General guidelines for barcode positioning:



  • Make sure that the barcode is placed on a smooth surface with no part of it on a crease or edge of the packaging.
  • The barcode should be positioned so that it does not wrap around a corner. Barcode positioning guidelines
  • No staples should go through the barcode.
  • Do nott print on perforations, seams, folds, or absorbent paper.
  • Ensure that there is enough space around your barcode
    • Make sure that other symbols or text do not encroach on the barcode.
      A retail (EAN-13 or UPC-A) barcode has a 2mm-3mm “quiet zone” (blank margin) on both the left and right sides.
      These quiet zones must be left as they are and may not be cropped off or overlapped with other symbols or text.
    • If you have small packaging, or limited space for the barcode symbol, you can reduce your EAN-13 (or UPC-A) barcode down to 80% of standard size (about 30mm wide x 20mm high).
      We do not recommend reducing your barcode size any further than this.
  • Avoid printing too close to the edge of a product. This is where the checkout operator may hold the item and so block the barcode.
    8mm from the edge is the official recommendation, and no closer than 5mm from the edge.


Keep in mind our Barcode Specifications:
  • Standard size (for EAN-13 or UPC-A barcodes) is about 38mm wide x 25mm high.
  • The smallest recommended size is 80% of standard size – i.e. about 30mm wide x 20mm high. If you print your barcode smaller than this some retailers will not accept it.


Curved surface?

If you are placing your barcode on a curved surface, e.g. a bottle, the orientation of your barcode is very important – the barcode should be rotated so that it looks like a ladder (instead of like a fence), so that the edges of the barcode don’t wrap around the curve.



You can get a bit creative with the barcode – see some examples of barcode artwork here
However, the main barcode image (the vertical bars and spaces) must remain unimpeded.


Color options:

If you want to print your barcode in a different colour combination (instead of black bars on a white background), please see our Barcode Colour Guide PDF.