How do I print my barcode?

We see many barcodes each day. Most barcodes are printed well. To avoid your barcode not scanning read below. Here are our barcode printing tips.

Always test your barcodes before you print them. This can be done by most smartphones.

Download our free barcode scanner, and save it to your phone’s home-screen. You can then scan barcodes and know that your barcode is scanning as it will bring up the barcode number. In addition if you have uploaded information to, product information will show. Registration on is included when you buy your barcodes from

Most Common Barcode Printing Errors

  1. cropping the right white space on the barcode – barcode will not scan
  2. truncating the barcode height under 18mm for FMCG stores such as supermarkets or even smaller to 10mm tall
  3. placing the barcode image on a black background – removes the left and right quiet spaces – the barcode won’t scan
  4. wrapping the barcode around a curve such as beer can which makes it harder for the scanner to see both ends of the barcode.
  5. poor quality printing with grey and white marks.
  6. kraft paper absorbing ink into white spaces
  7. a barcode number in incorrect format; for example an EAN barcode number printed in code 128 format cannot be scanned at checkouts.
  8. barcode colours adjusted so there is little contrast and the scanner cannot see the bars.
  9. the barcode is printed in a bad place e.g. over a seam or corner or where the checkout operator places their fingers.
  10. there is shadowing on the bars when you zoom in on the artwork.

Don’t print directly onto black as the left and right white spaces are no longer seen.

barcode printing tips - avoid a white barcode on black

Where to position your barcode on the product

Chose a printer that is used to printing barcodes. Most packaging printers are experienced in printing barcodes.

You can use a wide range of sticky labels as barcode labels. Some will scan well and others less well. Kraft paper can absorb the black ink making the bars ‘fuzzy’. Metallic labels can be too reflective. We recommend matt white labels for optimal contrast.

Barcode readers and scanners rely on their ability to detect the difference between white and black areas. It is vital that the reader or scanner can detect exactly where each area begins and ends, in addition to detecting the beginning and ending of the barcode itself (via the quiet zone).

If you use sticky labels with a coloured or patterned background (or transparent labels that you stick over a coloured surface), you may reduce the contrast between the elements in your barcode and prevent readers/scanners from reading your barcodes accurately. Likewise, a gloss finish (i.e. a shiny surface) may influence the light reflected back into a reader/scanner, preventing an accurate result.

Barcode Labels

When it comes to picking the perfect label size, you need to make sure your barcode labels are slightly larger than your barcodes to keep a clear quiet zone on each side of the barcode. If you chop off the left and right quiet zones, the barcodes won’t scan. You also need to remember that smaller barcodes are harder to read accurately. Use good quality barcode images.

If you have any barcode questions, please contact us.

We hope our barcode printing tips has helped you.