a symbol that indicates point-of-scale scanning printed in a larger size should be supported. This will help accommodating scanning in the distribution process. You can print directly on the packaging or integrate it into the design if you like to be creative.
When the checklist on designing a barcode is completed, the next part is label printing. This part requires as much due diligence as the designing part. The right printing material should be chosen and the printing process should be strategically selected based on your business needs.
Choose the Right Printing Material
The printing material or the substrate where the barcode will be printed on highly affects the quality of the tag. You have to avoid reflective or glossy mediums. Do not choose semi-transparent or transparent backgrounds as well. Covering the substrate with transparent wrappers may also lower the scannable quality of the label.
Decide Which Printing Process to Utilize
There are different methods of printing barcodes. It basically depends on how you want them to be incorporated into your product. The simplest way is to utilize a printer service that has pre-printed labels ready. This works if you are working with a few different products or a low volume of serialized labels. Many businesses lean towards investing on their own in-house labeling after realizing the limitations or restrictions of using pre-printed labels.
Regularly looking after the designing and printing phases of barcoding is critical. Make sure that every barcode tag has an acceptable labeling and print quality. When done right, this will help expedite your business processes effectively – one data capture at a time.