Barcode Information

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

Here are answers to some of the common questions asked. Please click on the links below. If you don’t get your answer, please get in touch.

What information is contained in a barcode? 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 do numbers on a barcode mean? What is the difference between a barcode and QR code?

The International Barcodes Network

We are members of the International Barcodes Network.  The International Barcodes Network has sold over 1,000,000 barcodes in more than 120 countries over the last ten years. This means that we have extensive experience with barcodes internationally. Therefore we are able to advise our customers on 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 wasn’t till 1971 that barcodes became commercially successful after many years of development by different US companies. Now barcodes are everywhere, and their impact on our daily lives is incredible. In fact, life would be a lot slower without barcodes.

Barcodes became commercially successful when they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems to speed up checkout queues and give accurate pricing and stock levels. In 1973 The Uniform Grocery Product Code Council chose the vertical barcode design we see today 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 functions.