We’ve already seen the importance of colours when it comes to printing barcodes, the material on which the code is printed, the size and the position of the barcode, all of which ensure proper scanning. In this blog post, we’ll look at the criteria to consider so that the barcode is printed clearly.

Scannability = proper printing

If packages are designed to take into account all factors that help or hinder the scanning of barcodes so that they may be easily read, then the printing quality could change everything. We already mentioned the consequences of poor printing in our blog post from April 2012.

The simplest way to ensure proper print quality is to outsource to experts. A simple glance is not always enough to judge the barcode print quality. It’s also important to remember that barcodes are not only scanned at the cash register of a retail store. Barcodes used for other means will most likely be scanned by different types of devices all along the supply chain.

At any rate, below are some suggestions:

  • If you decide to outsource the printing of your barcodes, we advise choosing a renowned printer who knows the whole process inside and out. They can create the code, manage its verification by a third party, do the printing and the quality control.
  • If you have small quantities to print and you decide to print in-house, there are barcode label printers and professional printing software programs for high-resolution printing. When making your choice, we advise using a supplier that knows not only the machines, but also the scanning devices and their pros and cons.
  • If you decide to go with a thermal printer, you’ll notice that the printing quality varies from 203 to 600 dots per inch (dpi). The quality you choose will depend on your printing needs. In general, the smaller the printed code, the higher the number of dpi. Otherwise, the bars of the code won’t be as precise, which may increase the risks of improper scanning.
  • The GS1, a supply chain standards organization, recommends submitting to an independent auditor a draft of the printed barcode as well as a sample of the final packaged product as it will look at the point of sale. The auditor will be able to supply you with a validation report that you can give to your clients upon request.

Please contact IMS for all your questions concerning the different steps in the process as well as for our consulting services on the print type that’s right for you.