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7 Types of Barcode Labels

In the previous post, we had discussed about the general barcode label categories. We also wrote on the various benefits that can be accrued by using barcode labels with various products. As a follow-up, we are discussing the different types of barcodes.

Are There Different Types of Barcode Labels?
Yes, there are! We can understand the confusion. As we had mentioned in a previous post, Barcode labels are generally used for applications such as calculation of product information, pricing, and billing. However, what most consumers may not know is that there are several codes that represent the use of a particular type of barcode for a certain industry. Using a particular barcode allows for effective cataloging, storage, and sale of products.

What are the Types of Barcodes?
Barcode labels are differentiated by various codes. Each code is specific to a barcode type, or is used for a particular industry.

  • Code 39: Also known as Alpha39, this is a standard alphanumeric code, and contains 43 characters. The characters include uppercase letters between A and Z, digits from 0 to 9, and special characters such as *, -, or even a space. Code 39 does not contain a check digit. This means that it is a self-checking barcode. The benefit of this is that it can be easily integrated into an existing printing system.
  • UPC-A: The term UPC stands for Universal Product Code. This code is designed for tracking trade items or consumer goods. The code consists of 12 numeric digits, which is provided to every item. This allows store owners to easily scan and track the sale of every item. This barcode is mostly used in countries such as Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
  • EAN-13: The term EAN stands for European Article Number. It is a subset to the UPC barcode. EAN-13 consists of 13 digits, including 12 data digits and one check digit. This barcode type is utilized around the world for retail stores and products. They are generally used in countries across the European Union and Japan.
  • EAN-8: This barcode is considered as the successor of EAN-13. It consists of two or three GS1 prefixed digits, a four or five digits item reference section, and a checksum digit. While EAN-13 was designed for large products, the EAN-8 barcode was designed for small items. Examples of these products include pencils, chewing gum, and cigarettes.
  • Code 128: This is a high density barcode, and can be used as a replacement for Code 39. Code 128 contains only numeric or alphanumeric codes. It is used in identifying different types of products in shipping and packaging industries. It is primarily used to identify containers and pallet levels.
  • QR Code: An abbreviation of Quick Response, the QR code is a two dimensional barcode. Originally, it was originally designed for the automotive industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. However, it became popular for other applications due to its quick scanning capabilities. Today, the QR code is primarily used for time tracking, product tracking, item identification, and document management.
  • Datamatrix: This is a matrix barcode, which is designed primarily for commercial items and small electronic components. The Datamatrix consists of black and white modules, generally in a square or rectangular shape. The advantage of the datamatrix barcode is that nearly 1556 bytes of encoded information can be stored on it.

Barcodes provide many benefits related to asset and time tracking, and product sales. Understanding the different types of barcodes can help you find the optimum identification method for your industry and products.

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