Coupon Barcode Best Practices

Please note: A perfectly created barcode may fail at Point-of-Sale if it has been placed in a poorly designed coupon. Be sure to consider the following recommendations to avoid retailer and/or clearing fines:

High contrast is critical to scan-ability. The scanner must be able to distinguish each bar reliably. It is best to use a black barcode on a white background. Never run the barcode across a background image or color change. Never "reverse" the barcode (e.g., white on black). Never use a red or reddish barcode, as scanners cannot read these colors.

The scanner must be able to distinguish where the barcode begins and ends. It requires a "quiet zone" of space around the entire barcode of at least 0.117". The quiet zone should be the same color as the barcode background (preferably white) and contain no graphics, text or perforations. Position the barcode horizontally in the lower right hand corner of the coupon to avoid hard-to-handle issues.

Never shrink barcodes smaller than 80% of full size to avoid scanner errors. Barcodes must always be sized proportionately (height and width together). For best results, all sizing should be handled during creation. Truncation (vertical shortening of the bars) is strongly discouraged, as it may reduce scan-ability.

Ideally, coupons should be printed on heavy white paper stock. Whatever the medium, the barcode should appear exceptionally crisp to the human eye. Glossy finishes should be avoided, as reflections may cause problems during scanning. Also avoid sticky coatings, as the material may distort or block the barcode.

It is strongly advised that the coupon barcode be scanned with Pinpoint Data's CouponChek® service before going to production. This will help validate barcode readability and content. For more information or assistance please contact Pinpoint Data at 908-756-9400.