Graphic Design: How to generate bar codes?

Saajid

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Hi.

I have a client for whom I have done some of their product packaging designs.

They now require barcodes to be included on the designs. They've sent me the actual physical barcode stickers.

How do I get this into a digital format? I obviously can't scan it, as the quality will be poor. Is there a way to generate barcodes by using the barcode numbers on the stickers?

I need the barcodes to be generated into a vector-based format (or any digital format, which I will then convert to vector).

Please help.
 

bwana

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If you have the codes you can use an online generator or even download a true type font and just type them in.
 

stevenv

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Old versions of Corel Draw had an application that could create barcodes, not sure if the newer ones still provide it.
 

Saajid

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If you have the codes you can use an online generator or even download a true type font and just type them in.

Do you have any links for the font?

I've tried a few online barcode generators, but the barcodes they generate don't look the same as the one's my client has sent me. It seems you get many different types of barcodes, and I have no clue which one to use.

Old versions of Corel Draw had an application that could create barcodes, not sure if the newer ones still provide it.

I'm using Adobe products - Adobe Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop.
 

Saajid

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The problem is how do you verify that the generated barcode is the same as the one in the scanned picture above? Do you go and compare each line in the barcode??

This is starting to really piss me off.
 

dabean

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Those are definitely EAN-13 codes (the checkdigits match in both cases), but they've been rendered as Code 128.

It's probably a mistake on their side, some scanners might have problems with that.
 
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Saajid

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since when? I always scan at a minimum of 300dpi and everything comes out crystal clear.
with a crappy lexmark nogal....

Scanning of photos is fine. But not barcodes, especially when the exact spacing between each line, and the exact thickness of each line is really important. Also, if you missed it in my first post, I need the barcodes to be in a Vector-based format.

Remember, these barcodes are gonna get printed on 100'000s of bags. There's no room for error. It must be 100% accurate from the start.
 

Saajid

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Those are definitely EAN-13 codes (the checkdigits match in both cases), but they've been rendered as Code 128.

It's probably a mistake on their side, some scanners might have problems with that.

OK.. you've lost me. Could you please explain a bit more slowly. I have no clue how barcodes work, what EAN-13 or Code 128 actually means.

Are you saying that whoever generated the barcodes I scanned in didn't follow industry standards?
 

dabean

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Whoever setup/printed the label did it wrong, but it's not a big deal. The first digits in an EAN-13 barcode are the country code (600 for South Africa), followed by the company code and the product code. The 13'th digit is a check-digit, which is worked out mathematically. The country code makes it easy to spot as EAN-13. plus the fact that check digits are correct.

The actual printed barcodes on those labels are Code 128 symbology, which uses a lot denser lines (it can store text as well as numbers). While it's not wrong to do that, it's harder to scan than EAN-13 if it's printed small, and some scanners may not be set up to read that format.
 

Tpex

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Scanning of photos is fine. But not barcodes, especially when the exact spacing between each line, and the exact thickness of each line is really important. Also, if you missed it in my first post, I need the barcodes to be in a Vector-based format.

Remember, these barcodes are gonna get printed on 100'000s of bags. There's no room for error. It must be 100% accurate from the start.

put the dpi higher? as to making it a vector, open it in photoshop, do a colour select with the wand, then turn he selected areas into vectors

BTW always good to do a mockup and test it
 

Saajid

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Whoever setup/printed the label did it wrong, but it's not a big deal. The first digits in an EAN-13 barcode are the country code (600 for South Africa), followed by the company code and the product code. The 13'th digit is a check-digit, which is worked out mathematically. The country code makes it easy to spot as EAN-13. plus the fact that check digits are correct.

The actual printed barcodes on those labels are Code 128 symbology, which uses a lot denser lines (it can store text as well as numbers). While it's not wrong to do that, it's harder to scan than EAN-13 if it's printed small, and some scanners may not be set up to read that format.

OK so I've read your post, and done some reading on Wikipedia, and this is how I understand it:

The numbers in the scanned image above conform to EAN-13, which is an internationally excepted barcode format. But the actual bars in the bar code are encoded using Code 128, which isn't as universally accepted. Right?

What format then should these EAN-13 numbers be encoded as? Obviously not Code 128. What is the universally accepted equivalent?
 
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