Printing Barcodes is the most important step for any business. If the barcodes are unreadable, you not only lose face in front of your retailers who might blacklist you, but also incur loss of money due to re-printing and ruin your reputation.
To correctly print barcodes, you need to follow certain International Standards and quality for the print test so that your products become saleable across the country and the world.
Just look at the following important points one needs to remember to print barcodes correctly:
1. Double check the barcodes for any errors in check digit calculation. Understand that there is a major difference between human readable and machine readable and the barcodes must pass both tests. If the barcode lines aren’t set apart precisely, it will give errors when the barcode is scanned.
2. Always print the barcodes at its 100% resolution. Don’t alter the width or height to fit a product. This will result in creating errors when the product is scanned. A normal height of 1.02 inches (26.3mm) and a width of 1.47 inches (37.3mm) is preferred. This doesn’t give a squash effect to the barcode image.
3. Print the barcodes with some space on all sides. This “white space” as it is called is a requirement by the officials. The norm is 0.25 inches of space from the barcode lines on all sides to the edge of the barcode image.
4. The barcode lines should always be centrally positioned against the white background to make scanning the barcode easy.
5. It is advisable to print the barcode lines in black against a white background. This is to prevent scanning problems in some scanning machines.
6. Never print the barcode lines in red ink. This action will most definitely call for a reprint of all the barcode tags.
7. If you have to print in color, choose dark colors for the barcode lines, like dark brown, navy blue, dark green etc.
8. If you want to print your barcode on a background other than white, choose light colors like light yellow, orange and pink.
9. The barcode background should always contrast the packaging. Never ever print the barcodes on a transparent or semi-transparent packaging background. The barcode will not be scanned properly and you will have to reprint the entire production line again.
10. Make sure the quality of the ink is at or above the recommended “C” grade. Anything below will not scan properly.
11. If the packaging of the product is shiny, the reflective light from the packaging will deflect the scanning lasers, causing errors when you try to scan the barcode. To prevent this, use low reflective inks to print the barcode lines.
12. Once you feel confident that your barcode is ready to print, print a test sample to check for smudges, curved edges, missing or broken lines, clumps of ink, inconsistency with the ink heads pressure etc. All this issues will cause errors when the barcode is scanned.
Finally check the barcodes by scanning them using different machines. If you get errors, you need to rectify them before printing in bulk.