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.


Do your barcodes meet specifications?

If you're not sure, then use our services provided by Barcode Check.

Creating and printing barcodes

Ensure your barcode complies with specifications and is printed properly, so it scans correctly at every point in the supply chain.