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Most common barcode types

The majority of professionals within industries that use barcodes are not only familiar with them, but could recognize them with the naked eye. Here is a review of the main types of barcodes.

There are many types of barcodes, and each one is designed to perform a specific function. Depending on the type of company and the industry, some types of codes will be used more often than others, but it is very interesting to review them all. In this kind of overview, we will list the main types of barcodes.


code eanEAN (European Article Number) barcode. This is the type of barcode used to mark products that are scanned from a cash register. The EAN symbols have a fixed length (as you can see by looking at them) and are mandatory for use in sectors such as retail or food industry. In fact, they are hardly used in any other areas.

They allow 13 digits to be included in a relatively small space, and are widely used in warehouses to control inventory. This type of barcode was originally developed in Europe and later extended to the rest of the world, except for the USA and Canada.


code upcUPC (Universal Product Code) barcode is very similar to the EAN type, but developed and used mostly in the USA and Canada.
Its other main difference with the EAN code is that it codes one digit less, 12 digits.

Today there is an agreement between the use of EAS and the UPC barcode and both are accepted worldwide and recognized by all modern readers.

Both EAN and UPC are barcode types that only allow numbers to be encoded. To encode letters there are other types of barcodes such as those listed below.

Code 39

code 39Code 39 barcode (Code 3 of 9). Some industries needed to encode both letters and numbers in a single barcode. To fulfill this need, Code 39 emerged, undoubtedly the most popular and widely used type of barcode, which is in fact the standard barcode in non-food industries.

Code 39 is capable of encoding numbers, capital letters and some special characters (+, -, ., ). On the other hand, Code 39 produces relatively long barcodes, which is a disadvantage in certain cases where the label carrying the barcode must be limited in length.

Code 128

code 128The Code 128 barcode is a high-density barcode. In response to the demand to have a wider selection of characters than the Code 39 in a more compact space, Code 128 was developed. It is a barcode symbol used primarily in the transportation industry.

It allows all characters in the ASCII table to be encoded.


Código de barras PostnetInterleave Two of Five" bar code. Widely used in the transportation industry for the identification of the boxes that make up a shipment. Usually, inside the box labelled with an ITF code, you will find products destined for shops or warehouses which will in turn be labelled with EAN or UPC barcodes.


Código de barras PDF 417The Postnet (Postal Numeric Encoding Technique) barcode is a type of barcode symbology used exclusively by the United States Postal Service for encoding addresses and postal codes on their shipments.


PDF417Barcode PDF 417. This type of barcode is known as a 2D or two-dimensional barcode. It is a high-density symbology that is a bit like a crossword puzzle. The difference between this type of barcode and the previous ones is that the PDF417 type is a portable data file. It is used for official documentation in some countries, it is possible to encode the name of a person , the photo of their face and even a series of reference data in a very small space.

The acronym PDF stands for Portable Data File and the number 417 indicates that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and spaces, and each pattern is 17 units long. Created in 1991 and it is now an international standard under the code ISO/IEC 15438.


QRQR Code (Quick Response code) is the evolution of the linear barcode. It is a two-dimensional code that allows greater storage density and more information in less space. Its easy decoding allows them to be read both with a mobile phone and with high performance readers. It can also contain information of more than 4,000 alphanumeric characters.


DatamatrixThe Datamatrix or 2D data encoding is a two-dimensional barcode which has a square shape like the QR, but unlike the QR it is only capable of storing 2335 alphanumeric characters. Another difference from the QR code is that it cannot be decoded by mobile phones.

Despite these limitations, the great advantage of Datamatrix codes is their high reading reliability. Thanks to their redundant information and error correction system that allows them to be readable with up to 30% of their surface area damaged. Another great advantage is that a high contrast is not necessary for a successful read.


dot codeThe DotCode is a type of 2D barcode specially designed to guarantee a reading when printed with high speed ink printers or laser printers.

The DotCode also has a rectangular shape and is composed of dots distributed in rows and columns, that must follow specific distribution rules for the code to be valid.

GS1 Datamatrix

gs1From the beginning of 2019, in order to minimize the counterfeiting of medicines, the traceability of medicines at the global level became mandatory. It is in the wake of this obligation that the GS1 Datamatrix codes are being used. This type of code makes it possible to code each product from the person who produces the drug to the person who sells it, thus allowing the entire production-distribution chain to be recorded.

Of course, day by day and as the needs of the industry change, new symbologies may appear. But these are the main symbologies of barcodes and 2D codes in use today.

Each company, depending on its activity and needs, makes different uses of these barcodes and 2D codes. This is important when choosing a code reader since not all codes can be read by all readers.

If you need advice or simply to know the opinion of our experts about which barcode reader is the most suitable for your business, call us at our contact number.

Related links

Rugged Tablets Zebra

Rugged Tablets

Rugged tablets have become a fundamental tool in industrial and public sectors thanks to the high performance, durability and resistance that allow them to perform diverse tasks quickly and safely, optimizing time and reducing errors for any worker in any environment.

From managing a warehouse to supporting technicians in the field, rugged tablets allow you to be more efficient and productive. Tablets dramatically increase the speed, accuracy and number of tasks that can be completed in a day's work and allow synchronization of the information collected with all company systems. At Logiscenter, for more than 10 years, we have been concerned with offering the latest and best product news and that is why we present you the robust Zebra range.

The robust range of Zebra tablets is designed to meet the main requirements of each customer. In Zebra's quest to offer the latest technology, they are launching the new, revamped range of Robust L10 tablets, comprising of 3 main models:

  • Xslate: When size and weight matter, it features a traditional tablet design while being the smallest and lightest of the L10 family and is IP65 certified. Ideal for vehicles and workplaces.
  • Xpad: This model offers an integrated handle that makes it easy to carry, ideal for workers who spend the day on their feet, such as field workers in public services or warehouse workers.
  • Xbook: If your job requires heavy data entry, this model offers your workers the best of both worlds: a rugged, fully functional keyboard that attaches and detaches easily as needed.

At Logiscenter we are a premier Zebra business partner, which makes us a reference partner in Europe, with direct access to the manufacturer, allowing us to offer the best prices, stock, delivery times, maintenance and repair services.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to consult our experts via phone or online chat.

New product range at Logiscenter: ProGlove readers!

New product range at Logiscenter: ProGlove readers

For over 10 years Logiscenter has ensured that the latest and greatest products in the industry are included in our product catalogue. For this reason, we are starting 2020 by incorporating the innovative German manufacturer ProGlove into our product range.

Founded just 5 years ago, ProGlove is a resounding success story, focused on a clear objective: To create the smallest and most versatile / wearable handheld reader on the market, thus enabling workers to scan comfortably with their hands completely free, in a number of working environments.

With a design headquarters and factory in Munich, their success began closely linked to the automotive sector (BMW, Audi & Volkswagen are all heavy users of ProGlove products). However, they have now expanded into other sectors, including several large firms such as IKEA & Bosch. Today more that 300 thousand workers use their scanners daily.

At Logiscenter, we are ProGlove's golden partner, placing us as one of the leading partners in Europe, with direct access to the manufacturer and obtaining the best prices, stock, delivery times, maintenance and repair services.

We present you the fine range of products, already available in our web page. The 3 scanner models available present different reading capacities and battery life based on the same ideology: A significantly smaller and lighter device that weighs just 40 grams and allows total freedom of movement.

Mark Basic

Starts in the world of hands-free scanning. It is a portable scanner perfect for the logistics industry and an average workload.It reads 1D and 2D codes at shorter distances (10-80cm), with an 8-hour battery life.

Mark 2 standard range

Designed for advanced work. With this new range of scanners, you will be able to achieve maximum productivity in all production environments.

Experience the advantages of the standard range, made specifically for the production environment with a range of up to 80 cm. Connectivity for tablets, smartphones and terminals via Bluetooth. Also adapted for a high frequency scanning environment. Up to 16 hours of battery life and DPM barcode reading.

Mark 2 mid range

An increased scanning distance of up to 150cm with a battery life of up to 16 continuous hours of work.

Choose your scanner model and your type of glove or give us a call and we will advise you on the version that best suits your needs.

Time for something new! End of support for BarTender 10.1

Time for something new!  End of support for BarTender 10.1

Today, 31st of October 2019 we relaunch our Logiscenter blog, aiming to keep our clients up to date on the main topics of the sector. New products, legislation, best practices and case studies… We hope you find it useful!

The first piece of news we want to focus on is that TODAY, October 31st will be the last day of support for BarTender 10.1, the leading software for label creation that was launched in 2013.

What this means is that from November 1st, Seagull Scientific (the company behind BarTender) will no longer provide technical support or process version updates. For those customers that either have an active maintenance agreement or want to extend an existing one, technical support will be active for another year, up to October 31st 2020.

Moreover, for those customers with an active maintenance agreement, upgrades from 10.1 to the current version of the software is free.

At Logiscenter we are experts and a Premier Solutions Partner for BarTender, having sold Bartender software for more than 1,100 printers over the past 3 years. 2019 saw the launch of the new version of BarTender 2019 and we are here to help! Call us and we will advise you on what we think is the best solution for you.

Did you know…? That Seagull Scientific is an American company founded in 1985, that has always been focused in the barcode and automatic identification sector. The first BarTender was launched back in 1987 and the first European office of the firm opened in Madrid (Spain) just 20 years ago, in 1999.

Millennials (*) abandon store purchases when items are out of stock!

 ¡Los Millennials(*) abandonan las compras en tienda cuando los artículos están fuera de stock!

The Pre-Christmas sales season has begun, and with that comes an exponential sales growth in most stores. This is why, having sufficient and fully up to date inventory can have a significant impact. So much in fact, that according to a study by the American Technology company, Zebra Technologies, 75% of Millennials abandon store purchases if the specific product they were looking for is out of stock, and then opt for online shopping.

The above statement is not a trivial fact. According to an Economic Publication by Forbes, “Millennials in the US are the third largest living generation and form the majority of the US workforce.”. As the youngest Millennials enter the labour market, alongside those already working and progressing their careers in it, income and expenditure levels rise for them. Therefore, turning their buyer behaviour into something of great consideration for the Merchant.

For example, did you know that Millennials complete more than half of their purchases online?., According to the American Consulting firm, Invesp, who also claim that next year, in 2020, purchases from Millennials alone, will account for 30% of all retail sales.

New consumers, new spending patterns and new ways to buy,. all of which link closely to the the following statement: 75% of Millennials abandon physical in-store shopping and complete their purchases online if the product is out of stock, just like the previous generation, but in a much smaller percentage, 53% according to the same study.

If your business is suffering because of online shopping, avoid it from suffering further.

  • Do you have up to date inventory?
  • Stock issues?
  • At Logiscenter, we are experts in all the necessary technology needed to control and keep your inventory updated. Call us. Do not leave yourself without stock at this vital time!

    About Millenialls: They are the demographic cohort following the so-called Generation X (born between 1965-1980), meaning, those born between 1981 and 1996, as well as those who consider themselves as the first digitally native generation.

    Differences between 1D and 2D barcode readers

    Differences between 1D and 2D barcode readers

    The barcode reader is a technological device, which decodes a specific symbolism composed of bars and a white background that through the laser manages to read the binary system and transmit it to a computer as a traditional format

    The first reader was released in 1964 and since then it has become essential for any business, as it is a tool which allows you to perform daily tasks such as receiving goods, inventory, tracking and shipping products on large or small scale. This technology allows you to reduce human errors and automate part of the management process. There is a wide variety of readers, and a the primary distinction would be their reading abilities, split into two main groups: 1D readers and 2D readers.

    1D readers unidirectionally read the distance between each of the elements of the linear bar code from left to right and decode it to our operating system in order to identify the product. The amount of information is usually limited to 20-25 characters (letters or numbers).

    With the need to store more data in the same or even less space, two-dimensional (2D or two-dimensional) barcodes were created at the end of the 1980s. They were capable of storing up to 7,000 characters, including not only letters and numbers but also photos, URLs, geographic coordinates, text, etc. It could be said that 2D barcodes are a kind of link (understood as a link) printed on paper, and adopt different formats, such as QR codes ("Quick Response"), which are among the most common, but there are also other standards such as Data Matrix codes, MaxiCode, Aztec codes...

    In certain sectors it has been the new legislation that has prompted the change in codification from 1D to 2D, recently at European level the directives on counterfeit medicines, on the one hand, and traceability of tobacco on the other.

    One of the differences between the scanning capabilities of 1D vs. 2D readers is that bi-directional readers offer a superior advantage over unidirectional readers. Because they are able to read old, damaged or spoiled, scratched, punctured, wrinkled codes and still remain legible to the scanner as this type of code offers greater security.

    As time goes by, the latest technology scanners usually read 1D and 2D codes, but it depends on your business, the applicable legislation and the use you are going to make of it. For example, if it's to identify food products, the vast majority are still 1D barcodes, but if you need to decode information of any kind or on a larger scale, you'll be better off with a reader that reads both 1D and 2D formats, so you can be confident that you'll have a comprehensive, multi-purpose piece of equipment...

    If you need more information to choose the ideal reader for your business, call us on our phone numbers or type on our chat and our experts will advise you on the right equipment for you..

    Did you know that? Logiscenter is a reference partner for a number of leading brands in the technology sector, specialized in barcode reading such as: Zebra, Datalogic y Honeywell.

    Are you still signing with pen and paper? Incorporate e-signature technology into your business. Save both time and the environment!

    Are you still signing with pen and paper? Incorporate e-signature technology into your business. Save both time and the environment!

    Signatures, in their antiquity have endured over time with its main function of identifying and proving the authenticity of the document and the signee. Despite all the technological advancements we have witnessed up till now, we still continue to sign countless documents with pen and paper.

    Is this necessary? At Logiscenter we aim to equip companies with the technology that allows to digitize the capture of data in their business, optimizing processes, reducing errors and improving decision making and efficiency. With the electronic signature, you can securely and automatically re-sign documents avoiding unnecessary print jobs.

    Furhtermore, electronic signatures can be more secure than handwritten ones, thanks to the pads and their biometric technology which can identify data such as the pressure or speed of writing and inclination at the time of signing. Thanks to the pads we can sign all kinds of files digitally (Word documents, PDF, etc.). The PDF format is the most commonly used, offering high document security and allowing you to attach several electronic signatures. The electronically signed document becomes unalterable and the signature forms part of the document, preventing any type of forgery.

    In our product catalogue you can find signature pads from the French multinational, Evolis; that allow you to transfer data securely via AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) through resistive touch technology. Thus allowing those with any form of disability that restricts them from using a pen, to sign with a finger rather than the pen (ERT Technology). This touch technology will only work with a specialised pen, which restricts any contamination from affecting the signature.

    Pads Evolis

    Call us and find out which model best suits your business needs.

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