4 Components of a Well-Designed Barcode System (3 of 4)


What is required? What are the steps? And in what order?


The Label – Design the Barcode Solution around the Label

There is so much more to designing the appropriate barcode label for your system than you could ever imagine.  Size;  environmental requirements such as wet, cold, dust, abrasion; design; location, both on the packaging and in the warehouse.  It can get pretty complex.

Environment – your label provider will need to know:

  • How long does your label need to last?
  • Will you need to remove it from the packaging?   Or remove and reapply?
  • Will it be in a hot area?  A very cold area like a freezer?
  • What surface will it need to stick to?  Rough?  Smooth?
  • Will it be rubbing up against anything abrasive?  Or will it be getting wet?
  • ls the area where the barcode will be scanned be very dark?  (Like in a wine cellar.)
  • Do your customers have requirements for how long the label must last?  (For example the airplane manufacturers require a 20-year life.)


  • Size and shape – do you need a very small or very large label?  Tie down the size(s).
  • Is there a special shape?  (Especially in the healthcare field, shapes are unique.)
  • Would you like the label to be colored for warning or cosmetic purposes?
  • Do you want your logo or other information or pictures pre-printed on it?


  • Do you want the lowest cost label?  The price of labels varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.  There are the “low cost providers” who use less expensive materials and aren’t always as quality conscious.  This may be OK if the label is used internally and the volume is high.
  • For a great looking label that will go onto your packaging it will be worth it to select a more expensive solution.
  • For complex labeling requirements (such as freezer or removable labels) expect to pay more.

The technology of label manufacturing covers a broad range of products and not all label convertors have the equipment to handle every labeling requirement.  Besides that, not all barcode scanners can read barcodes on all materials or barcodes of all sizes or types.  Don’t make the mistake of buying your labels from one provider without consulting with your barcode equipment vendor.  You are buying a total solution and all components must work together.