Custom Barcode Labels: What Works and What Doesn’t Work

Believe it or not, there are do’s and don’ts when it comes to custom barcode labels. One particular thing of which you should take note is the color combinations. Yes, you read that correctly. The color combination of your barcode labels is key because of the issue of scanability. The labels must include contrasting colors in order to be easily read by scanners. So, what exactly are the color combos that you should use? What should you avoid?

What’s the big deal?

It may seem like a strange thing to think about. But, it’s very important for producers to consider barcode colors when they are in the process of designing labels. Some scanners read differently than others, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Most scanners can’t actually recognize lighter colors like yellow or white. This means it’s better to avoid using lighter colored bars. It is much easier for scanners to see darker colors. Using darker colors for the bars and texts within barcodes is the best plan of action.

Say Yes to These Combinations

Generally, barcodes are black texts on a white background. This usually works very well. However, sometimes a product label will seem better organized if the barcode falls into the color scheme of the entire label. So, of course, producers will prefer to change the text and background colors of the barcodes to better suit the label. Dark texts, such as black, brown, dark green, or dark blue, are good to use. Here are some choices from the “do” category:

  • Blue text + White, Yellow, or Red background
  • Green text + White, Yellow, or Red background
  • Brown text + White, Yellow, or Red background
  • Green text + White, Yellow, or Red background

Avoid These Combos

To help the scanners read your custom barcode labels, avoid using bars that are white, red, or yellow. Also, do not combine dark bars with dark backgrounds. Remember that contrasting colors are best. The “don’t” category includes the following:

  • Black text + Red, Blue, Green, or Brown background
  • Red text + White, Blue, Green, or Brown background
  • Yellow text + White background
  • Light Brown text + White background

Other Colors to Think About

It’s important that you pay close attention to hue, too. For instance, yellow may be fine as a background color for black bars and texts. Mustard, however, does not work well as a background for black. Since mustard is a darker shade of yellow, the contrast between it and black is not strong enough. Also, as mentioned above, lighter shades of brown, like tan, do not work well with a white background although dark brown is acceptable. Beware of shades and hues! Another thing to look out for is the ink which is used. Even if you use black for the bars with a light background, scanners may have a difficult time reading certain inks.

Trust Us With Your Custom Barcode Labels and More!

Here at Blue Ribbon Tags & Labels, we understand what it means to have a label that is not only easy for people to read but is also easily recognized by scanners. For over 30 years we have proudly served our customers and shown how much we care about making sure your product is shared with the world. We can print your labels, barcodes and all, and we assure you that you won’t be disappointed! Get a free quote online or contact us via telephone at (954) 922-9292.

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