Getting Creative With Your Barcodes

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Getting Creative With Your Barcodes

by Nate Schubert

Barcodes are a necessary part of business. Companies routinely use barcode technology to track documents, conduct inventory counts and prepare items for sale in retail environments. Unfortunately, barcodes have become so common on documents, products, equipment and other items that they are easily overlooked and often missed. Luckily, human creativity has a solution.

Linear barcodes are rectangular symbols with black vertical lines. When read with barcode scanners, their encoded data is output wherever the cursor is located on the computer screen by a process known as keyboard emulation. A common misnomer is that the entire barcode needs to be intact in order to get a clean read. In reality, however, most linear barcodes need only have the bottom intact in order to achieve a successful scan. This means that creative users can take some simple steps to spice up their barcodes and make them noticeable again. But how is it done?

The process of modifying a barcode is not as difficult as you may think. All you need is a barcode image, a creative mind, a little patience and a Graphic Editor programs which will allow distortion, stretching and other types of filters that can change the shape of portions of the barcode while keeping it enough intact to acquire a successful scan. It is likely that you’ll have to do some trial-and-error tweaking, but the end result will be a totally unique barcode image that your employees or consumers will not overlook.

For more unique barcode designs in real-world use, please check out our Creative Barcoding board on Pinterest.