Is a Bar Code Classed as a Digital Label?
If you're releasing a product and planning on selling it in major stores, it will need a barcode.
You may have heard about digital labels and bar codes but are unsure about the requirements and how to get a barcode set up.
We're here to help you understand the tricky world of digital barcode graphics.
How Barcodes Work
Barcodes are printed from digital files. While some barcodes are simple lines that can be drawn using almost anything, some images are more complex.
In addition, barcodes can scale massively depending on what they're printed on, and it's important to ensure that the barcode can be read clearly, regardless if it’s on any of the following:
Large product box
A curved tin
A book cover
One area where precision is needed is with the width of the bar.
The scaling of the bars is known as 'Bar Width Adjustment', and this is the technique that is used to compensate for the change in height and width as a barcode is stretched and printed.
Bar Codes and Digital Labels
Digital labels are labels which are printed using high-quality digital printing processes, often at DPIs as great as 1,200.
Bar codes are not necessarily digital labels, but they often are printed in that way.
If you choose the wrong kind of printing process for a bar code then you run the risk of the code not scaling properly.
That's why it is so important that you choose the right file format and the right printing process.
Low resolution and highly compressed graphics formats will not take Bar Width Adjustment into account and will make a barcode that is not legible, or that reads incorrectly, to the scanner.
Vector vs Raster
It's important to understand that no matter how good the printing process, the printer will only produce a faithful representation of the file that was sent to them.
That's why we recommend that people use vector images when they send a design or a bar code to a printer.
Vectors are images that will look just as good at 'larger than life' sizes as they do when they are very small, because instead of the images being made up of a collection of dots, they are made up of instructions "draw a line of thickness 1 from point a to point b, with a curve of 30 degrees".
This means that if you double or quadruple the size of the image, the line will become thickness 2, or thickness 4, but will still be exactly the same shape.
Raster images are a collection of dots, and when you change the size of the image, the dots may not scale with the precision that you hoped.
Printing Good Barcodes
OnPack Australia is a leader in digital printing. We are a team of expert printers that can help you with all of your printed label and product design needs.
We print not just bar codes but other product labels too and have a range of finishes, materials and products to choose from.
This means no matter whether you are looking for a container lid, a beer can, bottle, or jam jar label, or for something to stick over a box or on the front of a book, we can help you.
Choose from gloss or matte finishes, splash-resistant, multi-coloured labels or simple prints for boutique products, we have something for every design.
We can offer advice on barcode design and printing to ensure the best results and that the code will scan easily for shoppers.
Take advantage of our expertise and experience to get the best results with your printed bar codes.
We have a wide variety of clients in the food, beverage, consumer goods, health, logistics, and sports nutrition industries who are more than satisfied by our precision printing.
Call us now on +61 3 8388 8100 for all your printing needs.