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Can Barcodes Be Printed In Different Shapes?

Remember what it was like using a cookie cutter for the first time? Making biscuits in all sorts of wonderful shapes and sizes? If you did this as a child, you’ll remember how fun it was. Fast forward a few years later, you’re running a business and need the barcode equivalent of a cookie cutter in order to create different shaped labels. This might be due to certain products with unusual shapes, or simply an aesthetic touch. Is this possible? Let’s find out!

Yes, they can

Good news: barcodes can certainly be printed in different shapes, so long as they fit the international standards around barcodes and use a standard symbology.

Why would you need barcodes in different shapes?

There are a few reasons why businesses need their barcodes to come in special shapes, rather than rectangular which is by far the most common.

  • To fit on an usually-shaped product
    Unusually shaped products required an unusually shaped barcode. These could include anything from chocolate boxes to chemical barrels. However, the most common products which require special shapes include jewellery (which need butterfly labels to wrap around the product) and pieces of fruit (which need small circular stickers).
  • Aesthetic purposes
    Your barcodes can most likely be printed in the shape of your choice, even if it’s just a matter of aesthetics. Oval shaped barcode labels are quite common and can be printed easily.

Types of barcode shapes

  • Rectangular
    The most common shape of barcode, used for all sorts of different products. Very easy to print and usually shipped within 1-3 days when ordered from Barcode Labels.
  • Circular, oval-shaped
    Common for certain types of products, including pieces of fruit. These shapes usually require an extra 5-10 business days when ordered from Barcode Labels.
  • Butterfly
    While these labels aren’t actually the shape of a butterfly, their name originates from the long, thin tag which loops around the product (usually a piece of jewellery, such as a ring or earrings, or other items such as syringes and containers) and creates a wing. These types of labels also require an extra 5-10 business days when ordered from Barcode Labels.

Adhering to barcode symbology standards

Barcode symbology refers to how the information is encoded in the image / design. The spacing and pattern of the black and white lines or patterns are not random — they follow standardized code languages, as established by the International Organization for Standards (ISO). As long as the barcode symbology is readable and follows the ISO regulations, your preferred barcode shape is able to be created.

Barcode Labels are your national experts on custom-made barcodes, servicing a number of regular clients and helping them improve accuracy in their inventory processes. They can ship pre-printed barcode labels Australia-wide within a matter of days, so get in touch with Barcode Labels and order a batch today.

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