Barcode Print Size

I got this question awhile back and thought it would be a good topic to cover for others as well.  The answer to this question explains some of the factors affecting barcode print size.

Question– I’m wondering how far you can reduce an ITF-SCC barcode and still have it read well.

1″ wide?  2″ wide?

Answer– The print size actually depends on several factors and there isn’t really a universal answer.  The biggest factors are the type of barcode printer you’re using and the type of scanner.  If you use a printer with a high DPI (dots per inch) you can make the barcode smaller.  Most barcode printers print at 203 DPI, but some printers are capable of 300 or 600 DPI, which allows you to print a smaller barcode with the same high quality.  The same is true with the barcode scanner, the higher the quality, the smaller the barcode can be.  You also need to take into consideration the environment the barcode will be scanned in as well as the material it is printed on.  Your best bet is to use a high quality barcode printer and a high quality barcode scanner, this should allow you to create a smaller barcode with good scanning quality.  So remember, the biggest factors affecting print size are:

  • the symbol you’ll be using
  • the environment it will be used in
  • how it will be printed
  • what it will be printed on
  • how it will be scanned

If you need any help finding the right printer or scanner, please contact me at ehodges@barcode.com.