You should always check, before printing your product packaging, that the barcodes scan correctly and that there are no problems with the print-quality or dimensions. While most modern scanners are very clever and quite forgiving, and there is an error-check built into the system, there are still some basic guidelines that will help to increase the chances that your barcodes will always able to be scanned easily and without error.


The barcode images we provide, as part of our barcode packages, are already at the ideal “standard size” for the scanners. Printing these images at 100% magnification is the best way of ensuring the barcode will be scannable. If you print one of our barcode images onto your product packaging you will need to make sure that the “Quiet Zone” (The blank space on either side of the barcode) is large enough for the barcode reader to be able to read the barcode. This advice also applies to barcode label printing, although if you get a professional company such as ourselves to print your barcode labels you can rest assured we will follow the correct procedures.

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Do not create a barcode that is less than 80% magnification. The barcode images should be printed at a print quality of at least 300dpi, with 600+dpi being ideal. It is also not recommended to go below 100% magnification unless you are using thermal printing.

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It is possible to print your barcode in a colour combination that matches your product or packaging as long as the level of contrast between the bars and background is high enough, generally 63% or higher. However, remember that because the light emitted by a barcode scanner is red, only certain colour combinations are possible. Contrast is measured in PCS – or Print Contrast Signals. This is the value of the change in reflectivity between the light and dark spaces of the barcode which the scanner will read. As results can differ based on the type of material and printing method used, it is advisable to run a PCS test prior to commencing the final print run. The following general guidelines apply when choosing a combination:

Scannable colour combinations


Non-scannable colour combinations