Barcode Information

Everyday we receive many phone calls, emails and online chats from people with barcode questions. Our friendly staff are happy to talk you through the barcode process.

We have written up some of the common questions we get asked. Please click on the links below. If you don’t get your answer, please get in touch.


Do I need a UPC or EAN number? How do I get a UPC number? How much does a UPC number cost? What is a UPC barcode? Can I print my own UPC barcodes? What information is contained in a barcode? What do numbers on a barcode mean? What is the difference between barcode and QR code?

We are members of the The International Barcodes Network.  The International Barcodes Network has sold over 1,000,000 barcodes in more than 120 countries over the last 10 years. This means that we have extensive experience with barcodes internationally and are able to advise our customers how best to incorporate barcodes into their business.

The barcode was invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver and patented in the US in 1951 based on Morse code. But it wasnt till 1971 that barcodes became commercially successful after many years of development by different US companies.

Barcodes became commercially successful when they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems to speed up checkout queues, give accurate pricing and stock levels. The Uniform Grocery Product Code Council had chosen, in 1973, the vertical barcode design we are used to seeing today which was developed by George Laurer. The first product to use a barcode was a packet of Wrigley’s chewing gum. Barcode use has spread to many other tasks such as asset management, patient care, accounting and many other fields.