Checklist for generating barcodes

Use this handy checklist when generating and printing barcodes. It’s a list of the most common errors and issues we see on our members’ barcodes.

  • Ensure the correct symbol is used for the relevant product, application and scanning environment.
  • Check the barcode will remain readable in the environment in which the product will be stored, handled and distributed
  • Ensure the check digit is correct.
  • Check the size of the barcode – both magnification and bar height.
  • Ensure there are adequate quiet zones, and that any optional Quiet Zone Indicators are correctly placed.
  • Check there is adequate contrast between the bars and the background, and that the colours chosen will scan.
  • Make sure the colour of the contents of the packaging will not unduly affect the contrast between the bars and spaces.
  • Check the position of the symbol on the final, formed product.
  • Ensure that no shrink-wrap, tape or other printing will obscure the barcode on the finished product.
  • Ensure no other barcodes will be visible or show through from inside the pack.
  • Carry out routine verification at all levels of packaging to ensure that the barcode complies with the required quality standard, and to identify any potential problems.
  • Check the print quality regularly throughout the print run by verifying the barcode quality.
  • Notify trading partners of the GTINs and the products they identify in good time. 
  • Where there are multiple barcodes on a pack they must have the same Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) encoded. Our recommendation is to add a leading 0 (zero) to the GTIN-13 on the product to generate the GTIN-14 to encode in the 2D GS1 Datamatrix symbol.