Printing your Barcodes to Labels

Our barcode images are supplied in the EPS, JPEG and TIFF graphic digital file formats.  Ideally these are intended for inclusion on artwork files such as .ai (Adobe Illustrator), .psd (Photoshop) etc.  However it is possible to import these images or enter the barcode numbers into various label making programs.  Below are a few common methods for printing your barcodes directly to labels.

DIY Method

Barcodes can be printed directly from your PC or Mac if you have an adequate printer.  Many office supplies stores provide label sheets such as Avery templates.  It is important to ensure the template will have enough space to include the barcode image and quiet zones (this is the blank/white space either side of the bars).  We suggest using the highest resolution settings available and test scanning a proof or sample label before printing multiple labels.  If you are having any difficulty with the barcode size remember that GS1 guidelines for EAN-13 and UPC-A barcodes suggest a minimum of 80% magnification.  This is 80% scale of the barcode images we supply.

Bundles Label Printer & Software

Label printers such as a Dymo have bundled software.  You can use this software to enter the barcode numbers into pre-made layouts and print. These machines a specifically designed for custom barcode printing and label making.   Prices are anywhere between $100 – $600 but can be a worthwhile investment. These types of printer utilise thermal transfer technology making the labels more durable then the DIY method.  You can pick up one of these models at most office supply stores or via an online search.

Brother TD-4000
Zebra GC420D

Professional Printing Services

If the above methods are not available to you we suggest hiring a professional printing service. You would have to find a local printer with experience in retail and a good reputation.

Barcode Verification

Once you have a label proof printed it’s worthwhile to consider getting a Barcode Verification report.  This tests the quality of your printed barcode and can identify any issues that may need to be rectified.  Some larger retailers require Barcode Verification prior to accepting your product.  See Barcode Verification for more.

Ready to purchase barcodes?  Buy Barcodes here.

Barcode Verification

What is Barcode Verification?

Barcode verification is a test to determine the quality of a printed barcode.   Typically this carried out on a product’s final packaging or printed artwork proof.   A barcode verifier machine is used to scan the printed barcode several times at various angles, a resulting ISO grade (4 – 0 / A – F) is indicated on a Barcode Verification Report.  Having an acceptable verification report is often a prerequisite to supplying larger retailers.

Some larger retailers require a Barcode Verification report

Barcode accuracy is critical to the supply chain. Poor quality barcodes that fail to scan add unnecessary time and expense to the trading process. Products with poor quality barcodes can be outright rejected by retailers, resulting in loss of sales and possible financial penalties.  Most major retailers typically require barcodes to have an ISO grade of 1.5 or higher.

Barcode Verification reports also are helpful in determining what needs to be corrected to improve barcode quality.  Common causes for failed barcode verification include:

– Reduction/removal of the quiet zones (the white space either side of the code).  We strongly advise to leave these intact at the graphic design stage.

– Significant reduction of the height of the barcode.  This is known as truncation.

– Incorrect colour combination (black bars on white background is ideal).  See our colour guide for acceptable combinations.

– Poor print resolution

– Incorrect check digit or non standard encoding e.g. an invalid format

– Poor Barcode Placement e.g. the Barcode is printed around a corner, on an excessively curved surface or obscured by shrink wrap.

– Certain substrates can affect barcode printing, causing shrinkage, or excess print bleed

Where to get Barcode Verification?

Unfortunately at this time GS1 India appears to only offer Barcode Verification Services for current GS1 India members.  However Verification Reports are not commonly required by retailers in India.  Other global GS1 branches such as New Zealand and Australia will carry out Barcode Verification services for non members, meaning they will test and verify the barcodes we supply.  If you are exporting your product overseas and your retailers require barcode verification you can arrange a barcode verification report with the relevant branch of GS1.

New Zealand:


The EAN-13, UPC-A and ITF-14 barcode images we supply will pass a verification report given they are printed correctly (within 80% – 200% magnification range) and not adversely altered at the graphic design stage.  Commonly our final printed barcodes have an ISO Grade 4 (highest possible) with a scan rate of 100% on GS1 Verification Reports.

Please Note – Verification Reports issued by GS1 using our numbers will mark the Validity of GS1 Company Prefix row “N/A”.  This simply means your company is not a direct GS1 member. There are a limited amount of retailers globally that require direct GS1 membership.

Barcode Colour Guides

Barcode scanners rely on an infrared light to scan a barcode. This means certain colour combinations are invisible to scanners, even if they are discernible to the human eye. Careful consideration should be taken at the design stage to ensure the product will scan at POS.

Some general guidelines for barcode colours are:

– Vertical bars should appear darker than the background colour.
– Scanners cannot “see” the vertical bars if warm colours are used e.g. Orange, Red and Yellow. These colours however can be used for backgrounds within reason.
– Blues, Blacks, Greens and Browns are easily picked up by the scanner and are ideally used vertical bars
– Reflective surfaces are unsuitable for scanning.  This is because of light reflected back at the scanner which interferes with the scan
– The quiet zones either side of the vertical bars are critical. It is strongly advised to leave the quiet zones intact and not reduce them.

The most optimal and widely adopted colour combination is black bars on a white background.  Below are some examples of other acceptable and unacceptable colour combinations.   If unsure about a colour combination email us at

Note – some smartphone apps may return a scan of a barcode that is using an unacceptable combination.  This is due to the app relying on a camera, not infrared light.  A retail scanner will not be able to successfully scan the same barcode.

Scannable Colours

Non Scannable Colours

Ready to buy EAN and UPC Barcodes?  Buy Barcodes here.