Post Date: March 11, 2020

6 Tips to Print Best Quality Barcodes

Barcodes play a vital part in manufacturing, logistics and trade. They allow for the efficient collection of data, prevent input errors and even control entire systems.  However, they only work if they can be correctly read by scanners and cameras.

Here are some tips that could help prevent common causes of barcode failure.

tips for best barcode quality for main image of blog article

1. Print high-contrast

The higher the contrast of the code against the substrate, the easier it is for the scanner to read. Certain color combinations are unfavorable (e.g. red on white or black on blue). The best contrast is achieved with a black print onto a white, opaque background.

2. Choose matte surfaces

Glossy or shiny materials can affect readability as they don’t often optimally reflect the scanner’s infrared light or they diffuse it too much.

3. Don’t violate quiet zones

For the reader to accurately recognize the beginning and end of the code, there needs to be a sufficiently large white area around it – the ‘quiet zone’. This area should be at least 5 times the width of the narrowest bar. Ensure that even subsequent finishing (e.g. film lamination) does not disturb the quiet zone.

4. Ensure proper print quality

If parts of the barcode are damaged, it is no longer readable by scanners or cameras.

The printer itself can affect the print quality if, for example, the printhead is clogged up or damaged. You can prevent this by covering the cartridge during downtime.

5. Follow specified standards

In some cases, you will need to ensure that your barcodes will be accepted by any other companies throughout the supply chain, maybe even internationally. This means that your barcodes must meet certainrequirements that specify your barcode’s print quality, height, color and background as well as it’s position on the label or packaging. Organisations such as GS1, which drive the global development and standardization of barcodes, provide guidelines, tools and services.

6. Accessibility

To allow for easy reading of the barcode, it must not be obscured by any other objects during the scanning process. Make sure that the barcode is easily accessible and protected from dirt, buckling and any other potential damage risks.

If you have any further questions or would like more advice on how to print high quality codes on your product, contact us.