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The client has sent me barcode in 72 dpi (233x82 px, JPG file)

The package design project in Illustrator is 300 dpi. I don't know if I place 72dpi barcode in it, would it print well enough to scan well. On the other side, if I make it 300dpi would it be big enough to be functional.

And related question: Is there a simple way for printer to test barcode when make test print? Is it usual to ask printer fr such thing, thanks!

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    JPG is a very bad format for barcodes because of the anti-aliasing. You can use an online generator to create the barcodes in vector format or bigger bitmap monochrome format. If you want to test your barcodes, you can use pretty much any scanner... even the one at your grocery store; if it works, it will work but won't show any product since it's not linked to their database. – go-junta Aug 2 '15 at 20:21
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Hum. you need to make things right. That jpg probably won't work.

A low resolution does not work becouse depening on the size it can have some pattern, and you do not want that.

The barcode needs to be vector. The only alternative is to have a pure monocromatic file. But in my opinion at 600-1200ppi.

It is quite easy to have a vector barcode. Download Corel Draw free for 30 days and generate one. It needs to be on a plain ink, for example c0m0y0k100


The one that should run a test is not the printer. It is you or your client with the same type of scanner you need in real life. Is it a hand held device for inventory and logistics? or is it for a retail store? etc.

A barcode needs to be of specific measures depending of the package and orientation. Yes, it can be smaller on a farmaceutical flask than on a refrigerator's box. So you need to consult a documentation for the case.

  • Many thanks for clarification ! I am not sure about type of scanner it will be used. I feel that my client is already too confused, so maybe it's better to keep it simple in this case. But it is very useful to know that generally test should be made on a specific device! You have mentioned consulting documentation regarding barcode size and orientation. Which documentation specifically it would be, docs for barcode generator? Thanks! – Jazzigula Aug 2 '15 at 17:49
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    @Jazzigula, it depends on the intended use and symbology of the barcode. For UPC/EAN, see the GS1 Standards document. Key things: the proportions of bar widths must be maintained and above a minimum, the height must be above a minimum, there must be "whitespace" around the barcode, and there must be sufficient contract between "black" and "white" (which don't have to be black or white). I prefer to use a bitmap at the exact print resolution, positioned on a pixel boundary. That works even for low DPI printers. – Mitch Aug 2 '15 at 18:53
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    @Jazzigula: You don't even need to download CorelDraw (or anything else) for this. Searching Google for vector barcode generator returns several sites (like this one) that let your generate bar codes from arbitrary text input. Just scan your client's barcode (there are sites for that, too, or software you can download) to determine the content and format, and recreate it in vector form. – Ilmari Karonen Aug 2 '15 at 20:38
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First of all, don't print anything in 72 dpi ever, especially on packaging.

Even though the barcode might be scannable, you do not want compression artifacts on a package, especially not on a barcode. Thats why I would strongly advise not to use a jpeg for this at all, instead create a vector so that the image is scalable without loss.

Secondly, to test the barcode after printing, simply download one of the widely available apps for your smartphone, print the barcode and scan it right away. I dont't think you can or should have to ask your printer to check what it has printed for you.

  • Thanks for the answer, I would definitely ask for vector file, cheers ! – Jazzigula Aug 2 '15 at 17:50
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    If your client is already too confused, you can go to this website, enter the barcode number, choose format (probably EAN or ISBN) and click on Make Barcode. You can then download the vector graphic as an eps file. Hopefully this will also help for similar future projects. Please mark the answer that you accept accordingly so that people will know this has been solved. – Jascha Goltermann Aug 2 '15 at 21:31
  • Many thanks for the link Jascha, it will solve my problem ! – Jazzigula Aug 3 '15 at 1:36

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