What is the best barcode to use?
Different industries have standards of barcode types to use. For labeling products in retail EAN and UPC are used. Use ISBN, ISSN & Bookland for books and periodicals. Use UCC-128, EAN-128 or SSCC-18 for labeling shipping boxes. Note that industry standard is not necessarily the same as the barcode symbology. ISBN, ISSN are industry standarts that are based on EAN barcode symbology. UCC-128, EAN-128 and SSCC-18 use Code 128 barcode. In general if the items are to be scanned or sold via retail then the best barcode type to use would be the UPC or EAN barcodes. Consider also the amount of data that you require, if alphanumeric is required then Code 39 or code 128 is the best option. Also consider the size of the items you are barcoding and the system you will be using as 2D barcodes are much smaller but may not be supported by your system or that of your supply chain partners.
Can barcode be very small?
It can be reasonably small. For example 1x1 cm for 2D barcode. But in the smaller barcode you can encode less information. And you also should use a printer with higher resolution.
How much data can barcode contains?
It is usual to be about 25 characters for 1D barcode and about 2000 for 2D one. Of course the more characters you encode the bigger is barcode. 1D barcode could became impractically wide if it is more than 15 characters encoded.
What is a principle of barcode work?
It is a combination of contrast marks that scanner can read and decode. For 1D barcode it is black and white vertical lines of different thickness. For 2D it is usually a pattern of square dots. Scanner uses some algorithms to decode those patterns into a form suitable for user.
What are the types of barcodes?
There are many different barcode symbologies for different applications.
Most Popular 1D Barcodes:
UPC is a 12-digit one-dimensional barcode used primarily in the United States for retail and consumer products. You can found this barcode on any product. The code consists of 12 numbers, and encodes a country code, company code, and product code.
EAN is the European equivalent of UPC codes. The code differs from the UPC code in that the additional first digit identifies the country of origin code. There are also options such as ISBN and ISSN for more specific applications.
Code 39 - used in defense and automotive. Code 39, as the name suggests, can contain up to 39 characters in a barcode. Code 39 is the simplest of the alphanumeric codes, it is designed to self-test characters and is often used internally by small businesses.
Code 128 is used in transport and logistics, Code 128 is a high density ordering and distribution code. Code 128 encodes both numeric and alphanumeric text. Code 128 barcodes for use in the internal supply chain can store a variety of information.
Most popular 2D barcodes:
QR code is one of the most common 2D codes. QR codes are two-dimensional matrix codes intended for consumers and marketing. QR codes support numeric, alphanumeric, byte / binary codes and hieroglyphs. QR codes are free and publicly available.
DataMatrix Code - Popular for logistics and operations, these two-dimensional codes are tiny in size and are ideal for labeling small items such as electronic components. Codes have the advantage of being very robust and fast to read.
PDF417 - These codes can store huge amounts of data up to 1.1KB. Codes are ideal for government applications like driver's licenses because they can store photos, fingerprints, signatures, text, numbers, and graphics. The code is publicly available and free to use.