Barcode Fun

 In 101

One of the many fun things about running a barcode test lab is seeing the wide range of sorts and conditions of barcodes. Some are just badly printed. Others show some creative genius. All of them are interesting (in our humble opinion).

As we stand at the edge of the Black Friday cliff, consider this: if you do not particularly like shopping, as I do not, barcodes can provide you with a unique opportunity to avoid shopping. When I visit a retail establishment, I immediately begin looking for interesting barcodes. I do not browse for things to purchase; I do not pay attention to what my wife or kids are looking at or looking for. I look for bad or otherwise interesting barcodes. They no longer invite me to go with them. Everyone is happy including me.

We host a website of interesting barcodes. We invite and encourage you to contribute your own interesting barcode images. We refer to these as “wild” barcodes; the website is

Here are a few wild barcodes we have encountered recently–see if you can find and submit some of your own.


Low contrast only begins to describe this Data Matrix code, printed (badly) on a heavily textured substrate.

Contrast suffers again on this putrid green QR Code.



A playful design always makes the otherwise mundane UPC more interesting. Travelocity had the right idea and came so close to getting it right–but got carried away and then completely destroyed the usefulness of the symbol by violating both quiet zones.

Bigelow, on the other hand, always delivers with great design and careful attention to preserving the barcode’s intended utility–a full pass through a full height UPC.






We are very grateful for the many opportunities we have had to serve in this fascinating industry with people like you. It has been our great privilege to be able to help, solve and prevent problems with barcodes and earn the trust of so many people in a wide variety of businesses. My deepest thanks to each and every one of you.


John Nachtrieb

Barcode Test LLC

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.