Firstly we would like to mention that bar codes do not have to be black and white to be able to be picked up by a scanner, there are other colour combinations which work well together, such as blue and green, but as we are all aware the majority of bar codes are black and white and retailers do prefer it this way as well.
When we make a purchase and we are packing our goods onto the counter for the teller to scan it does not even cross our mind that in order for this process to be performed bar codes and barcode scanners are required. Each item is passed by a bar code scanner and the bar code scanner reads the unique code on the product, it does this by scanning an LED or laser light onto the bar code image and this causes the light to reflect back into the scanner, the scanner runs the light across the bars and in this way is able to read the distance between each black line and convert this into numbers and feed it back to the computer or system to advise the it of the number sequence that the barcode represents. That is the reason why having the width of your barcode lines correct is so important and also why they have different widths as each width represents a different number for scanning technology. This will explain to you why the bar codes are best printed in black and white as the two colours have such a high contrast between them that the light is reflected very easily off the white back ground allowing the scanner to quickly and efficiently read the black zebra lines of the code.
As you can imagine the last thing a retailer would want is having bar codes printed in colour contrasts that do not work and are not picked up by their in store scanners, this would result in the tellers having to manually key in barcode numbers and would essentially slow down the whole check out process.
You may be wondering why they do not or can-not create bar code scanners that are able to read any colour bars? As barcode scanners and smart phones are on the continuous climb with new features we can only imagine what will be able to be scanned in the future but in today’s world with the scanners we have available to us the colour contrast needs to remain high. Have a look and research the colours that you are able to use as there are quite a few, definitely too many to mention here, and remember to always confirm with your retailer beforehand if you may go ahead with colour barcode printing and if so, happy barcoding to you!
We are so glad you and your business have joined us on the barcoding journey of the future and hope this article assists some.