The pricing and selling of goods has been made much simpler since the introduction of barcode labels just a few decades ago. Generally the barcode is printed onto the product at the time when this is in its final stages and a label is attached, but there are also barcode labels available which can be affixed to any product at any point in the product’s life-cycle.
There is a very well known saying that goes along the lines of “you get what you pay for” and that would to some degree apply to barcodes as well. We are now used to seeing barcodes every time that we shop, they are the familiar thick and thin parallel lines which have a display of numbers beneath them.
We are all today aware of barcodes and many of their uses, and although it first appeared in America 62 years ago, although it took a little while for it to become established there, but by 1979 a visitor to the United States from the UK would have wondered how the supermarkets and pharmacies managed to get all the items into the cash register in such a short space of time, the barcode was virtually unheard of here then.
Well it’s not the sort of thing that we could provide for you business, it is however a very useful tool in the fight to detect to track explosives, medicines and bank notes.
Although it is not in any way a conventional barcode, but it is a very interesting development that has been found by a research team at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in America. They found that some nano-particles have unique characteristics that can be used to mark items, reduce crime and counterfeiting; they are so small that they can be put into any object.
We have all probably used the service at some time and it is now widely used in the parcel delivery and mail services. There are various methods used for tracking an item, but increasingly the use of the barcode when the item finally reaches the destination is used by both couriers and the Royal Mail to indicate to the sender that the item has been safely delivered.
An increasing number of people, particularly in the United States are using their mobile phones for the task of scanning QR codes and in many cases UPC barcode labels. The use of mobiles for this is popular as it can give the user lots of information about a product, or indeed a company before a decision is made to buy an item and the trend is gathering momentum here too.
Labels that use thermal printing are produced for a specific purpose; we offer two distinct kinds of thermal printing, transfer and direct and there are some variations of these, the way that these differ is that thermal transfer has a ribbon and thermal direct does not.
The barcode is one of the great inventions of our time and we are all used to seeing them at work every time we go shopping as they are swiped at the checkout area. However, the barcode is not just a very useful tool for the retailer that allows him to identify the price of an object at the cash point; it can be used for a great variety of other things.
If a barcode cannot be read when scanned, there is little point in adding it to a product. Naturally the numbers on the barcode can be punched into the cash register or computer, but this is completely defeating the object!
This is why good quality printing is vital, if the code is in any way not sharp and clear then problems can arise. Many advocate that barcodes should be in black and white, yes it can make them easier to read, but there is nothing wrong with colour providing it is well printed.
It is of little value to you or to your customer if the nice neat barcode label you have added to a product becomes unreadable or beginning to look a little worse for wear after a few short weeks or days. If your product is going into a standard retail environment such as a shop or supermarket, it may not have to be made of anything but a standard paper; it will normally be in controlled conditions.