Barcodes

Barcodes carry information for automatic identification and data capture

Barcodes are symbols that can be scanned electronically using laser or camera-based systems. They carry information about the object to which it is attached in a machine readable format. As opposed to manual data entry, which is tedious and prone to inaccuracies, barcodes enable automatic data capture with 100% accuracy.

GS1 barcodes carry information, including GS1 Identification Keys, about physical objects like products, assets, logistic units and shipments, or services and locations at any point in the supply chain. They can also include extended identifiers such as batch/lot number and expiry dates for food traceability and safety.

An item incorporating a barcode with prefix number ‘890’ signifies ownership by an Indian organisation.

GS1 manages several types of barcodes including one-dimensional (1D) barcodes such as GS1 EAN/UPC, GS1-128, ITF-14 and GS1 DataBar, and two-dimensional (2D) barcodes such as GS1 DataMatrix and GS1 QR Code etc. Each is designed for use in a different situation.

EAN/UPC Barcodes

Instantly-recognisable, EAN/UPC barcodes are printed on virtually every consumer product in the world. They are the longest-established and most widely-used of all GS1 barcodes.

The EAN/UPC barcode family has transformed the world of retail. See how it works

Types of EAN/UPC barcodes

EAN-13 
  • Symbol ID: ]E0
  • Capacity:13 numeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN-13
  • Does not support attributes
UPC-A

  • Symbol ID: ]E0
  • Capacity:12 numeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN-12
  • Does not support attributes
EAN-8

 

  • Symbol ID: ]E4
  • Capacity:8 numeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN-8
  • Does not support attributes
UPC-E

  • Symbol ID: ]E0
  • Capacity:12 numeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN-12
  • Does not support attributes

 

GS1 DataBar barcodes

Compact 1D barcodes that can hold a lot of information. DataBar barcodes are often used on coupons and to label fresh foods. These barcodes can hold information like an item's batch number or expiry date, in addition to other attributes used at the point-of-sale such the item weight.

DataBar barcodes are often used in retail and can be read by laser scanners. See how it works

DataBar Omnidirectional
  • Symbol ID: ]e0
  • Capacity:14 numeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN, GCN
  • Does not support attributes
DataBar Stacked Omnidirectional
  • Symbol ID: ]e0
  • Capacity: 14 numeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN, GCN
  • Does not support attributes

DataBar Expanded Stacked

  • Symbol ID: ]e0
  • Capacity: Maximum 74 Numeric/ 41 Alphanumeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN, GCN
  • Does support attributes
DataBar Expanded
  • Symbol ID: ]e0
  • Capacity: Maximum 74 Numeric/ 41 Alphanumeric
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports GTIN, GCN
  • Does support attributes

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1D barcodes used in general distribution and logistics

GS1-128 and ITF-14 are highly versatile 1D barcodes that enable items to be tracked through global supply chains. The GS1-128 barcode can carry any of the GS1 ID keys, plus information like serial numbers, expiration dates and more. The ITF-14 barcode can only hold the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and is suitable for printing on corrugated materials. See how it works

ITF-14 
  • Symbol ID: ]I1
  • Capacity: 14 numeric
  • Supports GTIN
  • Does not support attributes
GS1-128 
  • Symbol ID: ]C1
  • Capacity: 48 Alphanumeric capacity
    per symbol, multiple symbols
    may be used)
  • Supports all GS1 keys
  • Does support attributes

 

Two-dimensional (2D) Barcodes

Two-dimensional (2D) barcodes look like squares or rectangles that contain many small, individual dots.

A single 2D barcode can hold a significant amount of information and may remain legible even when printed at a small size or etched onto a product. 2D barcodes are used in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and warehousing to logistics and healthcare. See how it works

Types of 2D Barcodes

 

GS1 Datamatrix

           
  • Symbol ID: ]d2
  • Capacity: 3116 Numeric capacity, 2335 Alphanumeric capacity
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports all keys
  • Supports attributes

 

GS1 QR Code

  • Symbol ID: ]Q3
  • Capacity: 7089 Numeric capacity 4296 Alphanumeric capacity
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supports all keys
  • Supports attributes