Barcode Colour Guide

A barcode scanner uses infrared light to scan a barcode. This means that a barcode scanner “sees” much differently to the human eye. It’s important to keep this in mind when printing your code in colour or on a coloured background. There are some colour combinations that will work and others that are unsuitable.

Some general rules for barcode colour are the following:

– The vertical lines must always appear darker than the background colour of the code
– The scanner will not ‘see’ warm colours such as Yellow, Red, Orange and White. These make for good for background colours
– Colours such as Blue, Black, Green and Brown are picked up by the scanner and should be used for the vertical bars
– Reflective surfaces are not suitable as they reflect light back at the scanner and will interfere with the scan
– The quiet zones that frame the barcode itself are vital. Never alter the quiet zone around the code.

The most widely used and successful colour combination is black bars on a white background. Illustrated below are some examples of other acceptable colour combinations and some examples of unacceptable colour combinations. If unsure email us at [email protected] and we’ll assist you.

Scannable Colour Combinations

Non-Scannable Colour Combinations