Barcode Size

Our EAN-13 and UPC-A barcode images are supplied at 100% Magnification SC0 (25.93mm x 37.29mm).  This is the standard GS1 recommend size and is optimal for retail scanning. Please note this size also includes the negative space on each side of the code.  These blank areas are known as the quiet zones (3.63mm left side and 2.31mm right side).  It’s important to ensure the quiet zones remain as part of the printed barcode and are not cut or hindered by other design elements.  Without sufficient quiet zones a barcode may fail to scan.  

Tips for re-sizing your barcodes

GS1 recommends printing barcodes within 80% and 200% magnification.  We suggest following to this guideline given that your product packaging can reasonably afford the space required.  It is possible to resize below 80% and still scan.  But before doing so it’s important to consider the following first:

  • Barcodes that are reduced less than 80% will fail to pass a Barcode Verification Report.  Some (not all) larger retailers require this standard.
  • Barcodes that are heavily truncated or re-sized too small e.g. less than 10mm in height, may fail to scan or have scanning inconsistencies.
  • When resizing we recommend using the 2450 DPI EPS.  This format allows for the most flexibility for re-sizing without loss of resolution.

Photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator are ideal for resizing your barcode images.  This is usually achieved by selecting the entire barcode image layer and re-scaling it.  Photoshop allows for re-sizing a layer by percentage so for example you can re-size the barcode to 82% of its original size and safely achieve the minimum required height.  Adding an extra 2% helps to overcome any issues with ink spread or minor inaccuracies caused by the printer. The 2450 DPI EPS file is best for re-sizing without loss of image resolution.

Truncation Method

Truncation is re-sizing a barcode by cropping a section from the top of the barcode giving it a rectangular appearance. e.g. a barcode at 100% magnification can be truncated (cut across the top) so the bar height meets the 80% minimum above 18.28mm. Simply dragging the edges of a bacode layer around in Photoshop can adversely affect the barcode proportions.  truncation is a preferred method for keeping the barcode’s original proportions stable. 

Very small products like pencils, tabacco products and candy often have a heavily truncated barcode printed on them. Examples like can scan easily at Point of Sale.  But it should be noted that Barcodes such as this will not pass a barcode verification report. Some retailers may reject products with smaller barcodes as part of their vendor guidelines.  Most retailers however are reasonable when dealing with smaller product packaging and can agree to allow the product.  There are many examples of products in the supply chain that break with the 80% minimum guideline, even with larger retail chains. If you are ever unsure about re-sizing below 80% it’s best contact your retailer first to see if they will allow it.

Magnification Guide

MagnificationBar Width (mm)Bar Height (mm)L Quiet Zone (mm)R Quiet Zone (mm)
80% (SC0)20.0818.282.901.85
90% (SC1)28.2220.573.272.08
100% (SC2)31.3522.853.632.31
110% (SC3)34.4925.143.992.54
120% (SC4)37.6227.424.362.77
135% (SC5)42.3230.854.903.12
150% (SC6)47.0334.285.453.47
165% (SC7)51.7337.705.993.81
185% (SC8)58.0042.276.724.27
200% (SC9)62.7045.707.264.62