Demystifying barcode labels for your business


Demystifying barcode labels for your business

barcode labelsBarcodes can appear mystifying enough when just sitting on a product on your local store. When you are starting your business and attempting to work out how they can benefit your organisation you need to know how they work in order to find the most cost effective and appropriate type on the market.

The logic behind barcode labels

Yes, believe it or not there is more than one type. They appear to be just a jumble of numbers and and strange black and white lines. Fundamentally they are based on the same model as morse code. Just as you have dots and dashes that relate to various alpha-numeric symbols, on  barcode label you have either thin or thick lines which relate to symbols in the same way for a barcode scanner.

Different formats for varying requirements

But which label is most effective for your production line or stock control is a little deeper than that. different barcode label formats are called symbologies. Examples include EAN (UPC in america),  code 128, code 39, ISBN and interleave 205. these different formats are meant to be used in different contexts and work environments and sometimes using varying character sets.

Which Barcode label is this?

So which barcode labels are you seeing or which do you need? The barcode label on a product to be scanned at a cash register is an EAN or JAN.  If you need barcodes for a book then you need an ISBN-13. They usually start with numbers 978 or 979. There is often a smaller barcode label to the right of the isbn no. This tells the scanner the cover price of the book.

If you need inventory tracking in a non-retail setting then it is the code 128, code 39 or interleave barcode label you need. These codes do not have numbers attached and unlike the retail barcode come in varying shpes and sizes. code 39 is recognized by the fact that it has the same four lines at the beginning and at the end of the code.

Contact us for support

Still confused? Don’t worry. Tanto Labels are experts in barcode labels and we want to support you in ensuring you choose the correct barcode label for your product and work environment. Just give us a call on 01934 417665



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