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.

Using Barcodes on Amazon

The barcodes supplied by Barcode Savers are suitable for Amazon individual seller listings, private label listings and Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).   Our customers have been informed by Amazon Seller Support that “barcodes can be purchased from any external or third party supplier and used to list your products, however the barcode must be valid and you can validate your barcodes on these sites:”

GS1’s Check Digit Calculator

Our barcode numbers originate from the Uniform Code Council (the same system as GS1) and come supplied with correctly generated calculated check digits.  They will therefore pass Amazon’s integrated validation forms and can be used to list products on Amazon.

Limitations with using Amazon Brand Registry

Please note if you’re intending to list your products under the Amazon Brand Registry platform there are a few methods used by Amazon to verify your brand ownership. One such method of verification is checking your product codes against GS1’s GEPIR database for your brand name.  Although the barcodes we supply originate with the UCC (now known as GS1) we cannot upload your brand or company information to GS1’s GEPIR database. Unfortunately no barcode re-seller can provide GEPIR registration. To have your brand appear on GS1’s GEPIR you would need to join GS1 and pay annual license fees to maintain your barcodes. Therefore if you’re intending to apply for Amazon’s Brand Registry platform you should consider obtaining your numbers directly through GS1.

Workarounds  –  Generally direct GS1 membership for the brand registry is preferable. However if you’re using third party re-seller supplied codes on Amazon Brand Registry you may be required by Amazon to provide a) “a letter from the manufacturer/your brand stating that the GTIN you are using to list this product is valid” or b) photographs of your product displaying the GTIN/barcode on the packaging.

Note – Amazon’s Brand Registry platform is very selective and generally intended for larger well established brands. To be eligible your brand will need to have a registered Trademark.  To find out more information about Amazon Brand Registry and their eligibility rules visit

Ready to purchase barcodes for Amazon? Buy Barcodes here.

ITF-14 Carton Codes

An ITF-14 Carton Code is a 14 digit barcode used on warehousing and logistics units.  Units using an ITF-14 barcode can contain multiple instances of the same product or mixed lots of assorted products. Some larger retailers and distributors will require ITF-14 carton codes in order to track your products through the supply chain.

ITF-14 generated by Barcode Savers

When a Carton contains a quantity of the same product the ITF-14’s reference number will correspond to the EAN-13’s product code on the actual product.  When a Carton contains a mixed lot of various products a new product number is assigned to represent the mixed lot.

Packaging Level Indicator – The packaging level indicator is the first digit of the ITF-14 code.  The packaging level number can range from 0 – 8 (9 cannot be used).  Standard orders of ITF-14 numbers use the packaging indicator (1).

If you have purchased an EAN-13 barcode package and require corresponding  ITF-14 Carton Codes please email us at  with your order reference or receipt number.  If you require a packaging level indicator other than “1” or have any other special requirement you can include this information in your mail.

Important !

ITF-14s can not be used at point of sale.
EAN-13s can not be used in place of an ITF-14.

How to Open the ZIP Folder

Our barcode packages are delivered instantly to your email address upon completion of checkout.  We send all your barcode numbers, images, certificate and OCRB font inside a Zip Folder.  If you’re not familiar with opening zips refer to these instructions.

Step 1. Download the zip folder from the automated email sent to the email you used during checkout.  The barcode package will be attached to the email and named according to package size eg.

Step 2. Find the location where you downloaded the zip folder on your PC/MAC.  Typically this will be in your “My Downloads” folder for PC or “Downloads” for MAC.   When the file is downloaded to your PC/MAC locate it and follow the below instructions to fully access individual files.

Step 3. To access the contents of the zip simply right click on the folder once downloaded and select “Extract Here” or “Extract All” and the folder will unzip fully. If you are using a Mac simply double click on the original attachment (attached to the automated email) to open. If you have any further issues extracting the zip file please refer to the following links for both Mac and PC.


Once you have extracted the folder you will see the images in the folders for example EAN-13 > JPEG for the JPEG images or EAN-13 > EPS for the EPS images etc.

Note: To correctly display the OCRB font in programs such as Illustrator or Photoshop install the OCRB font on your computer.

How to register your barcode

Some of our customers ask how their product data is “encoded” into the barcode or if their barcode needs to be registered on a global database.  To be clear there is no information inside the bars and no centralised database.  The vertical black and white bars simply represent the sequence of numbers shown below.  When a scanner reads a barcode the number sequence is instantly recognised by the store’s POS system rather than being typed manually. If the store has an entry in their system matching the number it will then return product information such as price, name and size.

Barcodes are simply a globally unique number that is first assigned to your product by you. The number is later recorded in a retailer’s sales/inventory system when they accept your product for the first time.  So once you incorporate your barcode into your product’s artwork/labels the barcode number has already begun doing it’s job of representing your product in the supply chain.  If you have purchased a block of barcodes you will need to keep a record of your code assignments to avoid duplication.

Each new retailer/distributor will enter the barcode into their system when the product is introduced and input the price, description and company information.  There is no centralised database that will make your product details appear in every store. Even GS1’s GEPIR database does not store product data (only company info) and is not integrated with stores.  Further most GS1 National Product catalogues only integrate with a limited number of retailers.

There are a couple of methods when supplying your product and barcode information to retailers. One by submitting an Excel Sheet to your retailer demonstrating your barcode assignment where additional information (price/company/reorder code) can be included. In other cases, you’ll be required by your retailer to fill out a product information or vendor form linking your product information to your barcode number.  Either way the retailer will transfer your product information into their sales system thus allowing your product to be scanned at POS and tracked by store inventory software.

For e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Ebay, a field for Product ID is used to supply your barcode number.  This will occur when listing your product for the first time.

For your product’s barcode to be scanned by smartphone apps, you will need to register your barcode number and product information with a company that maintains a database that is subscribed to by the app developers.  Additionally listing your items with free sites such as the ones linked below will increase the online visibility of your codes & products.  Similarly entering your product info on Amazon, Ebay & Google merchant listings will have the same effect of allowing Google to index your numbers.

ISBN & ISSN- Barcodes for Books and Magazines

The standard EAN-13 and UPC-A Barcode numbers we supply are not suited for Books & Magazines.

Books require an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) using a range of numbers reserved especially for print publications.

To obtain an ISBN in India please visit

For magazines an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is required.  You can obtain one from the ISSN National Centre, India

Once you have your ISBN or ISSN numbers you’ll need to have an image generated as an EAN-13 code (or ISBN/ISSN + 2). This is so you can include the barcode on your publication’s cover artwork file. Properly formatted ISBN 13 images display the human readable text above and below the code.  We can assist you with generating correctly formatted ISBN and ISSN code images for your publication.  Simply email us at with your ISBN or ISSN number and we can arrange a quote and Special Order.

Example of an ISBN barcode image supplied by Barcode Savers. JPEG format at 600 DPI.