Barcode Names: What Do They Mean?

[Note to people who call all barcodes “UPC’s” and all photo-copiers “Xerox machines”– don’t bother reading any further—this article will not interest you.] Not all barcode names have significance—UPC or Universal Product Code and Data Matrix, for example, are just generic names with no intrinsic meaning. Other barcode names are much more descriptive and interesting–at…

Five QR Code Myths Dispelled

QR Code myths abound, as do articles about them. Our concern is the mythology surrounding QR Code from a quality standpoint. For example, we recently saw—and commented on—an article about a new graphics design technique that makes QR Code less obtrusive and more “harmonious” with the graphic it accompanies. The QR Code examples that accompanied…

Printing Barcodes on Difficult Surfaces

Printing barcodes on difficult surfaces  can be confusing because we don’t expect some substrates to be problematic. We received a call recently from a client who was printing 1D barcodes with a thermal transfer printer on what they described as a metallic silver label. We suspect it was a silver-colored mylar, but no matter—the barcodes…

Bar Code Match in Packaging

In its fullest sense, bar code quality is a broader topic than just the quality of the printed image. There are two additional considerations where the bar code plays an important role. One of them is what I call validation: making sure the encoded data in the bar code is on the right package. The…

The Perfect Universal Verifier

The Perfect Universal Verifier First let’s define terms:  a “universal” verifier is one that tests both 1D or linear barcodes and 2D or matrix symbols. UPC, Code 128 and ITF14 are examples of 1D barcodes; QR Code and Data Matrix Code are examples of 2D symbols.  Having been in the barcode business—and the barcode quality…

How Important is Barcode Quality?

It seems like a rhetorical question—we’ve made the case over a few years and more than 150 articles that barcode quality is very important. We’ve said spectacular things like “barcodes are the connective tissue that holds supply chains together” and “bad barcodes used to be just a checkout line inconvenience; now they can mean life…