Barcodes, or barcode labels, are one of the most essential parts of various businesses. They play an important role in the supply chain of many products, from identifying the products to tracking their location within the inventory. They are helpful and easy to use because of their design and simple work. However, many barcode manufacturers make mistakes while creating and implementing them on products. Manufacturing mistakes on any barcode label can be costly in inventory management and can reduce the effectiveness of barcodes.
So, let's find out about such mistakes.
Common Design Mistakes to Avoid in Barcode Designing
1. Proper encoding and verification Before Printing: It is always a mandatory process to verify whether the data of the barcode is encoded correctly or not. It is an essential step of barcode printing just before printing the barcode label. Just take a barcode scanner, scan the barcode, and verify whether the contained information is relevant or not. Also, ensure any other issues, including printing errors, incorrect data, or damaged bars, are fixed, and retest until everything is fine.
You can also verify their durability in various environmental conditions, such as different lighting conditions or at different angles. It will ensure that your barcode is readable in any environmental condition.
2. Choosing the wrong printing methods: Barcode printing is done by using barcode printers. It is always mandatory to choose the right type of barcode printer. For instance, On Rainy days, ink jet-printed labels may be full of smudge or misprinting. Inkjet printers frequently produce hazy images. Other types of office printers are preferred for barcoding.
Wax ribbons produce smeared or easily fading designs when used on the wrong face stock. They work best on uncoated paper. Use resin-containing ribbons on plastic, latex-reinforced, or fabric face stock to create long-lasting labels.
One should follow these settings on your printer before printing barcodes:
1. When a printer is not maintained properly, it results in print head dents, ink smudges, drum failures, and other issues.
2. Properly check the ribbon, ink, toner, and media are all positioned correctly, if not result in skips, uneven images, and paper jams.
3. One should always verify the size of the barcode. If the Resizing is done, disproportionately results in extremely little barcodes.
3. Choosing the wrong symbol for a barcode: Barcode symbology is one of the most essential aspects of designing a barcode label. Choosing the incorrect barcode symbology leads to barcoding mistakes that users make while designing barcodes.
It happens due to a difference in rules and regulations across countries, states, and industries. These rules and regulations specify which barcode symbology must be used and what information must be encoded within a barcode. Therefore, it is always recommended to research and verify the symbology requirements before designing or selecting a template from barcode software.
4. Incorrect size of barcode: Barcode size is also a key mistake that generally occurs in designing a barcode, but the barcode should be printed in a size that is readable by the barcode scanner, not too big or too small. The size of a barcode will vary based on the type of barcode utilized. For example, a UPC-A barcode label's measurements should be around 1.469 inches wide and 1.02 inches tall.
5. Changing the shape and size of the barcode: Once a barcode is printed, applying an external procedure (scaling, stretching, or wrapping) to change its shape and size is not a good idea. Each barcode symbology has its design criteria that determine the width-to-height aspect ratio. This barcode aspect ratio ensures the barcode's readability from a barcode scanner. If you want to change the shape and size of the barcode, just print a new barcode label with the help of barcode label printer software.
6. Incorrect positioning and orientation: Barcode positioning and orientation are also important in design, or, as you can say, placing the barcode label on a product. The placement of the barcode label ensures the readability of the barcode. For example, in retail goods, barcodes should be put on the packaging's lower right corner. The barcode should be placed at least 8 mm from the package's edge. Furthermore, the barcode should be perfectly horizontal or vertical, with no angle in between.
7. Using incorrect color combinations in designing barcodes: Designing a barcode label also depends on their color combinations. Generally, a barcode is a black or blue parallel line printed on a white or transparent background. You can also choose various combinations of dark bars (low reflectivity) on a light (high reflectivity) background when adjusting barcode colors. Dark colors like brown, navy blue and forest green are preferred for the bars, whereas light colors like yellow and pink are appropriate for the background.
8. Clear and legible barcode fonts: A barcode contains (0–9) numbers printed with parallel bars. These numbers are in the human-readable interpretation (HRI) format of the encoded value in the barcode. If a barcode becomes unreadable due to the damage, then you can manually enter those numbers into the database to retrieve the encoded data. These numbers are the alternative solutions to barcode scanning. Hence, it is essential to use clear and legible barcode fonts while designing the barcode.
9. Not Leaving Space for Quiet Zones: Quiet zones are known as the blank space at the end of a barcode. The quiet zone area should be blank and kept clear of design elements like logos, images, and text. To scan the barcode correctly, barcode scanners read the bars from left to right. As a result, any design features or text on either end of a barcode may interfere with the scanner's line of sight when the barcode is captured. As a result, the data is wrong or the scan fails.
In conclusion, a barcode might be a small thing, but it is a crucial component of your product's packaging design. Just avoid these typical barcode mistakes while creating them to ensure that they are readable and error-free. After avoiding these common mistakes, businesses can ensure that their barcodes contribute to streamlined operations, accurate data capture, and overall efficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) Why is choosing the right barcode type important, and what can happen if the wrong type is selected?
The right type of barcode is very crucial to an industry. While different industries and applications require specific barcode types, if you pick the wrong type of barcode, It leads to inefficiencies and errors in data capture. So, it is essential to select the appropriate barcode type based on specific requirements.
Q2) How does barcode size impact scanning efficiency, and what are the consequences of sizing?
Barcode size directly affects scanning efficiency. Inadequate sizing, either too small or too large, can lead to difficulties in scanning, impacting the overall effectiveness of the barcode.
Q3) How does print quality impact barcode readability, and what are the risks of poor printing?
Print quality directly impacts barcode readability. Poor printing, including low resolution or inconsistent quality, can compromise the integrity of the barcode and increase the risk of scanning errors.