Which Barcode should I use?

In the intricate landscape of barcodes, the journey towards selecting the most fitting one is not a choice to be taken lightly; it's a decision that can profoundly shape the course of your operations and ultimately steer the wheels of efficiency. The road to this decision requires careful contemplation of your unique needs and the domain within which you operate. Diverse types of barcodes are at your disposal, each a specialized tool designed to address a particular purpose. This journey of selection isn't just about picking a code at random; it's about navigating your requirements and considering the capabilities that each barcode brings to the table.

Navigating the Barcode Spectrum:

UPC (Universal Product Code): This emblem of retail finds its canvas on a myriad of consumer goods. Its North American roots run deep, making it easily recognizable in the American retail arena.

EAN (European Article Number): In a similar fashion to UPC, EAN barcodes are commonly found in Europe and beyond. They entwine compatibility with global supply chain norms, making them a seamless bridge between continents.

QR Code (Quick Response Code): Taking a step beyond conventional boundaries, QR codes are capable of amazing information storage. They don't just hold data; they can links to websites, facilitate marketing campaigns, and even engage mobile payments. In addition to this, almost everyone has a smartphone that is capable of QR Code scanning, making it extremely convenient.

Code 128: With a wide range of versatility, Code 128 combines numeric and alphanumeric characters. This code resides in many diverse sectors, from the shipping and logistics to inventory management.

Code 39: Code 39 takes care of many tracking needs for companies that need alphanumeric encoding. With the power to utilize both letters and numbers, Code 39 excels in activities such as inventory control, due to its enhanced possibility of combinations

Need to make your own barcodes?  

Our free barcode generator allows you to create custom barcodes readable with any scanner.

Data Matrix: Embracing the compact elegance of a two-dimensional tapestry, Data Matrix shines a light on small items. It unfurls its magic in electronics, manufacturing, and even healthcare.

ISBN (International Standard Book Number): Tailor-made for the world of books, ISBN barcodes allow easy identification and streamlined inventory management within the publishing domain.

ITF (Interleaved 2 of 5): In the world of packaging and distribution, ITF is one of the best. It specializes in numeric data density which allows it to be extremely useful in all logistics activities.

Codabar: Libraries and blood banks alike love using Codabar. Simplicity merges seamlessly with efficiency, as this barcode etches its mark in encoding numbers and chosen characters.

GS1-128: Supply chains rely heavily on GS1-128. Many have opinions on GS1 vs UPC barcode standards, but no one can argue that the GS1 barcode is useful in all international operations. This standard-bearer of barcodes initiates the encoding of product numbers, expiration dates, and batch numbers.

Making the Perfect Match:

As you can see, there are many different options for barcodes, and all serve different purposes. In your search for the perfect barcode, there are bound to be many factors that play a role in your final decision. Your industry's terrain, the volume of data, the compatibility with your existing systems (like whether or not you will be scanning barcodes from photos), and even industry norms all play pivotal roles in this decision. In conclusion, each barcode type brings its unique set of capabilities, each offering its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Carefully look over your options and choose the one that serves your needs best.


View all Barcoding Q&A

Free E-Book

Barcoding Guide

Learn how barcode technology can help your business thrive.


Free E-Book

QR Code Guide

QR codes are perfect for training employees and distrubuting information quickly.


Free Samples

Barcoding Labels

Sample our most popular barcoding labels so you can see the quality before you buy.

Other FREE Resources:

Helpful Resources